Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Morrison

Rights Information

© 2017 Melissa Marroquin


Since the success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the young adult text has functioned as a potential gold mine both in publishing and in commercial film. Within the YA realm, a trend has surfaced which features a formulaic narrative located within a dystopian society. This research closely analyzes two popular works of the YA dystopian boom, The Hunger Games and the Divergent series, in order to outline the vast appeal of such a trend. Once examined, it becomes evident that the trend is one consistently tied to neoliberal ideals of individual achievement.

Using neoliberalism as a lens of investigation, broader connections to youth culture within the contemporary cultural landscape are revealed. Investigating two mainstream favorites of the young adult dystopia has uncovered the notion of individualism that feeds the logic of consumer capitalism. Exploring a range of topics from the role of romance to government intervention, this work highlights the ways in which the trend reinforces the importance of the individual and her freedoms.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.