反乌托邦末世小说,如果说这个词对你来说有些陌生的话,那么诸如《饥饿游戏》《分歧者》《移动迷宫》这类电影你一定不会觉得陌生。这些电影以世界末日后的社会为背景,影片中的主人公因为种种原因不得不去决斗、反抗、求生,让众多青少年震撼和痴迷。众所周知,这类电影都改编自其同名小说,而这类小说就是近年来颇受青少年欢迎的反乌托邦末世小说。为何这类小说会得到青少年的青睐?为何它们会掀起一股末世小说潮流?且让我们随本文去一探究竟。 中国论文网  Duels3) to the death. Revolution. Post-apocalyptic survival. Is this the stuff of popular young adult literature today? In a word, yes. In the last few years, dystopian novels have dominated the young adult―better known as YA―bestseller lists. One of the most popular series is The Hunger Games. But it's certainly not the only one. Divergent and The Maze Runner, like The Hunger Games, are just a few of the many recently published books that tap into4) YAs' hunger to read about dystopian societies in a post-apocalyptic future. So, what's driving this trend?
  What's Old Is New Again 旧瓶装新酒
  Many experts attribute the trend to the uncertain times young people are growing up in. Many of the new novels are set in a post-apocalyptic future, in which young people must clean up the mess their elders have made.
  Todd Mitchell, author of YA novel Backwards and other books, believes that the post-apocalyptic angle seen in so many YA novels today is a response to a deep-rooted social need or anxiety. "We know that all our pollution and over-consumption is driving the planet to ruin. We might not accept the science of climate change, but we can't ignore all the droughts, floods, super storms, forest fires, heat waves and other signs of a world spinning out of balance. Nor can we ignore the many signs of social inequality leading to civil unrest." he wrote on his website.
  Mitchell thinks young people are especially sensitive to these issues, which has driven the popularity of books set in a bleak5) future. "I think teens are particularly aware of this, perhaps because they're not so interested in the status quo6)," he said. "Or perhaps because this is the world they're inheriting, and they're [upset] that we're trashing7) it. So there's a thread of anxiety running through our culture."
  Indeed, what's different today, says Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author, is the amount of pressure on young people. "I think the pressure on young adults to define themselves has increased, and it's starting earlier and earlier in life," said Gray. "We see increased standardized testing, increased homework levels, etc. By the time you're 14, you've already been forced into a mold that's going to be hard to break out of."   很多专家认为,之所以出现这股潮流,是因为当今青少年成长的时代充满了不确定性。许多新出版的小说都将故事背景设定在浩劫过后的未来世界,里面的年轻一代不得不去收拾老一辈留下的烂摊子。
  Breakout Roles 突破性角色
  Gray noted that many dystopian, post-apocalyptic YA novels are specifically about refusing to accept the definitions, tests and choices forced on young characters by their society. "Almost all YA dystopians at least touch on this theme―refusing to let anyone else define you." said Gray.
  Today's young people have also grown up amid threats of terrorism, ongoing war and a 24/78) news cycle in which darkness and evil-doers are the stars of the show. The books they are drawn to may reflect the times they are living in.
  "For today's young adults, a world of instability, a world that is constantly teetering9) on the edge of another major catastrophe10), is just the norm," said Barna Donovan of Saint Peter's University. "When young adults read these books, stories about teenagers who must fight for their lives and fight for their freedom in a world that a previous generation has wrecked11), they are reading a metaphorical representation of their own world. Today's kids have been handed a world their elders mismanaged, used up, polluted and wrecked. What better metaphor could anyone create for the life of a teenager who knows he or she has no choice but take on a crushing amount of debt to go to college, to gain an education that will make it harder than ever to establish a career, all the while existing in a world of endless foreign wars and watched over by intrusive government bureaucracies12) and corporations that constantly spy on them or monitor all of their electronic communications?"
  “在今天的年轻人看来,世界动荡不安,总是一副浩劫在即、大厦将倾的模样才是正常的,”美国圣彼得大学的巴尔纳・多诺万说,“而这些末世小说讲述的都是这样的故事:青少年生活在一个被上一代破坏的世界里,他们必须为自己的生存和自由而战。当青少年读这些小说时,他们从中仿佛读到了自身所处世界的影子。今天的孩子们从老一辈手里接过的是一个混乱无序、资源枯竭、污染遍布、千疮百孔的世界。他们知道,为进大学他们别无他法只能高筑债台,但接受的教育却会越来越难以让他们撑起一份事业。而且与此同时他们还置身于一个充满无休无止的对外战争的世界,处于无孔不入的政府机关以及企业的监视之中――这些机关和企业不断在监控青少年或其所有电子通信信息。除了反乌托邦末世小说,谁还能创造出可以更好地反映青少年这种生活写照的东西?”   1. apocalyptic [??p?k??l?pt?k] adj. 世界末日的;毁灭性的
  2. dystopian: 请参见P15注释1
  3. duel [?dju??l] n. 决斗;竞争
  4. tap into: 设法(通过可以带来好结果的方式)利用
  5. bleak [bli?k] adj. 没有希望的;凄凉的
  6. status quo: 现状;原状
  7. trash [tr??] vt. 破坏,捣毁
  8. 24/7: 一天24小时、一星期7天的缩写,指“全天候(提供服务)的”。
  9. teeter [?ti?t?(r)] vi. 面临(险境);濒临(灾难)边缘
  10. catastrophe [k??t?str?fi] n. 大灾难;浩劫
  Rise of the Technology 科技的崛起
  The prevalence13) of technology may also be a factor fueling the popularity of dystopian, post-apocalyptic fiction among young adults. Via smartphones, tablets14) and, increasingly, wearables15), tech is literally at our fingertips all day every day. And tech-savvy16) young people are well aware that being that connected means most of our movement and communication can be tracked. These are all themes that show up in current YA fiction.
  Monique Anair, assistant professor of Santa Fe Community College, believes we are at an interesting inflection point: in addition to young adults' natural desire to see themselves in what they read and watch, technology has made it possible to present those images more realistically.
  "In almost all dystopian worlds, young people hold the values that the adults have forgotten," she said. "Against all odds in the horrible world that the adults have left them, the children know what is important. They love, survive and struggle to make sense of their own personal power."
  It's a story as old as time―and as new as Mockingjay.
  11. wreck [rek] vt. 弄坏;毁坏
  12. bureaucracy [bj???r?kr?si] n. 官僚(集称);官僚制度
  13. prevalence [?prev?l?ns] n. 流行;盛行
  14. tablet [?t?bl?t] n. (= tablet computer)平板电脑
  15. wearable [?we?r?bl] n. 佩戴式电子设备
  16. savvy [?s?vi] adj. 具有实际知识的;知识渊博的