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Title: 'I had imagined myself into being' : storytelling girls in children's fiction from the beginning and end of the twentieth century
Author: Snelling, Sonia Louise
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
This thesis is a text-based study of storytelling girls in children's fiction from the beginning and end of the twentieth century, providing close readings of three texts from each of these periods. Books in Part One are drawn from the canon of classic girls' stories: Ethel Turner's Seven Little Australians (1894), Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden (1911) and L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908); those in Part Two are more experimental contemporary texts: Marlene Nourbese Philip's Harriet's Daughter (1988) and The Other Side of Silence (1995) and The Tricksters (1986) by Margaret Mahy. All the books are by women writers and all feature unconventional, imaginative girl protagonists who foreground, in their creative interactions with their community and environment, issues of language and voice.I take a broadly feminist approach in this thesis to explore how these texts represent the young female voices of their protagonists becoming the means by which they express and define their identity. As both female and children, the girls in these books are doubly marginalized within a predominantly male, adult culture. While there have been radical changes of attitudes and opportunities in the social positioning of women over the century, in both sets of novels the protagonists struggle against a pattern of confining and silencing narratives. I argue that storytelling is used as both a metaphor and a device to unsettle repressive master discourses, develop alternative voices and imagine identities which exceed the limits of traditional narrative conventions. The inclusion of texts from both ends of the century demonstrates the persistence of particular narrative shapes and structures which restrict the possibilities of the female subject, but also reveals a continuity of strategies to circumvent or elude such prescribed stories, and invent and articulate more flexible, multiple and interconnected selves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.541629  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English
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