Browsing by Author "Dabrowski, Stephanie Elizabeth"
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- ItemMonstrous losses and broken fairy tales : fantasy, loss and trauma in young adult literature(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-03) Dabrowski, Stephanie Elizabeth; Ellis, Jeanne; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of English.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the portrayal of loss and mourning in young adult fiction by analysing three contemporary examples, namely David Almond’s Skellig, Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls and Alexia Casale’s The Bone Dragon. In each of these novels the process of an adolescent protagonist coming to terms with a major loss or change, in itself a form of loss, is expressed and facilitated through the inclusion of a fantasy being that acts as a companion or guide within an otherwise realistic setting. While the fantasy elements draw from conventions in children’s fiction and forms such as the fairy tale, the complexity of their function in these novels, in which they give access to interiority by prompting the exploration of internal issues or as externalised manifestations of internal states, is also consistent with conventions of narrating trauma which, according to psychoanalysis, seeks expression but cannot be confronted directly. The thesis thus traces the way in which fantasy features in these young adult fictions, looking at the shift away from fantasy being uncritically accepted as it is in children’s fiction, a mode that is more consistent with magical realism, to the more ambiguous presence of fantasy in these young adult novels where fantasy can be read as an expression of psychological subjectivity and is more consistent with the fantastic. This allows for the exploration of difficult subject matter in a way that still resonates with children’s fiction, expressing the process of transition into adolescence. Theory on adolescent development, loss, mourning and trauma is thus brought together with theory on fantasy and fairy tales in order to critically analyse the way these novels deliberately draw on children’s fiction but move beyond it in terms of both the themes that are explored and the sophisticated use of fantasy to portray the internal confrontation with change and loss.