Celebrity Culture in The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars

Shauna Stewart

Abstract

The concept of celebrity that has developed out of the Internet culture of young adults is significant when considering the trends and topics in the most popular novels of young adult fiction. Graeme Turner’s idea of the “demotic turn,” or the trend towards the celebrity of the “ordinary person,” dominates not only cable television, Twitter, and the blogosphere -- it is also present in YA literature. We see this in the online communities of young adult fans that have cropped up around works like The Hunger Games, the Twilight series and Harry Potter, and also in some of the works themselves. It seems to matter little whether the subject of fanfare is an actor, real person, or a fictional hero. This phenomenon of online fandom and society’s newest iteration of “celebrity” are evident in the novels I will discuss: John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games. Both novels address celebrity culture for teenagers and Western culture as a whole. Green’s novel represents a cautionary tale about the celebrity phenomenon while Collins’s novel is a prediction of a dystopian future driven by the cultural obsession with reality shows.

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