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The Romanticization of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse in Young Adult Media

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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

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.

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2021-05

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The Commonalities of Mentor Figures in Medieval and Modern Fantasy

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In examining the popular culture of the United States today, one would find themselves hard-pressed to avoid mentions of texts and films that fall within the fantasy genre. In fact, many works within this genre find themselves amongst the ranks

In examining the popular culture of the United States today, one would find themselves hard-pressed to avoid mentions of texts and films that fall within the fantasy genre. In fact, many works within this genre find themselves amongst the ranks of the best-selling books and movies of all time (Moor; Harding and Thompson). Outside of their economic success, these stories have become an integral part of American culture. Extending from the domination of the entertainment industry, the characters and stories of the fantasy genre have influenced the collective ideals and perspectives of the United States population. Websites such as DeviantArt and Archive of Our Own serve as testament to how these stories inspire their fans, boasting thousands of pieces of artwork and writing that have been inspired by various fantasy texts and films. Beyond this, characters featured in these stories find themselves being applied elsewhere, ranging from their prevalence in online meme culture to their use during times of political strife. A notable example of this is a photograph of a protestor holding up a large sign boasting the claim that “Dumbledore wouldn’t let this happen,” which later became viral and was posted across several media platforms (whiskey-tango). The importance and impact of the fantasy genre can clearly be seen to take on many forms, and can be observed as playing a larger role than simple entertainment in the lives of the American public. While all of these examples highlight the deeply embedded nature of these tales in popular culture, it begs the question as to how and why these stories got to this status.

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2020-05