Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)
Brooke Wonders, Honors Thesis Advisor
Young adult readers have embraced speculative fiction in the last decade, becoming immersed in dystopian and science fiction titles where teenage heroes take on corruption and classism. The genesis of this creative writing project comes from a desire to consider speculative fiction titles from the twenty first century and expand upon their typical story of triumph over oppression. My original speculative fiction piece aims to explore the psychological fallout which might follow a revolution in a typical dystopian novel. Extending the prototypical “hero’s journey” can bring further realism to a speculative fiction universe and provide a new lens through which to consider the stories of famous characters in published works.
The story workshopped throughout this thesis process is entitled “The Concord Concept.” It focuses primarily on two caretakers who are attempting to get a teenager the help he needs after extensive experimentation. The caretakers have differing ideas of how to help their friend, and they come into conflict with one another as they try to navigate an uncertain road to recovery. All the while, the teenager’s condition worsens, putting those around him at risk.
A baseline knowledge of young adult dystopian stories is assumed for readers of the piece. The story does not directly explain the tumultuous conflict that resulted in the status quo at the beginning of “The Concord Concept,” leaving readers to interpret context clues revealed through dialogue and character relationships. From these, the reader is meant to understand that an uprising took place, resulting in the downfall of a sinister organization and the establishment of an oasis for survivors of the experimentation. As a comparison point, this is similar to the way The Maze Runner Trilogy concludes, with the organization WCKD falling to ruins and the protagonists setting up a new society to start over. My inspiration sprung from moments like these, and “The Concord Concept” seeks to interrogate how rebel leaders would move on after a victory. With the primary antagonist defeated, how do these residents make peace with their past? What emotional or physical fallout is there from an uprising? Do relationships formed in war sustain themselves as people have differing views of future steps?
Year of Submission
Department of Languages and Literatures
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (36 pages)
©2021 Dylan Lee Haase
Haase, Dylan Lee, ""The Concord Concept:" Speculative fiction challenging young adult literature conventions" (2021). Honors Program Theses. 467.