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A Liminal Existence, Literally: A Deconstruction of Identity in Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, English language.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the inherent instability present in Diana Wynne Jones’ 1986 novel Howl’s Moving Castle. I suggest that in relying on the ambiguity of the story and the setting, Jones creates not only a more complex universe, but allows the characters to be multidimensional -- both literally and figuratively -- without having any stable selves. Using deconstruction as a (non-existent) foundation for my analysis, I contend that the strength of the story is in the looseness of it. Thus, by using a Derridean approach with added Cixousian feminist elements and a heap of Kristevian intertextuality, I further argue that Jones invites the reader to embrace the ambiguity of identity by closely analyzing the conflicting behaviours of the two main characters in the novel, Sophie Hatter and Wizard Howl. In conclusion, I argue that Diana Wynne Jones through subverting classic fairy tale tropes in an ingenious way, suggests that there is no such thing as a final finished growing person and that there is comfort to be found in embracing this incompleteness. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 27
Keywords [en]
Fantasy, Fairy tale, Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle, Deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous, Intertextuality, Metafiction, Identity, Ambiguity of the self, Puns, Witches, Wizards, Magic, Literary Allusions, Nonexistent Binary Oppositions, Subversion
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37623OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-37623DiVA, id: diva2:1287198
Subject / course
English
Uppsok
Humanities, Theology
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Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-08 Last updated: 2019-02-12Bibliographically approved

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2526272829303128 of 137
CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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