Protective Mimicry in Dystopian Young Adult Novels
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Protective mimicry is a survival tactic mostly observed in the animal kingdom, e.g. butterflies with wings that mimic dead leaves to avoid being noticed by predators. However, mimicry in itself is also apparent among humans, both conscious and unconscious. People mimic mannerisms and behaviour as a part of social interaction. Examples of behaviour that can be imitated are social and gender norms. This thesis shows that protective mimicry, as a conscious imitation of social and gender norms for survival purposes, is present in young adult dystopian literature. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi were analysed to support this thesis statement. A tentative claim is made that a trend can be observed in these novels of this behaviour. This trend coincides with character development of the female protagonists, resulting in the heroines obtaining a better understanding of their values.