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Dynamic Dragons: An Exploration of Role Reversal in the Young Adult Adventure Cyle

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dc.contributor.author Renfro, Miranda
dc.date.accessioned 2015-06-15T14:27:50Z
dc.date.available 2015-06-15T14:27:50Z
dc.date.created November 4, 2014 en_US
dc.date.issued 2015-06-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3315
dc.description.abstract Dragons have long been a staple character in literary traditions all around the globe. From ancient Babylonian myth to modern young adult (YA) fiction, the dragon is well-represented within literature as a powerful and mysterious entity. Western culture, in particular, deems the dragon an evil enemy that must be overcome by a hero, while in Eastern cultures the dragon represents a much more natural and benevolent creature that generously bestows wisdom and wealth on worthy subjects. In recent years the stark character contrasts between the dragons of East and West have merged within the realm of Western YA literature to create a new kind of hero, one that still follows the path described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces but challenges traditional perceptions of good and evil, especially where humanity is concerned. Young readers looking for answers to questions about their own identities within YA novels now have the opportunity to explore identity and human nature through the very eyes of the creature they were once taught to fear. Utilizing as a framework Campbell’s adventure cycle and goals found in modern YA literature, this thesis examines two YA novels that cast a dragon as the hero – Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider nd Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina – and seeks to answer the following questions regarding this recent literary trend: (1) If the dragon is cast as the hero of the story, who or what, then, embodies the evil to be overcome?; (2) Who assumes the dragon’s role as guardian of the threshold in the creature’s stead?; (3) Do traditional characteristics with the menacing dragon still apply? If so, which characteristics? If not, what characteristics does the dragon gain or lose?; and (4) How is the perception of humanity affected if a human no longer functions as the story’s protagonist? en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Dragons en_US
dc.subject Young Adult Literature en_US
dc.subject YAL en_US
dc.subject Joseph Campbell en_US
dc.subject Adventure Cycle en_US
dc.subject Hero en_US
dc.title Dynamic Dragons: An Exploration of Role Reversal in the Young Adult Adventure Cyle en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college las en_US
dc.advisor Kevin Kienholz en_US
dc.department english, modern languages and literatures en_US

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