Multiplicity: A Critical Framework and Underlying Theme
MetadataShow full metadata
Undercurrents is composed of a creative work (contemporary novel) and a critical work (exegesis). The thesis follows three students through their final year of high school: Cam, Jacob and Melissa, who share the text’s narration as equal protagonists. Throughout the course of the narrative, each protagonist encounters multi-faceted challenges to their preconceived understandings of their identity. The thesis could, in this sense, be considered a Young Adult (YA) ‘coming of age’ narrative. The thesis’ complex mode of engagement with genre and demographic expectations of YA highlights the increasing fluidity of the boundaries between YA and contemporary adult fiction. The exegesis accompanying this thesis examines some of the evolving trends in YA’s genre and demographic to contextualise the liminal space between genres that this thesis occupies. Aspects of the text’s form also contribute to its liminality. For example, focalising the text between three different characters invites the reader to interpret key narrative events through the individual subjectivities of each narrator, in turn encouraging the reader to question the singularity of narrative truth. Along with multiplicity of focalisation, the text also experiments with flashbacks and scene replays through different characters’ perspectives. These non-linear methods of narration deliberately disorientate the reader’s sense of the boundary between past and present, exploring multiplicity of time and space in the narrative world. Multiplicity becomes a key term through which to examine the form of the creative text and its critical context. The specific methods through which the thesis accesses multiplicity are explored in detail in the exegesis.