Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, November 21, 2015

YA Fiction

I'll admit that I haven't read a lot of it in the last few decades. I've read the "Hunger Games" books and the first of the "Divergent" books.

Seems to me that both had the same underlying premise: A plucky teenager becomes the guiding lamp for fixing a dystopian reality. I can see why that might be appealing to teenagers; their lives must seem to them to be completely under the control of grownups. Through the books, they can have the fantasy of fighting the system and making a huge difference.

The reality of life is, of course, not that. When comes to war, the role of the young can be summed up in two words: Cannon fodder. They are the ones fight and bleed and kill and die for the cause, all at the command of older officers. Whether it is the polius in the trenches or the SPAD pilots above it, it's the young who, in large measure, pay the butcher's bill for the fight.

Modern warfare has made this even more true. When senior officers die, it tends to be from aircraft crashes or heart attacks. The day of generals riding to view a battle in person ended over a century ago.

Sure, there are exceptions. Joan of Arc was the most famous. But she is pretty much the exception that proves the rule: In war, young adults are cannon fodder.

1 comment:

CenterPuke88 said...

Having not read recent YA fiction, this seems like a change to me, Reading RA Heinlein juveniles and other 60's to 70's YA books, they seemed more focused on showing a teen/young adult could do the job/solve the problem/save the "X". As SciFi moved into the 00's, it seems to have moved to a darker view of governance than the earlier years. On the other hand, the portrayal of soldiers treated as cannon fodder is consistent over time, see Starship Troopers.