Disturbing the Universe
Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: University of Iowa Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
I remember complaining to a friend in 1975 that I was tired of reading the books in our middle school library because "they're all about kids with problems." Maybe with that succinct analysis of the 1970s problem novel, I damned myself to a lifetime of studying adolescent literature. In any event,...
Chapter 1. "Do I dare disturb the universe?": Adolescent Literature in the Postmodern Era
Chapter 2. "I don't know the words": Institutional Discourses in Adolescent Literature
Avi's Nothing but the Truth ends with the statement, "I don't know the words" (177). Nothing but the Truth is a postmodern novel about a ninth-grader named Philip Malloy who gets expelled from Harrison High School...
Chapter 3. "Maybe that is writing, changing things around and disguising the for-real": The Paradox of Authority in Adolescent Literature
We can investigate power and repression in adolescent literature by analyzing textual discourses about institutional politics and social construction. We can also assess how adolescent literature...
Chapter 4. "All of a sudden I came": Sex and Power in Adolescent Novels
The protagonist of Norma Klein's It's OK if You Don't Love Me (1977) experiences orgasms easily. Twice she climaxes "all of a sudden" (78, 142), which is in marked contrast to the protagonist of Judy Blume's Forever (1975), who says, "at last I came" (149--150). For both girls,...
Chapter 5. "When I can control the focus": Death and Narrative Resolution in Adolescent Literature
In Chapter 4, I discussed Foucault's concept of sexuality as a human construct invented to control the biological aspects of sex (History 35). Death is another biological imperative. It is, perhaps, even more powerful in the human mind than sexuality, for although in theory some individuals can...
Chapter 6. Conclusion: The Poststructural Pedagogy of Adolescent Literature
The dynamics of power/repression I have discussed in the previous chapters are interrelated. Certainly no institution exists in isolation; no discursive construct possibly can. Since institutions such as school, religion, church, identity politics, and family are invested in...
Page Count: 207
Publication Year: 1998
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