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The Use of Conventions in Fantasy Writing to Gain our Acceptance - Book Report/Review Example

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The Use of Conventions in Fantasy Writing to Gain our Acceptance

Fantastical fiction, often a combination of heroic quest, fairy-tale settings and adventure, has in recent times become an increasingly popular part of our culture. …
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Download file to see previous pages Identify those conventions in each book, and discuss how they are necessary to our acceptance of the fantasies. The Use of Conventions in Fantasy Writing to Gain our Acceptance Fantastical fiction, often a combination of heroic quest, fairy-tale settings and adventure, has in recent times become an increasingly popular part of our culture. Books such as the Harry Potter series and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings have all reached the heights of best-seller and have become a mainstay on the bookshelves. Perhaps the most essential factor behind this apparent popularity is the ability that the fantastical has of transporting the reader from their everyday world into an extraordinary world full of spiritual and moral meaning. More often than not, the backdrop is extraordinary and replete with fantastical creatures such as wizards, goblins and a myriad of others. Likewise, the protagonists are generally equally extraordinary: Often displaying dizzying heights of moral character, amazing talent and unbelievable strength. It is also generally the case that either the world is in need of salvation from an evil doer or quite simply the balance between light and darkness/ life and death has to be readdressed. To add to the fantastical evocation the author will often create a suitably fantastical language full of mythological allusion. Certainly, in most every case, the reader will find numerous examples of conventional and oft repeated themes and imagery that are often vital factors in setting the appropriate scene. There exist several comparable factors in both the Harry Potter series and the fantastical science-fiction story The Blind Assassin and it will be these books that I shall refer to throughout this essay in an attempt to ascertain why these conventions are so often employed and why they are such important factors in gaining the acceptance of the reader. For a few years now the Harry Potter series has been read and much loved by people of all ages. The series tells the story of a young pupil who, during his time at the English boarding school called Hogwarts, enjoys all the adventures that go hand in hand with being something of a budding wizard. Beginning with conventional Cinderella imagery, the series relates how Harry’s talent for magic gradually develops as his 'arch enemy' Voldemort grows evermore powerful. Each particular book of the series tends to build up to the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. As well as the usual powerful evil doer, the books also feature the much loved 'wise old man' character whom here comes in the form of Dumbledore. As is often the case in this type of fiction the wise old man character happily appears just when our protagonist has reached the point of desperation. Naturally, our wise old man gives him plenty of positive advice at the same time as offering questions that encourage the young hero to indulge in a little self-reflection. The ensuing encounters between Harry and both the evil doer and the wise old man offer him plenty of scope for gaining valuable moral lessons whilst he continues his journey towards individuation. These themes can all be related to a Jungian type psychology that the psychologist himself discusses in his work 'The Phenomenology of Spirit in Fairytales'. In fact, the name Voldemort can be roughly translated as either a 'flight from' or a 'wish for death'. This would indicate that this character ties in with Jung's theory of how fairytales can so effectively deal with the theme of overcoming the 'shadow', which, as the psychologist notes, is such an important stage in self-knowledge. The shadow is defined as the "personification of certain aspects of the unconscious personality… ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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