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Lecture 11

ENGL 2706Y Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Little Women, Susan Sontag, Amanda Craig

Course Code
ENGL 2706Y
Kelly Mc Guire

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ENGL-2706Y December 1, 2015
Redefining a Genre: Young Adult Sick Lit
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars
Trigger Warnings
Avoiding what you don’t want to deal with
Example: death and abuse
How to talk about sensitive subjects?
Why are we drawn to these subjects in the first place?
A Fan Fiction about comforting one who is hurt
Mary Sue (consoler) or Sympathetic Sue (consolee)
“Cryin’ and Dyin”
What SickLit is known as
Teen romance begins with girl at the beginning of puberty
“pre-personal intensity”
The experience of an emotion and how it manifests (unstructured)
Study of the ways in which people display their feelings (facial ticks, movement,
behaviour) and the expressions of that feeling (certain phrases actions, and
emotional tropes)
Different levels of emotion affect is a general sense of big emotions
Sentiment cheap, fake, obsessive, performed, artificial quality (like a Hallmark
YA SickLit
“Coming of age” puberty
Sexual awakening (bucket list) one of the main features of the novel
Didacticism of problem novel how to cope with dying, trying to teach
Melodrama of Harlequin
Cultural Stereotypes about Illness
Alana Kumbier:
Sick people as
1) objects of inspiration, pity, tragedy, and innocence
2) “narcissistic or duplicitous figures in need of medical and parental
3) “vehicles for others’ emotional growth and sentimental education” (73)
Susan Sontag: Dehumanization, stigmatization of the ill
“Beth March Syndrome”
“The desire to be kind and patient and cheerful and then wilt beautifully and die.
Or simply come close enough so that everyone finally appreciates you”
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