Extrapolation

Metaphors of Peace in Nancy Farmer's The Saxon Saga

Extrapolation (2013), 54, (3), 243–255.

Abstract

One of the most deeply ingrained and most often bemoaned patterns in modern fantasy is its propensity to project violence as a solution. The tacit or explicit glorification of "rightful" violence has usually been accompanied by a host of attitudes that promulgate war as the basic metaphor of group activity. Yet, human interaction can also be described by metaphors of peace and through stories in which characters employ means other than violence to deal with aggression and situations of hurt. Focusing on Nancy Farmer's The Saxon SagaThe Sea of Trolls (2004), The Land of the Silver Apples (2007) and The Island of the Blessed (2009)—this essay examines the metaphors of peace Farmer employs to suggest that the work of peace requires a whole new way of looking at the world. Although the novels are set in a world torn by violent conflicts, they offer compelling alternatives to violence. Through the adventures of the protagonist Jack, the servant of the life-force and a mediator between three different cultures, readers are invited to appreciate the idea that nonviolent means can be highly effective as regards standing up against evil and achieving the greater good.

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Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004. Print. The Sea of Trolls Google Scholar

Farmer, Nancy. The Land of the Silver Apples. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007. Print. The Land of the Silver Apples Google Scholar

Farmer, Nancy. The Islands of the Blessed. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009. Print. The Islands of the Blessed Google Scholar

Farmer, Nancy. "Bio." Nancy Farmer's Official Home Page. http://www.nancyfarmerwebsite.com/bio.html Web. 2 November 2012. http://www.nancyfarmerwebsite.com/bio.html Bio Nancy Farmer's Official Home Page Google Scholar

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York: Oxford UP, 1989. Print. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. "Earthsea Revisioned." Origins of Story: On Writing for Children. Eds Barbara Harrison and Gregory McGuire. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1999: 163-80. Print. Origins of Story: On Writing for Children 163 80 Google Scholar

McCullough, Michael E. Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print. Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct Google Scholar

Paterson, Katherine. "Metaphors to Live By." Origins of Story: On Writing for Children. Eds Barbara Harrison and Gregory McGuire. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1999: 181-97. Print. Origins of Story: On Writing for Children 181 97 Google Scholar

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Author details

Oziewicz, Marek