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2017

Theses/Dissertations

English Undergraduate Honors Theses

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Disabled ≠ Disempowered: A Critical Framework For Analyzing The Representation Of Mental Disabilities In Young Adult Literature, Michele L. Dobbins May 2017

Disabled ≠ Disempowered: A Critical Framework For Analyzing The Representation Of Mental Disabilities In Young Adult Literature, Michele L. Dobbins

English Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this honors thesis, I focus on young adult novels that highlight rather than minimize the experience of having a mental disability, and I argue that this topic must be included in education and book discussions in order to create more inclusive classrooms and communities. I examine representations of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and autism in popular young adult novels, paying special focus to the way characters represent the relationship between power and disability. After reading a wide range of novels from award-winning bestsellers to reviewers’ recommendations, I noted the frequency of topics such as identity, community, institutions, and romanticization ...