Introducing Children's Literature: From Romanticism to Postmodernism

By Deborah Cogan Thacker; Jean Webb | Go to book overview

Chapter 15

Clockwork

A fairy tale for a postmodern time

Philip Pullman's postmodern text Clockwork (1997), is a fairy tale in which Pullman produces a moral critique of contemporary Western society. The tale works as a metaphor depicting the triumph of human compassion over the destructive and selfish drives of capitalism, which threaten to produce a mechanistic and loveless society. In Pullman's tale, society is driven by selfish inhumane Faustian desires which eradicate the most human quality of love. Clockwork, however, is not a simple didactic moral tale, but a complex postmodern text. The narrative works in a metafictive way in which it 'enacts or performs what it wishes to say about narrative' (Currie 1998:52) and also mirrors the moral intention of the text. The reader is engaged in a narrative structure which both parallels the mechanistic drive of society, whilst actively involving the individual reader as a maker of meaning. This is possible through the postmodern nature of the text.

Structurally the text comprises a number of narrative frames. The principal voice is that of the narrator, who acts as the overarching storyteller and also as an omniscient narrator. The comments of the narrator are embedded in the text as commentary on the characters and as obvious physical frames inserted into the text in which additional moral and didactic comment is made, and 'information' given. The other narrative voice is that of the character Fritz, a young storyteller, whose tale frames the events experienced by the other characters. The reader is made highly conscious of the structure of the narrative throughout the text. Such an awareness is typical of postmodern writing.

The reading experience begins with an extract from the text. It is an untitled section which foregrounds the activity of storytelling:

-151-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Introducing Children's Literature: From Romanticism to Postmodernism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 191

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.