Get It Together
Get It Together
Anxieties of Collective Responsibility in Contemporary Young Adult Horror Novels
This essay begins fittingly with the line “If there’s one thing you can depend upon during the zombie apocalypse, it’s that you won’t have to face it alone.” In this essay, Levey and Harper examine the importance of group dynamics in contemporary teen novels that concentrate on surviving zombie invasions. Focusing on two recently published horror novels popular among teens, Charlie Higson’s The Enemy and Michael Grant’s Gone, Levey and Harper examine the “considerations of group consciousness and democratic dynamics” in the texts, noting that such attention to the group is a departure from previous teen novels that had focused more on negotiations of individual identity (this also marks a difference from the novels McCort examines, suggesting the different approach toward identity taken by those writing for older adolescents). For Levey and Harper, the importance of these particular novels and their treatment of the individual in relation to the group is twofold: they ask the characters therein to work through personal issues that are detrimental to the survival of the group and they call for social re-evaluation. In the worlds of The Enemy and Gone, young adult readers experience a close encounter with monstrous humanity, one that allows them to vicariously experience how others deal with threats external to their circles, as well as the threats that lie within themselves and their own peer groups.
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