Bound Volume Number
Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
modern children’s literature, A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
English Language and Literature
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.
Morris, Olivia, "Unusual Children: Queerishness and Strange Growth in A Wrinkle in Time and The Giver" (2016). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 957.
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