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Envisioning Female-Strong: Reclaiming the Feminine Heroine of Young Adult Literature

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As a writer and reader of young adult (YA) literature, I find it is impossible to ignore the rise of traditional masculinity within new, adolescent heroines. In the 21st century, readers have seen the rise of supposedly strong female characters—heroines

As a writer and reader of young adult (YA) literature, I find it is impossible to ignore the rise of traditional masculinity within new, adolescent heroines. In the 21st century, readers have seen the rise of supposedly strong female characters—heroines who carry assault rifles and avoid their emotions. By relinquishing their emotions and their flaws, these heroines have sacrificed the qualities about themselves that initially made them appear so interesting. My desire to see more realistic heroines like myself developed into a creative fiction project that follows and acknowledges the voices of feminine heroines. I call these protagonists “female strong.” My project—a collection of linked short stories—is peopled with the types of heroines that are severely lacking in YA novels and in the film industry. In my own short stories, I have embraced the narratives about young women who are both strong and emotional. I wanted to create memorable female characters that the reader could root for simply because of their feminine strength, even if their flaws were naivety, or lack of confidence, or even if they failed to achieve their resolution in the end. Female-strong characters are vital because they present a view of women who aren’t purely fantasy; they are placed in the real and are feminine, too. In other words, they don’t have to be a gorgeous, knockout model who can kick butt; instead, they can derive strength from their intellect, or their intuition, or perhaps even from their emotion.

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2018-05

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Harry Potter and the Barrett Thesis: Defining Harry Potter as Young Adult Literature

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J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has revolutionized the young adult publishing industry. So popular are the Potter books that they have managed to spawn an empire of merchandise, scholarly literature, movies, and even a theme park, suggesting that Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has revolutionized the young adult publishing industry. So popular are the Potter books that they have managed to spawn an empire of merchandise, scholarly literature, movies, and even a theme park, suggesting that Harry Potter is more than just a children's book. In fact, The Harry Potter books, although often categorized under children's literature, contain many elements that make a book distinctly young adult; therefore, by conducting a rhetorical analysis of Rowling's first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, this thesis will delve deeper into the specifics of theme, literary elements, rhetorical devices, plot, marketing, and characterization to analyze, on a basic level, why Rowling's books appeal to so many, and why they are quintessentially young adult.

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2015-05

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The Hunger Games: What a Dystopic World Reveals About Modern Society

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"The Hunger Games: What a Dystopic World Reveals about Modern Society" is an interdisciplinary thesis that examines the impossibility of revolutionary stories or concepts in popular culture by specifically analyzing the Hunger Games project. First, an analysis of what young

"The Hunger Games: What a Dystopic World Reveals about Modern Society" is an interdisciplinary thesis that examines the impossibility of revolutionary stories or concepts in popular culture by specifically analyzing the Hunger Games project. First, an analysis of what young adult fiction is and how it is written is provided. The formulaic way in which modern adolescent literature is written provides the basic structure for Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. The second chapter examines the main character of the Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen. The way in which this young female heroine relinquishes her independence and courage due to being consistently undermined by the men and political leaders in her life is traced by following the development of the story throughout the three novels. The third chapter of the thesis delves into how the entire Hunger Games project of novels and films fits into current popular culture. An analysis of the mass production of the novels, and then turning the books into films, merchandise, and further commercialization of the story is discussed in detail throughout the chapter. Finally, the thesis discusses the responsibility authors of young adult literature should assume when addressing a young impressionable audience and how Collins took advantage of the position she had in telling the story of Katniss Everdeen.

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2015-05

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A Song of Richard III and Feudalist Values

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This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that

This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that focus on different characters from each work. The first argument is focused on Tyrion Lannister and Richard III's deformity, and how they violate feudalist values. This argument ultimately comes to the discussion of whether or not these characters are monstrous and by what values. The second argument is focused on Daenerys Targaryen and Margaret, discussing why both authors give these women a supernatural power. The authors give women these powers because they believe that women should have power. Martin argues that women need to remake the structure, while Shakespeare believes women can change their place in the structure through collective action. The last argument focuses on Petyr Baelish and Richard III, and how they both represent a chaos attacking feudalism. Petyr is a chaos that comes outside the system, exploiting the values of the system, while Richard is a chaos within the system because he violates feudal values, while trying to hold positions where he needs to embody feudalist value. The authors come to different conclusions of what is trying to take down feudalist structure and how this could be fixed. Martin finds feudalism cannot be fixed and that other systems are not much better because they still create violence. Shakespeare comes to the conclusion that feudalism cannot be fixed because people continue to violate its values, so a new system must be put in place.

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2015-05