Author

Olivia Morris

Bound Volume Number

Volume III

Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2016

Capstone Advisor

Donald Morton

Capstone Major

English

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component

no

Keywords

modern children’s literature, A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Humanities

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature

Abstract

This project examines two different pieces of modern children’s literature, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, in terms of their protagonists’ respective strange identities. I begin with Katherine Stockton’s theory of sideways growth, which outlines the unusualness often found in child protagonist. I use Stockton’s work as a jumping off point to examine the queerishness of two protagonists, L’Engle’s Meg Murray and Lowry’s Jonas. Meg is unfeminine, and her experiences with language and definitions defy gender binaries and easy definitions; throughout the course of the novel, she learns to embrace her “flaws” (her unfeminine, difficult to define traits) and use them to save her family. Jonas lives in a dystopian society that has embraced Sameness and which reflects Foucault’s hypothetical Panopticon. It uses surveillance to make sure its citizens and the language they use are easy to categorize. When he is chosen as the Receiver and charged with the burden of all the memories his community has forbidden, he is symbolically reborn. Through his connection with his mentor, The Giver, and an infant named Gabe who is physically growing the “wrong” way, Jonas uses his strange individuality to build his own queerish family and challenge his community’s oppressive power structures.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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