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In this article, de Villiers looks at textual representations of transgression within the context of contemporary adolescent fiction in two Australian novels, Killing Aurora and Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life. De Villiers points out that in the majority of adolescent fiction, 'transgression is still primarily used to reinscribe charatcers within the dominant ideological framework' of Westernized cultures, however, literary acts of transgression can be used to undermine and subvert dominant ideologies and their 'asscociated discursive practices' (5). The ensuing comparative reading concludes that Killing Aurora 'makes a far more radical use of transgression which questions the dominant social and cultural paradigms of identity formation' as opposed to Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude..., which is 'conservative and traditional' in its underlying enforcement of the 'dominant patriarchal framework which aligns women with the sterotypically 'feminine' and 'natural' role of caring and nurturing for children' (6,10).
This analysis examines four Australian children's texts, Australia at the Beach, Looking for Crabs, The Silver Fox, and Sailing Home and the ways in which they utilize the landscape, specifically seascapes, to gauge how they function in the shaping of national identities. James points out that, 'Beachscapes...work in a similar way to agricultural landscapes by evoking the literary pastoral, and particularly by association with the ideal of childhood', adding that 'It is on the beach that the Australian ideals of nature, classlessness, friendliness, community and egalitarianism are perceived to combine' (12). The comparative reading of the four works concludes that 'the centrality of the coast to the Australian culture suggests that seascapes should be marked as sites of special interest in analysis concerned with cultural discourse' (21).
Scutter examines a range of children's texts which are predominantly British, although a few American and Australian works are represented, including Gillian Rubinstein's Beyond the Labyrinth and Sonya Hartnett's Sleeping Dogs. Fascinated with representations of Christmas in children's fiction, Scutter argues that 'In many children's books...the mythos of Christmas forms a motif which sets a particular kind of family, child, nation and culture against the mythos of war' (32). Focusing on the fin de siecle, as characterised by 'tranformative millenialism, enervation and impotence' (32), she says 'The anxious enervation of our culture is marked not only by early rehearsal of ends of cycles, and of cultural rituals such as Christmas and Easter, but also the end of childhood to adolescent and young adulthood' (32). While there has been a shift in representations of Christmas, war and peace, Scutter concludes that the fin de siecle of children's texts continues to rely on a sense of apocolypse in what she views as as ongoing and 'anxious attempts to recuperate threatened cultural values' (36).