Escapism in Children's Literature

887 Words Feb 26th, 2018 3 Pages
One of the most popular ideas presented in these various forms is that of escapism. The characters in these stories explore quite complex social issues in ways that are less confrontational then realism. One might consider why escape is such a central theme; as a child there are numerous benefits to fantasy, it allows readers to experiment with different views of the world and takes hypothetical situations and invites them to make connections between this fictive scenario and their own reality. John Stephens an English professor at Macquarie University has said “ Fantasy writing operates through metaphor- so that the unfamiliar is used to stand in for, or comment upon, the familiar.”
The use of metaphor in Fantasy makes it more “open” to different readings and meanings. Take J.M. Barrie’s fantasy novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as an example. Barrie uses his story to transport Alice to an unknown world full of backwards words and talking animals. This allows Alice to escape the boredom of picture less books and adult conversations that were beginning to consume her. Similar in theory is Neil Gaiman’s style of writing. Gaiman has produced a number of Victorian-influenced fantasy novels for children, including Coraline. Coraline, like Alice centers on a young girl entering another world.
Escape can be seem in many books for children but one story in…