The influence of ancient cultural narratives on contemporary reality, and the construction of literature reflecting the tradition of the past while representing modern cultural realities, remains a common feature of literary expression. However, an author’s ability to transform the shape of their narrative construction and address the trauma of coming of age through the unique reappropriation of these narratives proves a much more difficult task. Both the young adult novels of David Almond and Nick Lake, Kit’s Wilderness and In Darkness, manage to accomplish this feat while presenting compelling accounts of their adolescent male protagonists’ struggle to overcome destructive pasts and embrace the possibility of a better future.
Almond and Lake synthesize aspects of this tradition to construct narratives both figuratively and literally embodying the duality of the coming of age experience. Just as adolescence positions Kit and Shorty in the complicated chasm between childhood and adulthood, dividing their understanding of self and society, the narrative structure of Almond and Lake’s texts divides into past and present representations of its protagonists’ reality. The purpose of this thesis will be to analyze the ways in which both these novels narratively construct a text marked by the same duality as the adolescent experience while simultaneously actuating a ritualized encounter ultimately enabling its transcendence.
|Commitee:||Basu, Balaka, Connolly, Paula|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||British and Irish literature|
|Keywords:||Adolescence, Coming of age, In darkness, Kit's wilderness, Narrative, Printz award|
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