Welcome to the Arena

Deconstructing the Female Character in Dystopian Literature

  • Keshia Mcclantoc University of Montevallo
  • Paul Mahaffey, Mentor University of Montevallo


This research is designed to examine and rewrite Erika Gottelieb’s theory of “the eternal feminine of the romantic cosmos.†This theory was first presented in Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trail. It outlines the parameters by which the female character is viewed and represented in dystopian fiction. This theory is satirical in nature, arguing that the role of the female is to serve as a weaker counterpoint to a male protagonist. The eternal feminine serves as a theoretical archetype works as a lens to view the female characters in dystopian literature, looking at literary examples such as George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, as well as a dystopic representation of the Garden of Eden. This theoretical archetype is then applied to Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games Series, focusing primarily on the female protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. Through Katniss Everdeen, the eternal feminine is revised into a positive portrayal that allows for female characters in dystopia that are more dynamic and able to assume the role of hero. This revision also allows room for more positive characters development along gender lines while examining the progressive state of dystopian literature. This new state now offers a counter-narrative that actively combats outdated modes of interpreting dystopic literature.

May 1, 2016
How to Cite
MCCLANTOC, Keshia; MAHAFFEY, MENTOR, Paul. Welcome to the Arena. Metamorphosis, [S.l.], may 2016. Available at: <https://metamorphosis.coplac.org/index.php/metamorphosis/article/view/34>. Date accessed: 20 june 2024.