Playing with fantasy: how Diana Wynne Jones pushes back the boundaries of the genre
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 23:44 by Margaret Rumbold
The purpose of this study is to explore the ways in which Diana Wynne Jones' fantasies represent a paradigm shift for the genre of fantasy literature written for children. I suggest that this can be observed in her employment of a number of postmodern strategies that problematise notions of reality, and in her construction of subjectivity. In order to fulfil this objective the study first establishes an appropriate critical discourse for examining her fantasies and concludes that they can best be understood in a postmodern framework. A representative selection of her texts is then discussed in the light of a number of postmodern characteristics. In order to examine Jones' approach to subjectivity the study then goes on to establish a set of features that characterise the construction of subjectivity in children's fantasy. I then demonstrate the way in which the construction of subjectivity in her texts has changed from representing subjectivity as a homogeneous construct to a heterogeneous construct, thus creating a paradigm shift for the genre. The study concludes by examining the one area in which her fantasies still largely conform with traditional characteristics of the genre-that of gender.