ERIC Number: EJ849073
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Girlhood, Sexual Violence, and Agency in Francesca Lia Block's "Wolf"
Children's Literature in Education, v40 n3 p217-234 Sep 2009
This essay examines the representation of adolescent girlhood, sexual violence and agency in Francesca Lia Block's contemporary fairy tale collection "The Rose and The Beast." Focusing specifically on the tale "Wolf," the author provides a literary analysis of how Block draws on and reworks traditional Western fairy tale variants to reintroduce repressed material about father-daughter incest and sexual violence within the family. This theoretical analysis is augmented by a discussion of how 25 students enrolled in an undergraduate young adult literature course for pre-service English education students read Block's "Wolf." The author concludes that despite Block's revisionist attempts to attend to the rapacious father figure, evidence from student readings reveals that they interpret "Wolf" in ways that fit broader cultural pedagogies of femininity that position the girl as a victim who must learn to defend her body. The author concludes with a discussion of the possibilities and limitations of how gender, sexual violence, and agency can be represented, read, and taught in a contemporary context amidst conflicting cultural scripts of girlhood vulnerability and empowerment.
Descriptors: Empowerment, Adolescent Literature, Violence, Sexual Harassment, Adolescents, Fairy Tales, Sexuality, Fathers, Females, Parent Child Relationship, Undergraduate Students, Preservice Teachers, English Teachers, Cultural Influences, Feminism, Social Attitudes, Victims of Crime, Gender Issues
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A