Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

“You’ve just got to find a way to live there anyway”: the dystopian chronotopes of trauma in Patrick Ness’s More Than This

Andermahr, S. (2017) “You’ve just got to find a way to live there anyway”: the dystopian chronotopes of trauma in Patrick Ness’s More Than This. Panel Presentation presented to: Identities in YA Narratives, The University of Northampton, 16 December 2017.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Panel Presentation)
Abstract: YA dystopian fiction has proven fertile ground for the exploration of traumatic events experienced by young people undergoing rites of passage. This paper employs Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope (literally, “time space”) to examine the representation of trauma in Patrick Ness’s YA novel More Than This (2014), which follows the protagonist Seth’s journey back into an estranged and depopulated version of his childhood home. As in classic trauma theory, the novel contains two traumatic episodes: a primary trauma (the ‘wounding’ of the protagonist’s brother), which took place in England in the past; and a secondary trauma (his own apparent death), which takes place in the United States in the present. Ness portrays this dual trauma in parallel narrative strands, which intersect and fuse into one deeply alienating, puzzling, and complex whole. In the process he explores a range of traumas affecting young adults including suicide, child abuse, homophobia, and murder. Like Seth himself, the reader has to decode the temporal-spatial indicators to discover the source of Seth’s trauma and trace his journey from acting out to working through his traumatic experience.
Uncontrolled Keywords: YA fiction, dystopia, trauma, chronotope
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PZ Children's literature
Creators: Andermahr, Sonya
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Date: 16 December 2017
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Identities in YA Narratives
Event Dates: 16 December 2017
Event Location: The University of Northampton
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Published / Disseminated

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