Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent by Roberta S. Trites

By Roberta S. Trites

The younger grownup novel is often characterised as a coming-of-age tale, during which the narrative revolves round the person development and maturation of a personality, yet Roberta Trites expands in this inspiration by way of chronicling the dynamics of energy and repression that weave their means via YA books. Characters in those novels needs to learn how to negotiate the degrees of energy that exist within the myriad social associations during which they functionality, together with relations, church, govt and college. Trites argues that the improvement of the style during the last 30 years is an outgrowth of postmodernism, in view that YA novels are, via definition, texts that interrogate the social building of people. Drawing on such 19th-century precursors as "Little girls" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "Disturbing the Universe" demonstrates how vital it really is to hire poststructuralist methodologies in reading adolescent literature, either in serious reports and within the school room. one of the 20th-century authors mentioned are Blume, Hamilton, Hinton, Le Guin, L'Engle and Zindel. Trites' paintings has purposes for a wide variety of readers, together with students of kid's literature and theorists of postmodernity in addition to librarians and secondary-school lecturers.

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Extra resources for Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature

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The Gathering links conformity to issues of power. Twice, the android in charge of the domity tells the children a rationalization for control that sounds compatible with Nazism: ‘‘ We control for the efficiency of the result’’ (79) and ‘‘there is efficiency in control’’ (109). The computer Colossus and its alter ego Mal have complete power over all inhabitants of Dustland and its domities, so they are the only institution of significance in this culture. Hamilton makes clear that any institution with absolute power is ultimately untenable for several reasons, but mostly because ‘‘nothing, no one is perfect,’’ as Justice puts it (116).

Thomas, the book’s rebel, loses his lifelong stutter only when he finally rejects the jealousy and anger that have dominated his life. As the doppelga¨nger of his twin brother, Levi, Thomas is the evil twin, the dark twin. He overcomes his malevolence so that he can exist in the world peacefully. He still plays his kettledrums, violating the mores of a typical teenager in small-town Ohio, but since this nonconformism hurts no one, the social institutions within which he exists tolerate the behavior.

MacLeod and Tarr may well imply that The Chocolate War fails as an adolescent novel because of their assumption that the genre requires Bildung of some sort. Romantic that I am, however, I still see redemption at the end of The Chocolate War. The book opens with the line ‘‘They murdered him,’’ and much is made of crucifixion imagery in the second and the last chapters. In the second chapter, Obie recognizes the religious symbolism of the football field’s goal posts: ‘‘The shadows of the goal posts sprawled on the field like grotesque crosses’’ (14).

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