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First of all, it must be noted that the article of the current analysis is devoted to the impact of dystopian fiction on young people. Keeping in mind the list of dystopian books the author provides us with, one can probably conclude that modern teenagers are interested in nothing, but crime, violence, and cruelty. No, they do not afraid of the listed issues but accept them as the ordinary things the contemporary world is filled with.
Laura Miller gives readers an opportunity to trace back a variety of issues many writers of dystopian literature draw their young readers’ attention to. We, in turn, have a chance to define the overall aim of such publications. There is no need to neglect Miller’s conclusion that “The books tend to end in cliff-hangers that provoke their readers to post half-mocking protestations of agony” (par. 3).
It seems to be evident that the author is deeply concerned with the things she reveals. To protect and prove her ideas, Laura Miller relies on a wide range of rhetorical strategies, which most vivid are:
- exemplification (she provides us with the readings “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead, “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld, “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner, etc.),
- description (Miller clarifies the importance and meaning of these books in young people’s lives; she provides readers with detailed depictions of teenagers’ emotional states which dystopian books cause),
- narration (every part of Miller’s essay includes the retelling of a dystopian story),
- process analysis (the author evaluates the processes young readers are involved in and shows the way readers react to dystopian publications),
- comparison and contrast (Miller depicts the differences and similarities between the books she analyses),
- division and classification (the author tries to disclose a variety of hidden things such broad and complicated subject as dystopian literature reflects),
- definition (Miller’s article is related to specialized terms, which she further explains in order to clarify the main purpose of her discussion; she focuses on the threats dystopian books contain and wants her positions to be clear to readers),
- cause and effect analysis (the author depicts the interdependence between contents of dystopian books and their outcomes, i.e. she reflects a variety of negative consequences the kind of literature brings about),
- argumentation (when reading the article it becomes evident that Miller tries to convince her readers through reasoning).
When analyzing the limitations of the current subject of discussion, one can probably notice that Miller is limited by her own knowledge, emotions, and moral values. The listed three variables can be regarded as the key limitations, as they reflect the importance of readers’ background knowledge, their own beliefs, and expectations. In other words, one can state that Miller and her readers may have different attitudes and viewpoints on the same things. Thus, if young people are fond of reading dystopian literature, it means that there are some gaps in Miller’s judgment. She does not want to understand and accept the new values many young people support and comprehend in their own way.
Despite the fact that there are certain cultural contexts that constrain Miller, one can conclude that the article is well-written. Thus, in her work Laura Miller concentrated on readers in terms of age and pointed out the most crucial elements of dystopian literature. Finally, the author gave readers an opportunity to determine the nature of her reasoning.
Miller, Laura. “What’s behind the Boom in Dystopian Fiction for Young Readers?” Newyorker.com. 2010. Web.