Date Approved

2020

Date Posted

2-16-2021

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Annette Wannamaker, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Amanda Allen, Ph.D., Second Reader

Abstract

The 2000-2010 decade saw a proliferation of English language fantasy texts for young readers. In the wake of Harry Potter’s success, many other fantasy series followed patterns laid down in Rowling’s text, including writing female characters as Hermione-shaped girls and women. While there are positive aspects to these types of characters, which have been lauded thoroughly in popular culture and the academy, there are also significant drawbacks that have received far less attention. This thesis investigates these Hermione-shaped characters, and the texts from which they come, culturally, narratologically, and epistemologically. The culmination of this research finds that, even against authorial intent, the genre of children’s and young adult fantasy, with its structural narrative patterns as well as ingrained ideological pressures, often creates characters that appear feminist but who often uphold patriarchal power structures.

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