Dissertation Chapter: Dystopian Deities: The Evolution of the Female Archetype: From Greek Mythology to The Hunger Games

Module: Dissertation (Level 6)


  • Sarah Cartwright


Dissertation, hunger games, dystopian literature


This dissertation will explore the symbolic journey of Greek goddesses and mythical figures such as Daphne, Artemis and Athena to dystopian heroines like Katniss Everdeen, taking a feminist critical approach. The main aim of this dissertation is to show how Greek mythology has shaped contemporary, dystopian fiction. More precisely, how the creation of classical myths that are permeable in contemporary fiction and perception has influenced dystopian authors. The construct of the female figure has been generations in the making, yet by analysing the oppressed Daphne, the natural Artemis and the war-driven Athena, it is apparent that the multiple archetypal models of the Greek woman have influenced Suzanne Collins in her creation of the heroine Katniss Everdeen. The new model of woman, one that is often perceived as utopic, portrays a hopeful future for women rather than one that is reduced and marginalised to the periphery of society. Collins transforms the Greek myth in order to conceptualise the powerful and dominant female model of dystopia.

Author Biography

Sarah Cartwright

Sarah Cartwright studied English literature and graduated with a First Class honours. During her course she studied several modules, including Twentieth Century Women Novelists and Dystopian fiction which inspired her topic for her final year dissertation. Sarah’s time at Leeds Beckett University has been an overall rewarding experience and she takes away a foundation of knowledge and skill from her course. Her passion for reading and discussing literature has only been heightened and she wishes to pursue this passion within the publishing sector. She plans to study for an MA in publishing at Manchester Met after she graduates which will hopefully open the door for her publishing career.