Cities of Tomorrow - Urban Landscapes and Urban Sustainability in Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy
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This thesis explores representations of urban landscapes in futuristic young adult literature and how these representations may foster reflections on urban sustainability. By looking into Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy (2011-2013), this thesis has found that urban landscapes hold a prominent position in the books, that the urban landscapes are represented differently by the two protagonists and that there is a notable absence of non-urban landscapes in the trilogy. Furthermore, the thesis establishes that though there are varied and different representations of urban landscapes in the books, there are also some shared traits across the representations. The thesis poses three new conceptualisations of the urban landscape; the realistic urban landscape, the futuristic urban landscape and the contrasted urban landscape, and argues in favour of the applicability of these in relation to addressing urban landscapes. The realistic urban landscapes can be conceptualised as close to the real world through their name, geographical position and buildings/monuments within. The futuristic urban landscapes appear more fictionalised and futuristic through incorporation of elements such as domes encompassing entire cities or virtual reality. Urban landscapes we have yet to see in the real world. The contrasted urban landscape is represented trough the opposition between wealth and poverty. Through these exemplifications of urban landscapes, the thesis argues for the potential to foster reflections in the reader on urban sustainability.
Master in Children and Young Adults’ Literature Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics and Interpreting Submission Date: 15.05.2019