Dark materials: shifting shadows in the works of Ursula Le Guin and Philip Pullmans
LE3 .A278 2004
Schwenke Wyile, Andrea
Master of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
My thesis "Dark Materials: Shifting Shadows in the Works of Ursula Le Guin and Philip Pullman" proposes a new category of fantastical children's literature which explores difficult themes, such as death. In Chapter One, I introduce how the adult/child hierarchy represses children's literature; fantasy can counter this by subverting methods of signification. In Chapters Two and Three I discuss Le Guin's 'Earthsea' and Pullman's ' His Dark Materials' trilogies, respectively, focusing on the concepts of the shadow and the guide. Within Chapter Four I discuss both authors by examining their approach towards death. Overall, I stress the need for a type of compassionate literature which gives children and young adults the means to explore and develop their sense of self, despite the difficulty of this journey. Dark Materials provide a guide by realizing unspeakable experiences as fantastical spaces, and emphasizes the necessary exchange of power for freedom.
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.