With fantasy being one of my favorite genres, I could really connect with the author's view on fantasy literature. However, I never thought about it this way.
"Fantasies allow the reader to consider and speculate about central and sometimes painfully realistic themes in a way that is more palatable than in realistic fiction or fact."
-Kurkjian, C., Livingston, N., & Young, T. (2006). Children's Books: Worlds of Fantasy. The Reading Teacher, 59(5), 492-503.Emotional
They allow the reader to keep an emotional distance from the reality of the book and to form an objective view on the events that occur it it. Therefore, it seems to be a gentle, nonthreatening, yet effective way of understanding reality.
For this reason, I think that fantasy is an essential part of literature curriculum in schools. There are many parts of life that are difficult and complicated, or even painful. Fantasy literature can introduce these things to an audience that is not quite ready for the real thing yet.
Fantasy literture also offers a form of escapism. Being able to go into a completely new world where your problems seemly don't exist can be a tremendous coping mechanism, especially for children with rough home situations.
Characteristics of Fantasy
There are slight differences between traditional and modern fantasy. Traditional fantasy was passed down orally. It has a very vague setting and symbolic characters that do not grow. In contrast, modern fantasy is associated with a particular author. It has a detailed setting and developing characters.
However, all fantasy literature has certain characteristics in common including: a fantastic world, time shifts, fantastic characters, talking animals, magic, multiple interpretations, a call to the quest, guides and helpers, quest challenges, a goal of the quest, and the journey home.
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