Fear And Bravery, By Neil Gaiman 's Coraline And Lois Lowry 's The Giver

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Fear and bravery often go hand-in-hand in children’s fantasy literature, in which the child protagonist must overcome their fears in order to earn their bravery and save the day. With this in mind, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Lois Lowry’s The Giver are no exception to said rule. In Gaiman’s Coraline, the young protagonist must save her parents from the clutches of the evil ‘Other Mother’ in the fantastical ‘Other World’ that sits in Coraline’s own home. Whereas in Lowry’s The Giver, young Jonas must find a way to escape his frightening community which prides itself on conformity, or “sameness” as Lowry notes in the novel. Although the conditions in which the child protagonists in both novel face vary quite drastically from one another, both children must face their fears in a fantastical world that in essence, encourages and empowers them through the means of individualism and identity, fear, and ultimately courage. In her article, Susan G. Lea notes that “the secondary worlds created in fantasy encourages [one] to compare and contrast the real world with the imaginary. In this way, fantasy as a genre can be transformative” (51). In Gaiman’s Coraline, it is the fantasy world known as ‘Other World’ that encourages Coraline to distinguish the real world from the imaginary and allows her to essentially discover herself. For instance, throughout the novel Coraline is constantly being called the wrong name but her real-world neighbours. A name is a powerful tool in establishing
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