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Showing posts by: Janni Lee Simner click to see Janni Lee Simner's profile
Apr 12 2011 5:00pm

Arranged Marriages and Dystopian Fiction

Matched and The GiverI was recently reading Ally Condie’s dystopic young adult novel Matched, in which the tightly controlled Society the protagonist lives in determines everything about her life, right down to who she’s to court and marry. This isn’t a new trope in dystopic YA—it can be easily traced back to Lois Lowry’s The Giver at least, probably goes back much farther, and appears in adult dystopic fiction as well.

As I read, I found myself thinking about how unlike in a traditional romance, where arranged marriages can at least sometimes turn into true love, in dystopic fiction arranged marriage is much more often used as a quick and easy sign that a society is broken—because if you’re being told to marry, the world you live in has to be pretty bad, right?

[It’s never been that simple, historically...]