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The structure and function of fairy-tales and symbols in Neil Gaimans Neverthere and Stardust
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

In this paper I have looked at the different structural elements in fairy-tales as described by Joseph Campbell, and seen how they can be used to dissect the modern fairy-tales, Neverwhere and Stardust, by the author Neil Gaiman. I found that the model Campbell sets up could easily be applied, as the basic elements he describes are part of the structure of even modern novels with a fairy-tale theme. The modern fantasy novel does not differ all that much in structure from the traditional fairy-tale. In this way these otherwise outwardly different novels turned out to be very similar on a structural level. I also discussed some features of fairy-tales that frequently occur in traditional fairy-tales and looked at the reason why these features keep reappearing even in modern fantasy. I found that a lot of the symbolism is very old and for people today it might sometimes be easy to miss. Also the meaning of some of the symbols seem to have changed over time. Lastly I discussed the three main characters in a fairy-tale, the hero, the heroine and the villain, and briefly reflected on their separate roles. I found that the most interesting character in a fairy-tale is often the villain who is usually allowed a more varying personality then the hero. When these three basic characters are seen from a traditional point of view the only one that has changed much is that of the heroine although modern fantasy novels are still heavy on the stereotypes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. , 24 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53971Local ID: ENG D-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53971DiVA: diva2:1102531
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
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