Through the looking-glass: Magical and misused objects in nineteenth century childrens literature. Alison H. Buchbinder

ISBN: 9780549754886

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94 pages


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Through the looking-glass: Magical and misused objects in nineteenth century childrens literature.  by  Alison H. Buchbinder

Through the looking-glass: Magical and misused objects in nineteenth century childrens literature. by Alison H. Buchbinder
| NOOKstudy eTextbook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 94 pages | ISBN: 9780549754886 | 3.44 Mb

This thesis uses stories from St. Nicholas magazine, between the years 1873 and 1905, to examine the representation and function of objects in 19th century, childrens fantasy literature. Objects play prominent roles in two dichotomous genres:MoreThis thesis uses stories from St. Nicholas magazine, between the years 1873 and 1905, to examine the representation and function of objects in 19th century, childrens fantasy literature.

Objects play prominent roles in two dichotomous genres: Marchen (folktales and fairy tales) which first originated as an oral storytelling tradition for peasants and Nonsense stories (Alices Adventures in Wonderland , for example), which emerged after America and Englands Industrial Revolutions to entertain children of the new middle class.

Both genres developed as a means to empower their audiences.-Marchen stories create a world in which magic already exists. The protagonists gain access to magic objects which allow their individual ascents to power. These magic objects demonstrate enhanced functions. Besides performing their first function, they also perform a magic function. Seven league boots, for example, cushion and protect feet, but also allow the hero to walk seven leagues in a single stride. Magic objects let the hero cheat. He is unbeatable with a Sword of Potency or a Necklace of Strength. He will vanquish the villain, win the princess, and become king.

He uses the objects to achieve a change in status and wealth.-Nonsense stories create alternate realities. Protagonists are children who get lured from their world into an alternate realm. They must find their way back home by learning the rules of the new world and how to use its objects. Nonsense objects are juxtaposed, transformed, appropriated, or vivified. Juxtaposition forms relationships between two unrelated objects. Transformation changes objects materiality. Appropriation finds new uses for objects. Vivification brings objects to life.

The children experience cognitive dissonance when interacting with misused objects. Objects both hinder and help childrens journey, but ultimately mediate the childrens identity quest. Child protagonists leave the alternate world more confident in themselves and their ability to handle the unknown.-Marchen and Nonsense objects first conceived in the 19th century inform the ways in which authors in the 20th century wrote and authors in the 21st century write fantasy stories.

The observations about objects in this thesis elucidate the fundamentals of fantasy objects functions.



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