Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Laura Nicosia

Committee Member

Melinda Knight

Committee Member

Adam Rzepka


This thesis focuses on exploring and analyzing two young adult novels through an ecocritical lens. The authors of the young adult novels, Dry and The Islands at the End of the Earth, bring awareness to young readers about the progression of global warming and effects this devastation has on humans and animals. Both of these novels show character’s relationships with nature, decision making skills in terms of crisis, and coping mechanisms which can translate to young readers. There is a great balance of teaching young readers the importance of their own relationship with the environment and how to cope in times of environmental crisis. Characters in both young adult texts learn to navigate a new norm and find ways to cope in everyday life after environmental ruin to their communities. The characters in both texts work to create a new sense of normalcy as a way to handle the environmental situation. This thesis offers coping strategies for young adult readers while also informing them of their relationship with the environment. This thesis also analyzes Dry through a Marxist lens due to the differing class status of characters and explores the ways in which characters react to climate change and crisis. With many young adult character’s perspectives throughout the novel, class status plays a major role in the character’s relationships with nature and class whereas The Islands at the End of the Earth id only written through one point of view. Through young adult novels, pre-teens and teens can make changes to better their relationships with the environment and slow the progression of global warming due to influences in the ecocritical texts and young adult characters.

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