Latin And Greek Influence On Young Adult Fiction

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Young Adult fiction has always been enriched with ancient myths, folklore and legends. This can be seen from The Chronicles of Narnia to Harry Potter. By using myths and alluding to ancient sources in Young Adult fiction this has normally guaranteed these books to be a success. The main books which will be focused on in this dissertation are the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. All of these books, according to the Guardian, are in ‘the top 100 best-selling books of all time’. These authors have all taken ancient myths or creatures and updated them so that they are relatable in the modern world. They use myth in order to add a layer of meaning and to provide …show more content…
There will be a chapter on language in this dissertation that will firstly focus on how Latin and Greek have influenced the modern English language and therefore modern literature. However, this chapter will also delve into how Latin phrases have influenced things in Young Adult fiction directly. For example, Panem et Circenses influenced Collins in writing The Hunger Games, as the main city is called Panem and is a reference to Juvenal. The spells in Harry Potter are also significant, in which Rowling loosely uses Latin so that it can be translated into simple commands in English. The meaning behind character names will also be discussed. Rowling has a tendency to use names that have a mythological background and knowing this background allows the reader to know more about the characters personality.For example, Minerva is a known Roman Goddess who is the goddess of wisdom. By giving Minerva McGonagall her name Rowling is already implying that this is a wise and respected character. While Collins also uses ancient Roman names such as Cato and Octavia, they sometimes do not have any characteristics related to their name. Collins is using these names in order to allude to the Roman-like state she has produced, in which the society feeds off violence. By having Latin in their books these authors add an extra layer of magic, as Latin is the modern language of …show more content…
This book contains Julia Boll’s essay Harry Potter's Archetypal Journey in which she examines Campbell’s monomyth. Campbell has a theory that each hero follows an archetypal journey, split into three parts; separation, initiation and return. This is more commonly known as the ‘monomyth’. There are many essays on comparing Harry to the monomyth and trying to compare him to ancient heroes, such as Bolls. Lynne Millum also writes about this in Hero’s Journey—Cycle of The Monomyth. While it is evident that Harry does go on archetypal hero’s journey, it is not included in this dissertation because Harry should not be compared to ancient heroes. He has nothing in common with them, as he is a hero reflecting the modern time. The ancient heroes were very selfish and pursued honour and glory. This can be seen in the first book of The Iliad. Achilles and Agamemnon fight in the first book because they both feel like they are not being respected enough. Agamemnon took the priest of Apollo’s daughter as a prize and in punishment Apollo sent down a plague and would not stop until the priest got his daughter back. Achilles demanded that Agamemnon “return the girl to the god”. Agamemnon takes this as disrespect and demands Achilles prize as a replacement for his own, which Achilles then also takes as being dishonoured. Both

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