New Futures, same old Fear: Gender-based Violence and Victim Coping in Contemporary Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17561/grove.28.6654

Keywords:

dystopian fiction, young adult, sexual assault, postfeminism, trauma, culture

Abstract

The ability of dystopian fiction to offer critical views of futures riddled with the devastating consequences of today’s failures is pervasive also in its literary subgenre targeting young readers. While scholarship on these novels is extensive, the prevalence of sexual assaults in this subgenre requires attention. This study offers an introductory analysis of two contemporary young adult dystopian trilogies, Veronica Roth’s Divergent (2011-2013) and Beth Revis’ Across the Universe (2011-2013), with a focus on the sexual assaults the protagonists endure. The discussion draws on trauma and sexual abuse research to ascertain how and if these future societies and heroines challenge traditional representations of this crime. 

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Author Biography

Andrea Burgos-Mascarell, Universitat de València

Andrea Burgos-Mascarell holds a degree in English Studies, a Master in Advanced English Studies, and a PhD in languages, literatures and cultures by the University of Valencia, in Spain. She specializes in utopian and dystopian fiction in English with a particular interest in fiction aimed at young adults. She is a lecturer at the University of Valencia and a freelance translator and proofreader. She has published articles on bibliometrics, interdisciplinary approaches to literature, and cultural aspects of dystopian fiction in national and international journals.

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Published

2021-12-23

How to Cite

Burgos-Mascarell, A. (2021). New Futures, same old Fear: Gender-based Violence and Victim Coping in Contemporary Young Adult Dystopian Fiction. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 28, 47–66. https://doi.org/10.17561/grove.28.6654