Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction: The Dialogic by Robyn McCallum

By Robyn McCallum

This paintings examines the illustration of selfhood in adolescent and kid's fiction, utilizing a Bakhtinian method of subjectivity, language and narrative.

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Additional resources for Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction: The Dialogic Construction of Subjectivity (Garland Reference Library of Social Science)

Example text

The construction of multiple separate, but interconnecting, story strands in Salt River Times or Finders, Losers is a more common strategy for incorporating the viewpoints of more than two focalizing characters. The use of multiple focalizers has three main effects. First, it enables the representation of a plurality of narrative voices, social and cultural discourses, and the construction of a range of perceptual, attitudinal and ideological viewpoints associated with the subject positions occupied by characters—hence it is also an important way of incorporating and representing heteroglossia.

Thus, irony is achieved in the novel through the incorporation of quotes which mean one way when read in the context of the novels themes, but which mean quite differently as characters use these quotes to interpret the world around them. For example, there are thematic connections between the passages about John Donne’s “A Valediction: of Weeping” that Madge reads from Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity (quoted on pp. 40–41 of Goldengrove) and recurring motifs in the novel, such as the sea and a sense of grief.

6–7) From this description, we can extrapolate two primary features of polyphonic narrative. The first feature refers us to the question of how polyphony is represented. Characters and narrators are conceived of as “unmerged voices and consciousnesses,” that is, as speaking subjects situated in particular discursive positions in relation to, but independent of, the (reporting) authorial context. As such, they are “subjects of their own directly signifying discourse” and they occupy subject positions not dominated by an authorial or narratorial voice or position.

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