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Feminism has been the focus of many writers throughout the decades but has recently gained momentum in the eyes of the general public thanks to works like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Feminist figure Hélène Cixous encourages women to empower themselves by applying feminist ideas to their writing, rather than remaining complacent in an oppressive society. Avalon strives to portray some of these ideas through the lens of Arthurian Legend. A feminist story set in an epic fantasy world, Avalon shows the struggle of marginalized groups in a patriarchal, discriminatory, and dystopian society.
The main character, Princess Alexandria, must navigate a world where the all magic is controlled by a power-hungry ruler, King Mordred. After he decides to pursue the Ruins of Kronos in order to gain control over time itself, the princess decides to intervene. Alexandria escapes the palace with her childhood best friend James, to stop him, nearly dying in the process, and finds a group of fairies who have lost their wings. The fairies help her discover the true origins and capabilities of magic, making her realize that she must restore it to the realm in order to stop King Mordred. Alexandria disguises herself as a man and joins the King’s Knights, befriending a rebel in disguise named Keith along the way, as she discovers her brother Noah may be on the King’s side. Together, they work to liberate lands oppressed by King Mordred’s rule, and by the Black Plague that Morgana has set upon them, all while uncovering the corruption present in their society.
The following creative project defends that, whether intentionally or not, mental illness and substance abuse are inevitably romanticized in young adult media and discusses the dangers of this romanticization. This project is divided into three parts. The first part consists of psychological evaluations of the main characters of two popular, contemporary forms of young adult media, Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger and Euphoria by Sam Levinson. These evaluations use textual evidence and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) to determine what symptoms of psychopathology the characters appear to display. The second part consists of a self-written short story that is meant to accurately depict the life of a young adult struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. This story contains various aesthetic techniques borrowed from the two young adult media forms. The final part consists of an aesthetic statement which discusses in depth the aesthetic techniques employed within the short story, Quicksand by Anisha Mehra.