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ENGB35H3 Lecture Notes - Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Miss Trunchbull

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Pouneh Saeedi

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ENGB35 The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe 3; Matilda 1
The lion on Peter’s shield
o Turkish?
The Romantic child
The moral and immoral child
The Lockean child
The social child
The post-war child
The gendered child:
o Father Christmas’s presents
o Lucy is the first child who leads the way to Narnia
o Girls got healing stuff whereas boys got fighting stuff
Susan’s horn can ask for Peter’s help and enact Peter’s manliness and whatever
o Girls got bow and dagger, and they don’t participate in the battle
Battles are ugly when women fight
So not their place, despite being armed
Significant with the White Witch, because she’s a woman who does fight
Leads her army into battle
Played off against Mrs. Battle, figure of maternal and nurturing
Goodness is identified with recognizable British middleclass domesticity
Girls and women who remain within that role are on the good side
Women on the other are cast out
o Gender is also classed:
Order of boys is an aristocratic one: birth trumps whatever, throne inheritance
Feminine values however are constructed from middleclass ones
1950s post-war context is significant
o War on two fronts, in Narnia and in that other place, the world or whatever
All the assurance Aslan gives to Peter is only battle plans in the film
Is it fantasy fiction?
o Not strictly fantasy or school story, but fairly evident that Dahl’s picking up many themes
from the books before and putting sarcastic twist to it
o Pushes things to such extremes to reveal the absurdities of reality
o Elements of parody and absurdism
That scrambling, the pushing things to the absurd with the hodgepodge of realism
and fantasy and whatever
o The fairytale packaging of the book that frame the realistic settings of the bourgeois
home and the school
Model of childhood?
o Matilda introduced as extraordinary and unusual
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