Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Scott Gwara

Abstract

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games enhanced the popularity of post-apocalyptic, young adult literature written between 2004 and 2014 (a genre I call millennial dystopia). A government that sends its people to war, spies on them, and sacrifices the sanctity of the community for personal profit while the powerful and wealthy watch from a secure distance is an anxiety addressed in this fiction. The hero of millennial dystopias satiates the suffering that emerges from this angst.

Through her story, Katniss is pushed to her destiny on a path that leads her to become the hero of The Hunger Games trilogy. In fact, she becomes a serendipitous hero— the savior of a secular world. Three characteristics define the serendipitous hero: moments of fate, rejection of society, and unconditional love. In the secular universes of millennial dystopian fiction, a vacuum of power and a desire for a greater, divine force demands a hero restore faith in providence, nature, and goodness. Serendipitous circumstance chooses these heroes to shepherd humanity back to paradise.

Katniss Everdeen volunteers.

Available for download on Friday, May 31, 2024

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