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Narrative strategies in Robert Cormier's young adult novels

Author: Fu-Yuan Shen
Publisher: Columbus, Ohio : Ohio State University, 2006.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Ohio State University 2006
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Abstract: The young adult fiction of Robert Cormier (1925 - 2000) has been influential in writing for young adult readers. In particular, Cormier's manipulation of narration transcends the accepted conventions in the field of young adult literature and enables him to move toward multiple voices and perspectives. Yet Cormier's YA novels have never been analyzed systematically in terms of their narrative merits.  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Robert Cormier; Robert Cormier
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Fu-Yuan Shen
OCLC Number: 70136401
Notes: Title from first page of PDF file.
Description: 1 online resource (x, 237 pages)
Responsibility: by Fu-Yuan Shen.

Abstract:

Abstract: The young adult fiction of Robert Cormier (1925 - 2000) has been influential in writing for young adult readers. In particular, Cormier's manipulation of narration transcends the accepted conventions in the field of young adult literature and enables him to move toward multiple voices and perspectives. Yet Cormier's YA novels have never been analyzed systematically in terms of their narrative merits. Applying contemporary narrative theory, this study explores the reciprocal relationship between Cormier's narrative techniques and his treatment of controversial themes in his young adult fiction. It is based on the assumption that theme and narration are not separate components, but complementary elements. That requires appropriate amalgamation. The dissertation begins by investigating the critical context of Cormier's works in relation to the field of young adult literature. Then the study turns to a close examination of the narrative techniques employed in Cormier's young adult novels The Chocolate War (1974), I Am the Cheese (1977), After the First Death (1979), The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1983), Beyond the Chocolate War (1985), Fade (1988), Other Bells for Us to Ring (1990), We All Fall Down (1991), Tunes for Bears to Dance To (1992), In the Middle of the Night (1995), Tenderness (1997), Heroes (1998), and The Rag and Bone Shop (2001). Among the salient textual features identified in Cormier's YA novels are Bakhtinian dialogue achieved through multiple focalization, a polyphonic effect produced by free indirect discourse, and suspense generated by means of gaps and delay. Cormier utilizes diverse narrative techniques to elaborate the significance of his works and thus achieves a unique correspondence between form and content. This study also demonstrates Cormier's contributions to young adult literature: the introduction of modern and postmodern techniques of narration and the pioneering use of sophisticated narrative strategies. This dissertation concludes with a discussion of the use of Cormier's YA fiction in high-school literature classes, along with suggestions for future research.

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