Hva er det med monsteret? Fryd, frykt og ”andregjøring” i Når alle sover (2011)
Title: What’s the Deal with Monsters? Fright, Frolic and “Othering” in Når alle sover (2011)
This article explores how othering is at play in Nikolai Houm and Rune Markhus’ picturebook Når alle sover (2011), which features a monster. By use of picturebook analysis and theory on othering, “the other”, monsters and affects, we seek to examine which role a monster may play in a picturebook, and what makes the monster character in a children’s picturebook powerful and relevant. Our findings suggest that the monster's role is not to scare the child reader, but rather to develop an often taboo-ridden topic, namely othering. The monster stands out from the crowd, and the majority group excludes it. With its many deviating features, the monster functions as a powerful character that challenges the reader’s prejudices around “us” and “them”. Our conclusion is that the monster can be a flexible literary tool for conveying certain difficulties and concerns. Very often, the monster is used to question ethical topics in our society such as xenophobia and othering.
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