Governments in dystopian YA novels

by Macy Conley

world

The most popular dystopian novels are created out of conflict between the government and the people. Reading about the beliefs and regulations of some governments found in YA fiction can be unbelievable. They seem so completely unnatural or fake that we can forget that there are actual governments that are used as models for these fictional ones. I have some governments listed below with examples of books that fit the definition. Let’s get started!

 

Aristocracy– a government ruled by the elite, privileged upper class, nobility, or any group considered to be superior through education, ability, wealth, or social prestige

Red queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

With having “queen” in the title you would automatically categorize this book as having a monarchy, however, even though this book is ruled by a monarchy the ruling class is only in charge because of their abilities. They are thought as gods only because of their inhuman powers and silver blood color. This group is automatically superior to those who have red blood.

 

the testing

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

In this world, intelligence is superior. Children are tested through out their childhood and are singled out when they come to age to take the testing to proceed into the University. The government then subjects the students to inhuman testing methods and death if they do not prove useful to the society or are not smart enough.

 

 

uglies

The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In this world being beautiful reigns supreme. Teens are given a choice at a certain age to either have a surgery to become “pretty” and live the high life at parties on the nice side of town or remain “ugly” and “disappear” or seek refuge in the wilderness. Throughout the book, it is implied that if you are not “pretty” then you do not matter to the rest of society even though teens are given a choice.

 

Authoritarian– a government in which individual freedom is subordinate to the power or authority of the state and is not accountable to the people. Some types of authoritarian governments do permit degrees of individual freedom.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

In this second novel of the series, a new government over throws the faction system. This government set everyone “free” from the faction system, as long as they do not want to be apart of the faction system. The government gives freedom to those who wants the same things they do and controls those who want a different choice.

 

Autocracy– a government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority, power, or influence

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This society is ruled by a president who has power beyond what is acceptable. This government has an illusion of others being able to rise up and be in charge but the current president “deals” with his competition so that he may remain powerful. He rules by fear and corruption with no limitations about what is acceptable for the president to be in charge of.

 

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

 

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

In the distant future, cartels are in control of the land between the United States and Mexico. In the country of Opium, El Patron is in charge and have been for over a hundred years. He rules with ultimate control over not only his employees but his family. Since he is in charge of his own nation, he doesn’t have to answer to anyone.

 

Communism– a classless society in which private ownership is abolished and the means of production and provisions for survival belong to the community.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth

With the faction system, everyone works towards the greater good of the factions. There are those who help in governing the faction but the individuals that are apart of the faction are all united in the fact that they are treated equally no matter their job or status within the group. Even the different factions are treated equally and no one faction is above the other. The only time this changes is when the Erudites move to take control.

 

Matched by Ally Condie 

Matched by Ally Condie

Every one within this society is given treated equally. You are a member of society and are treated the same no matter what job you do or who you are. The citizens are controlled by who they are married to, what jobs they have, to where they live. They are even required to carry around pills that the government gives out in case issues arise.

 

Empire– a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign, established usually through coercion

The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye

 

The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye

This novel takes place in a time of imperial Russia. Two magicians are put to the test to serve the empire. The empire demands the magicians kill the other to keep the magic to themselves, even though the two become friends throughout the story.

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

In this novel, we hear about several governments from all over the world but the two we hear about most are empires. New Beijing empire on earth is ruled by a decedents of the same family. The Lunar Empire on the moon is more ruled by deception. The people of the moon have an ability to enchant those using glamours. This ability can make you see and feel emotions that the person would like you to feel. This is how the current queen has kept her throne for so long.

 

Republic– a government in which the power rests in the body of the citizens who are entitled to vote for representatives to exercise their will- the will of the people.

Lost Stars

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

This novel take place in the Star Wars universe, so it has two main governments. One such government is what the rebels are fighting for. They are hoping to reinstate the republic so people can feel free to speak out against their government without repercussions.

 

 

Totalitarian– a government that does not tolerate differing opinion and that regulates nearly every aspect of public and private life

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The scientist that run the experiments controls what the world sees and hears about the experiments. They control what happens to not only those in the experiments but those outside them too. They hold over them that no matter what the people of the fringe do, they can never be good enough to look after or save from their selves or each other. They are considered less than. They control people in the experiments by sheer ignorance.

 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

The captain controls everyone on the space ship. He controls the jobs being done to their attitude to even when people mate. With a concoction of medicine, the captain keeps everyone agreeable to keep the peace on a ship destined to a new planet.He selects who to not give medicine to so they are able to think creatively.

 

 

 

Are there books that fits a government not listed here? Is there a book that fits a government listed above?