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ERIC Number: EJ1077345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1936-1653
"The Capitol Accent Is so Affected Almost Anything Sounds Funny in It": The "Hunger Games" Trilogy, Queerness, and Paranoid Reading
Abate, Michelle Ann
Journal of LGBT Youth, v12 n4 p397-418 2015
Throughout the "Hunger Games" trilogy, the residents of the Capitol are associated with an array of physical, behavioral, and sartorial traits that have stereotypically been associated with homosexuality in general and gay men in particular. Although none of these characters is explicitly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ), they are routinely linked with queer forms of feyness, fussiness, and flamboyance. How are young adult readers to interpret these details? What social message or political stance is Suzanne Collins conveying by making some of the vainest, powerful, and heartless characters in her book also in dialogue with common conceptions about queerness? Does "The Hunger Games" include these elements to dismantle negative stereotypes about LGBTQ people, or does the book perpetuate and even affirm homophobic attitudes? In what ways do these details impact the presentation of Katniss, in many ways, as a genderqueer figure herself? In exploring these and other questions, I draw on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's notion of "paranoid reading." While Sedgwick's concept of paranoid reading is intended to address LGBTQ content exclusively, I make a case that it is also a productive lens for examining the "Hunger Games" trilogy as a whole. Using the portrayal of the Capitol residents as an entry point for the trilogy's engagement with nonheteronormative gender and sexuality, I examine how the series serves both to reinforce and to resist homophobia. In so doing, I demonstrate the risks as well as the rewards of finding what we fear seeing in any work of dystopian young adult (YA) fiction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A