ERIC Number: EJ1061535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Understanding Motherhood as Maturation: Maternity Scripts in Lois Lowry's "Son"
Deszcz-Tryhubczak, Justyna; Marecki, Mateusz
Children's Literature in Education, v46 n2 p190-205 Jun 2015
When put together with the other parts of The Giver Quartet, "Son" (2012), Lowry's recently published concluding book, emerges as an odd exception to the focus on young adult protagonists since it foregrounds the mother's perspective and addresses the issue of motherhood. It presents the reader with at least three conceptual models of motherhood: mothers (1) as human egg incubators in the community; (2) as caring and nurturing; and (3) as abusive and neglectful. Unlike the latter familiar models, the first is intended to evoke in young readers the effect called cognitive dissonance (Festinger, A Theory of Dissonance, 1957). Employing a combination of approaches within a cognitive paradigm (Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors we live by, 1980; Schank, Explanation patterns: understanding mechanically and creatively, 1986; Zunshine, Why we read fiction: theory of mind and the novel, 2006; Gavins, Text world theory: an introduction, 2007), this essay in the first place seeks to demonstrate how Lowry creates her vision of maternity through cognitive scripting and how her young audience understands and makes sense of motherhood by resorting to the underlying conceptual metaphor "motherhood is maturation." Simultaneously, in line with the contention that people's interpretations of phenomena are largely dependent on societal frames, we intend to confront Lowry's models with some of the cultural scripts of motherhood that prevail in Western Europe. Finally, this essay aims at explaining how young readers potentially recuperate the final meaning of "Son" by tracking Claire's and Gabe's mental constructions and compressing them into a joint wish text-world.
Descriptors: Adolescent Literature, Child Rearing, Mothers, Parent Role, Caring, Child Abuse, Psychological Patterns, Cognitive Processes, Figurative Language, Maturity (Individuals), Cultural Influences, Adolescents
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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