Sitting in the theater this weekend, after The Maze Runner, I realized something:
Adults in Young Adult Dysopian novels and movies really screw over the kids! Three movies in particular, The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games movies and Ender's Game (and the corresponding books) really illustrate this.
If you haven't seen The Maze Runner... come back after you do so.
In The Maze Runner, a group of boys find themselves with no memories and at the middle of a maze. They make a life for themselves, and try to escape.
In the end, it was adults that put them in the maze. It was adults that used them like lab rats (in maze even) for research to cure an awful disease. These boys were violated, used and killed.
The Hunger Games books and movies center around children that are removed from their families and thrown into an arena to fight to the death. Privileged adults removed these children, and privileged adults from the capitol watched it as a sport, not a tragedy. Only a few of the districts were on board with the gleeful killing of their young. The others looked on it with horror.
It was these children that started the revolution.
Now, these movies and books have their horrors. But honestly, the one that disturbed me the most was Ender's Game.
In Ender's Game, children are sent to military academies to prepare them for war.
This in and of itself isn't awful.
But the end game. The seeking out of brilliant tacticians to train in simulations that center around the killing of their enemy is hard enough to watch.
But when these adults reveal that the simulation was real, and Ender not only made an entire species extinct, but he killed hundreds of soldiers as well, it turned my stomach.
Hunger Games killed kids for sport. Maze Runner killed them for research. Ender's Game used children as weapons against their will and without their knowledge.
In many YA Dystopian novels, the children and teens aren't as brain washed as the adults, and it's up to them to figure things out, but these three take the cake for adults as manipulators.
Seriously, are there any YA Dystopian novels that paint adults in a good light?