Age In Young Adult Fiction Essay

2313 words - 10 pages

When reading books such as Hunger Games or Ender’s Game, one thing that sets the story apart is the age of the main characters. Katniss Everdeen, the star of Hunger Games, is barely sixteen at the beginning of the games and many of the other contestants are even younger, down to the age of twelve. Ender from Ender’s Game is only eleven when the end of his story comes. Both of these main characters are still young, as are the majority of the other characters in both of these books, but this begs the question, because the main characters are young, is it appropriate for the readers to be young as well? Or is the term “Young Adult Literature” misleading?
Before looking more in depth at the age ...view middle of the document...

Lastly, young adult books should relate to on contemporary world perspectives. Even when the books are not set in present day, they must deal with the same world issues and societal issues that young adult readers face each day. The Young Adult Literature genre is a relatively new type of literature that is very complex, yet easily defined by its characters ages, their contexts, and the struggles they face.
Hunger Games by Collins and Ender’s Game by Card fit into this genre of young adult literature based upon the criteria of the genre. First, in both stories the main characters are young adult. Katniss is sixteen when she competes in the Hunger Games (Collins). Ender goes through school from ages six to eleven (Card). These are both in the age range, although Ender is on the young side of the spectrum. Both of their lives show this in many different ways. Katniss experiences many things teenage girls struggle with, one primarily is her love with Peeta, and with Gale as well as the confusion that causes her. Love is something most young girls deal with, and can very easily relate to. Also, there are many different times and places that Katniss experiences being pressured by the adults in her life, and wanting to gain freedom from them. Similarly, Ender struggles with pressure from adults in his life. Often He felt that he is being manipulated by the adults running the battle school, and wants to escape them. This is a struggle many adolescences have as they grow and mature; they often want to get out and away from the people that are in authority over them, whether that be parents, teachers, or other people in authority. The second way these books are young adult literature is the issues the characters work through in the story. As has already been discussed, both Katniss and Ender dealt with the struggle for independence against adults. In both stories the characters grow and mature into much more responsible and wise individuals. Katniss learns how to look out for others, and comes to understand that sacrifice is the greatest gift of love anyone can give. Ender learns that he can conquer anything if he sets his mind to it, even if he does not necessarily want to, as with the buggers. Through this, he also learned that it is always possible to right the injustices that he had caused. The last way both Hunger Games and Ender’s Game fit into young adult literature is through their political context. Ender’s Game was published in 1985, and when reading the book it is obvious why (Card). The world Ender lives in, although futuristic, is very concentrated on a tension with Russia and other dominant world powers. This is very similar to the Cold War that was going on during the time of the book’s original release. Hunger Games also deals with the government; in this story it is a tyrannical power of the capitol that is reigning over the entirety of Panem. This is similar to the way many people view America today. In both of these stories the...

Find Another Essay On Age in Young Adult Fiction

Adult Career Counseling in a New Age

2069 words - 8 pages Adult Career Counseling in a New Age The changing workplace - a by-now familiar litany of economic, demographic, organizational, and social changes - has made ambiguity the only certainty in work life. Many adults had little or no career education, guidance, or counseling when they were "in school " and often seek such help now, making job or career changes spurred by their personal stage of development or by the "postmodern" workplace

Important Themes in a Young Adult Literature Course And the Novels that Represent Them

1583 words - 7 pages stereotype by saying assumptions should not be made about age, because those are incorrect generalizations. The Amulet of Samarkand proves that age is truly just a number, and that adolescents are much more than what their ages signify within a developmental perspective. Survival is a main objective of the protagonist in many young adult novels. Nathaniel struggles to survive in a world of corrupt magicians who are bent on eradicating the system

Progression of Young Adult Literature Over Time

1534 words - 7 pages . She also says that Young Adult Fiction allows for many of their questions to be answered about their identity and finding their place in the world. It allows them to see a perspective on different philosophies through the eyes of characters around their same age. She even suggests the idea of replacing classics such as Huckleberry Finn with modern Young Adult fiction novels that convey the same lessons and themes in them. (Avoili-Miller 16) An

The Young Adult Genre

1464 words - 6 pages Young adult literature is a consistently evolving genre that continues to push controversial boundaries and trends. The term “young adult” was first coined in the 1960s and was defined as “realistic fiction that was set in the real contemporary world and addressed problems, issues, and life circumstances of interest to young readers aged approximately twelve to eighteen” (Cart). Young adult readers of the past read publications such as Zindel’s

Fan Fact or Fan Fiction?

