The Macksey Journal


“Young adult,” coined in the 1960s by the Young Adult Library Services Association, holds immense meaning though it has had a much shorter lifetime than “child” and “adult.” The young adult (“adolescent” or “teenager”) continues to as a grey area between the duality of child and adult, an area that tends to be disregarded due to stereotypes and clichés. In working extensively on Fantasy/Young Adult Fantasy literature from the 19th century to the present, my research has focused on the evolution of the adolescent/adolescence and how magic and temptation are used to argue the human inability to bypass sacrifice. Pamela Gates, Susan Steffel, and Francis Molson have worked to underline humanity’s need for heroes. Richard Mathews and Alan Garner respectively discuss the contours of fantasy as a method to break down social constructs. Greer Watson, Vladimir Propp, and Farah Mendlesohn are some others whose works have been considered, too. This study will try to show that the want of hope, some derision towards fantasy, YA, and YA Fantasy, and the ignorance regarding the deep connection running between the past and magic, in addition to several other factors, stem from both the dichotomy between commercial and literary as well as the very real inability to bypass sacrifice. Some of the directly mentioned and/or analyzed fantasy/YA Fantasy will be less well-known, purposefully directing attention to the fact that generalizations of anything, most of all fiction, are just that—taking the time to explore a genre is much more enlightening and enjoyable than aligning oneself with real or imaginary, commercial or literary, and well-known or unknown.