Disrupted Expectations: Young/Old Protagonists In Diana Wynne Jones'S Novels

Deborah Kaplan
2010 Zenodo  
The works of Diana Wynne Jones consistently break genre expectations regarding the age of the protagonists and a secondary characters. Some texts, such as Dark Lord of Derkholm with its cross-generational heroes, violate the genre's expected relationship between the age of the implied reader and that the protagonists. In other other texts, including Hexwood, the protagonist's true age is hidden from everyone, including the protagonist himself. These two texts aren't unusual in a body of work
more » ... n a body of work which includes timeshifting flashbacks, adults regressed to toddlers, and a century-old adolescent. This paper explores the function of age and expectation in Jones' works, primarily focused on this pair of texts. It examines how a text with an adult or age-shifting protagonist implies a child reader in a genre with fairly solid conventions for protagonist age. It examines the texts' building of sympathy for mixed-generational groups, instead of presenting adults as antagonists, mentors, or parental figures. It explores how the reader's interpretation of a protagonist does or doesn't change when that character belatedly shifts from young adolescent young adult. Finally, this paper examines the unusual nature of all of these treatments of age, and examines them in the context of fixed genre expectations. This record was migrated from the OpenDepot repository service in June, 2017 before shutting down.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.811114 fatcat:czd5equz6fan3iqrqsaqxojuw4