Invisible girls: discourses of femininity and power in children's fantasy

Sanna Lehtonen

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In children's fantasy, invisibility is a popular motif, typically achieved by using different magic items. Invisibility also serves an important role in feminist discourses of femininity and power. In feminist theory, invisibility has been used to describe the status of females in patriarchal systems, while in fantastic texts invisible females have often literally served as the monstrous Others. However, invisibility has also been seen as a form of empowerment, particularly in fantastic contexts where it can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically. To open up and explore these questions, this article examines the feminist discourses of invisibility, femininity and power in two British children's fantasy novels: The Time of the Ghost (1981) by Diana Wynne Jones and The Ghost Drum (1987) by Susan Price.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Research in Children's Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

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  • invisibility
  • femininity
  • children's fantasy
  • Diana Wynne Jones
  • Susan Price


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