Friday, 2 September 2011

A key

I am an avid children’s literature fan. So much so I’ve just enrolled to do a Writing for Children MA in a couple of weeks. So here’s my perspective on doorways within my chosen path.
Doorways feature heavily in children’s literature, acting as a tool to establish magical worlds and different times easily. This is a seamless way to connect reality with the magical, or to connect out time with the past or even the future. It’s perfectly conceivable that we can open a door and be surprised at what we find beyond it. In Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillippa Pearce Tom stepped from his own time into the turn of the last century, and left the humdrum of his Aunt and Uncle’s flat for a place with a playmate and beautiful garden.
In the chronicles of Narnia the children stepped through a magical doorway in the back of a wardrobe into another season and world. Harry and his friends jump through an invisible doorway which takes Harry Potter from the Muggle world to the Hogwarts express.
In television, we step with Dr Who into a box which expands into a great hall, to which every character declares in shock “It’s bigger on the inside!” which then carries us off on adventures, new times and planets.

In The Secret garden there is a hidden gate, and when uncovered this leads to a space for the children to call their own. Alice in wonderland is scattered with doors of all sizes, each world more bizarre than the previous, and Alice takes us along with her into this world of woven dreams.
Things can be doors too. In Helen Cresswell’s Moondial Minty touches a magical sundial which transports her to another time into adventure and friendship.
I often view reading as a means of escape, I’m quite sure I’ve already mentioned this. But doorways, not only are they a device used to interweave new worlds into our own, but stories are a doorway too. Every time I read a good book, piece of poetry or prose I feel a doorway opening and allowing me to step inside to somewhere I haven’t been before. Like a code, that particular combination of words has acted as a key to allow me into another place for a short time. Words have opened the door within.



Ashley R Lister said...

These are all pivotal points in the traditional narrative. I really need to loan you my copy of The Hero with 1000 Faces by Joseph Campbell, or The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler.

With their emphasis on structure I don't doubt you'd have a giggle with either of these books.


Lindsay said...

That would be great thankyou Ash. Need to get my brain back into it all, start in 2 weeks :S

Lisa Gilbride said...

I love children's lit too. Maybe this is why I prefer traditional books to e-books -- you have to open them much like you would a door, and enter in. Fantastic blogging as always.

Great news about the MA. I bet you'll love it.