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Summary Of The Youth Lens In Petrone

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In The Youth Lens… Petrone, Saragianides, and Lewis offer a table of questions to illicit exploration of plot, character, setting etc. significance in YA literature. “What are the predominant settings...into and through which youth circulate in the novel?” they ask, “How do these context enable and/or constrain identities available for youth protagonists?” (13). As previously mentioned, L’Engle perhaps best posits herself to liberate the constraints placed on her young characters and readers, by catapulting them into a space where there are few known rules, where common knowledge and assumption is constantly being challenged. L’Engle gives her readers contradictions to grapple with. This is especially well voiced in the character of Aunt Beast: “As though Meg were a baby, Aunt Beast bathed and dressed her...The gentle words, the feeling that this beast would be able to love her no matter what she said or did, lapped Meg in warmth and peace She felt a delicate touch of tentacle to her cheek, as tender as her mother’s kiss” (180). Meg, her father, and Calvin all initially fear these beasts when they appear to them. And L’Engle doesn’t shy from giving readers something to fear: Aunt Beast’s huge stature, her “tentacles,” her imposing presence. However, L’Engle subverts these expectations by making Aunt Beast a wholly tender, nurturing, calming presence. Even her name is something of a contradiction: Aunt conjuring images of the familial and intimate, while Beast conjuring
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