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Insight: Self Understanding Through Stories of Parallel Worlds

By Stephen Bigger

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to consider whether and how fantasy for children and young people contributes to the readers’ self-understanding. The fantasy is likely to contain an adventure with its own plot, characters and tensions. It will require a suspension of disbelief – the reader knows that the fantasy is not real, but reads as if it is. In the stories considered, the fantasy takes place in other worlds, through come kind of gateway (such as a wardrobe, window or door). The very famous parallel worlds are found in Tolkein’s The Hobbit and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories, the first a tale of moral duty in the face of danger, the second a crusade to combat evil both in the world and in ourselves, and to fight for the rule of good. \ud The more recent stories considered in this paper are:\ud • Urn Burial, by Robert Westall\ud • The Abhorsen trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen) by Garth Nix, \ud • His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Topics: PZ, BS, BF, BJ, L1
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.eprints.org:91

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