The journey for home in children’s literature
Lim, Meng Ying
Date of Issue2017-04-18
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
In every story, there exists a beginning, middle, and end; and in most stories that invite the readership of children, the home is what sets up the beginning and end of a narrative. This space is traditionally defined as a refuge to return to. Leaving its safety almost always results in precarious journeys which endanger the protagonist as they try to return, thus posing a distinct antagonism between the spaces of ‘home’ and ‘away’. Despite this apparent threat, the narrative pattern of “home-away-home” is identified by Perry Nodelman and Mavis Reimer in The Pleasures of Children’s Literature to be “the most common story line in children’s literature” (197-98). This suggests that the idea of leaving and rediscovering ‘home’ holds a crucial value in stories for children. By examining Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and Richard Adams’ Watership Down (1972), this thesis aims to investigate the ‘homecoming’ narrative as a product built upon adult ideals of the child, taking into consideration a comparative account of the value of their respective journeys for home.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University