Identiteitsontwikkeling in geselekteerde jeugverhale van Barrie Hough
Vos, Judith Elizabeth
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When youth novels were first written, Afrikaans speaking adolescents spent their time reading the original and absorbing youth novels then available. These suited their psychological and environmental development and they could identify with the language and style used in these novels. The contents were a representation of a world which they knew and in which they could feel secure. Although authors often dealt with issues relevant to the adolescent world, the plot reflected a secure and nurturing world where the readers and their life experiences were taken into account. In recent years the adolescent world has changed dramatically from a secure environment to a more exposed one, posing the question whether contemporary Afrikaans youth novels have retained the same traits mentioned earlier and answer to the same norms. The value of literature should never be underestimated; it can develop the imaginative skills and moral values of adolescent readers. Also, it has become clear that adolescents have a great need for reading material that deals with relevant issues. The main focus of this study is characterization and development of identity in selected youth novels by Barrie Hough, viz. My kat word herfs, Vlerkdans and Skilpoppe as revealed in textual analysis and empirical research. The literature study focuses on developmental psychology and the reading expectations of the adolescent, character development according to some narrative theories, e.g. reader response criticism and intertextuality theories. The main objective of this study is to analyze, interpret and evaluate the above three youth novels in order to establish whether or not the contemporary adolescent can identify with these specific stories. It has been found that the adolescent reader in the early years of the twenty first century is able to identify with the contemporary youth novels such as those by Barrie Hough. Although young readers do not want to steer clear of contentious themes and issues in youth novels, it seems that they still prefer evergreen classical topics and themes. This suggests that the modern adolescent is still positive about life and aspires to attain goodness and moral strength.
- Humanities