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Fantasy, morality and ideology: a comparative study of C.S.Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials

Cuthew, Lucy Marie (2006)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis begins with an introduction to children's literature, looking at its history in order to contextualise the texts under examination, and the specific arguments surrounding the study of children's books. It then looks closely at the complicated issue of ideology, specifically with regards to children's literature as a concept at the centre of any discussion of books for children. The discussion then investigates the nature of fantasy writing and the ways in which alternative worlds are used in The Chronicles of Narnia and His Dark Materials. C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman use alternative world to very different ends, one to escape the present world and the other to deal with issues which concern the contemporary world. However regardless of Lewis' attempts to escape the present, his books still reflect his attitudes towards contemporaneity and in this sense are not escapist. It then looks at the morality expressed in each of their works and the various expectations and responsibilities of children's authors. Lastly it looks at four key areas of Lewis' ideology which Pullman addresses and challenges in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Conclusions about the message conveyed in each authors' work follow.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Knowles, Murray
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
Department:Department of English
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:1447
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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