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Lecture 6

EN 3174 Lecture 6: EN 3174 - Winter

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York University
EN 3174
Kathryn Walton

EN 3174 02.02.17 Continuation from Last Week • Origins of Fantasy o Folklore, legends and myth • Qualities of Fantasy o Magic, supernatural, secondary world mixed with a primary world, confrontation of realistic and fantastic, ordinary/relatable protagonist, promotion of belief in the secondary world • Neverland as a secondary world o The most fundamental component of children’s literature and that distinguishes fantasy from fairy tale is the creation and sustenance of a secondary world o The secondary world is Neverland, and is entirely constructed out of other stories o One of the primary influences is that of mythology ▪ Greek god Pan of the forest; associated with the pastoral world th ▪ Interest of the fantastic and the occult of the 20 century ▪ Connection with mythology suggests that peter pan is a figure of antiquity, inhabited Neverland for a long time; emphasized by the number of children that know of Peter Pan ▪ Rules over the entire land, everything that functions there is to please or entertain him; he’s immortal, and almost god-like in his capabilities ▪ Peter is willing to go to his death to save others, isn’t afraid of death, refers to it as the next big adventure; takes care of children that have died (takes children who have fallen out of their prams to Neverland) ▪ Hook is the Satan to peter’s Christ o The next influence is that of Boy’s adventure stories ▪ Beginning of the 20 century at the tail end of the golden age ▪ Stories for boys about boys going on adventures, published in magazines ▪ Stories were adventurous, detective/school stories ▪ Ordinary protagonist (white, English speaking) that travels to exotic setting (different part of the British empire), encounters complications/adventures ▪ Ends in climax with evil defeated and virtue victorious ▪ Virtues are valued above the cruelty of the aversive characters, depicted pirates, and Indians as enemies to the English boy hero; had colonialist themes to promote an idealized English nature against the others of the nation ▪ Imperialism  a system of domination by one geographical region over another in the form of an empire, sometimes but not necessarily involving settlement or colonization… also… the various habits of mind, ideologies, and discourses sustaining domination, notably racism but also ideas about gender, sexuality, and class • The dominance of one nation over another, ideologies that makes it okay for one country to dominate another ▪ Chapter 12 – boy heroes 2 • Innocent in the sense that they’re not lusting after blood, innocent in their approach to adventure; inherent morality • Brave, loyal, mindless; follow Peter and do what he says • Each boy is given characteristics but they are all English, white ▪ Page 114 – Pirates • Described as ruthless, evil, ugly, cruel; very other to the pure and innocent boys • Carefully situated in pirate literature that come from earlier pirate stories • Hook  threatening, handsome, scary and dangerous; black hair, blue eyes, never more sinister than when he was being polite; fearsome, violent, evil but also aristocratic and obsessed with good form, dedicated to his private school education, mocks the cruelty of the aristocracy, and maintaining breeding elegance while he murders people ▪ Pg. 115 – Red-skins • Carry knives, naked bodies dressed with oil, considered as “things,” depicted as very animalistic and savage • Combining several cultures with very little knowledge on what constitutes any single one of them • Described in stereotypical ways as Indian, closely linked with animals that are on the islands; Red-skins are listed just above the animals • Imperialism o Lost boys are good and adventurous; idealized heroes of the text who are against the red- skins/others 3 o Savage red-skins are placed closer to the beasts, supposed to refer to an actual specific group of people that the British empire was currently oppressing at the time o Typical of a boy’s adventure story; intended to teach English boys the order of society, and imperialist ideals o Pg. 135 – Wendy goes on the adventure of homemaking • Idealized pretend motherhood, fulfilling a traditional female gender role; delights in cooking, cleaning, taking care of the lost boys; the lost boys go and have adventures while Wendy stays home and pretends to cook them dinner; the girl’s role is to help the boys o The last origin of Neverland is from the child’s mind ▪ The author must sustain belief in the secondary world but Barrie doesn’t do that, he suggests that they only live in the child’s mind ▪ Peter Breaks Through • Mind maps, difference between the worlds of the three children ▪ The description of Neverland occurs before the actual existence of Neverland; not an individual and distinct space but created in the imagination of each child ▪ The darling’s find Neverland constructed just as they have imagined it ▪ The child creates the fantasy world which makes it less sustainable, each child creates a different Neverland (unlike a singular, concrete, sustained lands of Narnia and Hogwarts) ▪ Because it’s built out of a child’s mind, we can question the content that occurs in Neverland, the way the child sees the world; satirizes the views of the world in that they 4 come from the child’s imagination but also how prominent they are in that they take up the entire imagination ▪ Because Neverland is constructed out of the child’s mind, everything is suspect to critique The Lion, The Witch a
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