Teaching Ethics Through Young Adult Literature : - An Analysis of Suzan Collins’ The Hunger Games

University essay from Örebro universitet/Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap

Abstract: This essay explores the use of young adult literature, primarily the young adult novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008), and how it creates an educational potential for learning and discussing ethics and ethical dilemmas for upper secondary school students. First, the curriculum for upper secondary school in Sweden is examined and confirms literature as important content of communication in the English subject and what the role of literature can be. Further, the curriculum’s ethical aspects are analysed, and it is affirmed that ethics has a significant part in the Swedish school and the English subject. However, the curriculum does not state how ethics should be taught. Additionally, research is presented and displays the connection between ethics and literature. Suzanne S. Choo’s thoughts and ideas on teaching ethics through literature are the framework of the analysis, and by analysing the ethical themes and issues in The Hunger Games, the aim is to prove the educational potential of teaching ethics with the use of the novel. The novel contains multiple ethical themes and topics suitable for an upper secondary school class, both broader themes regarding social and political issues, and internal ethical dilemmas. In conclusion, the novel appeals to many of the qualities requested in a book by young adults, and the educational potential is promising.

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