'Just Testing: Adult-Child Relationships and Comedy as Empowerment in the Work of Andy Griffiths'

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

Abstract

The growth of young adult fiction, in the context of Postman's phrase the'disappearance of childhood',1 generated fear among adult readers in the 1980s,due to the confronting nature of subject matter and first person narration in novels such as John Marsden's So Much To Tell You 2 and Letters from the Inside,3 which marginalise the adult characters by temporarily focalising through the child'ssubjectivity. But to what extent is that reconfiguration sustained during the 1990sin the dramatic growth of Australian comic fiction for older readers? This paperconsiders the work of two writers and interrogates comedy's potential to empowertheir young characters. Whereas Morris Gleitzman, like Marsden, wants to warnchildren about the threat posed to them by the prejudiced and violent world adultshave created, Andy Griffiths' short stories fold caricatured violence back intofiction. His characters then play in a metafictional space that offers empowermentbecause confrontation with the adult world is all just a game. But how safe a playground is that space?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNegotiating Childhoods
Subtitle of host publicationProbing the Boundaries
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherID Press
Pages33-42
Number of pages10
Edition4
ISBN (Print)9781848880467
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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    Macleod, M. (2011). 'Just Testing: Adult-Child Relationships and Comedy as Empowerment in the Work of Andy Griffiths'. In Negotiating Childhoods: Probing the Boundaries (4 ed., pp. 33-42). ID Press.