• The Defamiliarization of Reality: Redefining Fantasy through a Stationary and Expansionary Model"

      Baggett, Jacob; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2015-05)
      J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings set the standard for what is now called fantasy literature in an essay entitled “On Fairy Stories.” Tolkien defines fantasy as occurring entirely in a separate “secondary world”. Contemporary fantasy, however, has evolved beyond the scope of Tolkien’s theory by including stories in which the secondary world and the primary world, the world in which we live, are more thoroughly connected. This occurs through a sense of defamiliarization: readers live in the primary world, but as the plot unfolds, they realize that a secondary fantasy world is all around them, previously unfamiliar and unseen. This thesis articulates a new theory of Stationary and Expansionary Fantasy, providing a more inclusive definition of fantasy and integrating the defamiliarization that has become integral to contemporary fantasy. I compare two traditional examples of fantasy, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, as well as one contemporary example, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, in order to test the theory and demonstrate its operation in fantasy literature.