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"The word shaker": Students' responses to history presented through magic realism
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Holocaust as a subject is said to be difficult to represent in fiction for children and adolescents. This study examines the cognitive and affective responses of six High School students who read Markus Zusak’s magic realist novel The Book Thief. The study set out to investigate how Swedish-speaking high school students cope with magic realism in English and whether the power of magic realism can be harnessed to enable adolescents to engage with the Holocaust. Initially the study was also supposed to examine language differences and if reading skills are transferable across language. But due to differences between the data outcome in the groups these findings would not have been reliable. The students were divided into two groups consisting of three students in each group. While reading Zusak’s novel the students participated in group interviews, which in this study can be considered as focus groups. The students’ discussions were recorded and then transcribed, coded and analyzed. The focus groups were the main method of this study but were also triangulated with “sticky notes” and a written assignment. The findings of the study suggests that the magic realist narrative made the students more emotionally engaged and thus proposes that the power of magic realism can be harnessed in order to enable adolescents to engage with the Holocaust. Since the students’ responses were mostly unstructured I have chosen not to structure my report as though it were an experiment with a results, discussion and conclusion sections. Instead, modeling my analysis on Kokkola and Fjällström (2015), I have divided the material into two themes; Death as a Narrator, and Historical Knowledge. I then draw all these sections together to answer my research questions in the final section of the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
Humanities Theology, Inversion, Literature, Magic realism, The Holocaust, The Second World War
Keyword [sv]
Humaniora, Teologi
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-53487Local ID: a7f72f7d-3b3e-4239-afab-02fa370b7412OAI: diva2:1026861
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Education, master's level
Validerat; 20150923 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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