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Of Monstrosity and Innocence: The Child Predator in Clive Barker's Writings Open Access


Other title
childhood innocence
intrusion fantasy
narrative form
criminal monstrosity
child abduction
child predator
fantasy literature
portal-quest fantasy
Clive Barker
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kristjanson, Gabrielle F.
Supervisor and department
Braz, Albert (Comparative Literature, and English and Film Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Hurley, Natasha (English and Film Studies)
Demers, Patricia (Comparative Literature, and English and Film Studies)
Comparative Literature

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
This thesis considers Clive Barker’s child predator in terms of the greater cultural discourses that accompany its treatment and attempts to demonstrate how Barker's treatment of the predator is proportional to his adherence to the structural form of the narrative. Specifically, the intrusion fantasy form, which integrates fantasy and reality, incorporates the predator into society but as a disgusting version of humanity; the portal-quest form, which delineates fantasy and reality, exiles the predator as alien, excluding him from both humanity and society. When the form becomes pluralistic, ambiguous and ambivalent, these qualities equally manifest in the representation of the predator, notably casting doubt on the nature and perceived wrongfulness of his relationship with the child. My analysis questions, challenges and strives to unravel prevalent cultural conceptions of the child and the child predator in order to enhance understanding of the predator, his function, condition, and existence within Western society.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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