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