1789 words - 7 pages though it may violate the United States copyright law, fan fiction is a great tool to teach young people to love writing. As stated above, fan fiction is essentially a story that is based on elements of an existing work. The extent that the borrowed works are used can vary from the story taking place in the same fictional universe as the original story to an entire scene that is told from another character’s point of view. Because there are no

The Rise of Science Fiction

2068 words - 9 pages for intelligent adult readers (Silverberg 1), so he inaugurated and shaped the Golden Age of Science Fiction using his issue of Astounding as his basis. Astounding included not only things about aliens, but believed that space travel was possible (Science 1). Campbell also encouraged and taught some of science fiction’s strongest genre writers. “In 1944, Campbell published “Deadline” by Cleve Cartmill, dealing with the explosion of an atomic

The Life of Frank Herbert

1582 words - 6 pages read complex books at a young age. Herbert even read books that are difficult for most kids in high school. He was also “a stickler for accuracy . . . but he insists that even science fiction must be accurate in those details that are not strictly products of the imagination” (McDowell). One of the major reasons Herbert wrote science fiction was because he wanted to be accurate. This passion for accuracy made his novels not just based on what he

The Agency by Y.S Lee

1199 words - 5 pages completely invisible. Similarly, Mary has a contemporary view which is illustrated by the following text: “Mary found it difficult to believe this polished luxury was built on creaking wooden ships and the backs of merchant sailors” (Lee 43). Mary’s views are sophisticated for her time and this adds more of a mystery to her. She is an intelligent young adult who speaks in the same mode as the narrator which makes it simplistic to follow her thoughts

Is Fanfiction Against The Law?

1364 words - 6 pages rated the piece MA(for the adult age group). In these cases usually remove theses fics because of complaints. Those who believe fanfiction is illegal mainly use copyright as the reason. Copyright states that an author or creator of a piece or product must make reliable product. Authors of the original piece are sometime held responsible for things in fan fics and to make a reliable product or in this case a decant work. Most fan fiction

Lowering the Drinking Age

892 words - 4 pages judgment, lengthens response time, and causes an increase in fatal car accidents among young adults. Health concerns also increase by lowering the legal drinking age. Alcohol intake can hinder the brain development of the young adult. With brain damage young adults are likely to partake in unsafe acts, bad decision making, and self- destruction (Drinking Age). Lowering the age to drink will cause a setback in the country development. Not only will

Maya Angelou

954 words - 4 pages This piece of autobiographical works is one of the greatest pieces of literature and will continue to inspire young and old black Americans to this day be cause of her hard and racially tense background is what produced an eloquent piece of work that feels at times more fiction than non fiction In 1970, a child with skinny legs and muddy skin was introduced into African American literature. Born marguerite Johnson she became known as Maya

Similar Essays

Death In Young Adult Fiction Essay

2441 words - 10 pages There are many reasons why authors of young adult fiction write character deaths in their novels. In their article “Death and Dying in Young Adult Fiction” Carolyn Harvey and Frances Dowd state, “Reading about the death of a fictional character can help adolescents develop a personal code of values, appreciate life more fully, and release feelings of grief or anger that result from the loss of someone close to them” (141). It is not only the

Young Adult Fiction Author Katherine Paterson Cast Her Female Characters In Her Novel "Lyddie"

2626 words - 11 pages Q). How does Katherine Paterson cast her female characters in Lyddie as potential role models to whom Twenty-first Century female readers can relate?Katherine Paterson is an American author of young adult fiction novels. Her novel Lyddie, published in 1991, is written from a historical perspective and the major characters either face oppression directly or face a threat of oppression. The characters in Lyddie are not always female, though most

Social Issues In Young Adult Literature

1662 words - 7 pages The involvement of social issues in young adult literature is no red flag in modern day society. New Realism, which first occurred around the 1960’s-1970, lead to the evolution of the appropriateness of social issues in the young adult literature genre. (Robinson) In Francesca Lia Block's Wolf, the author addresses the taboos of sexual violence and abuse in the home, and pairs this with the idea of female self-empowerment, and the age

Role Models In Young Adult Literature

1885 words - 8 pages Literature genre. Young women are looking up to such heroines like Tris, described above. We know because the Hunger Games series alone has sold more than 65 million copies. These heroines are presented as strong willed, persistent, and smart role models for young women around the world. In fact I am going to argue that Young Adult Heroine Literature is the most influential source of entertainment for young women today. I will argue this by showing