«Når vi blir voksne er det for seint»: Klimaengasjement i to romaner for barn og unge
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This thesis will examine how two novels may influence the climate change engagement of students, their attitudes and knowledge about climate change and climate-friendly actions. My analysis of the novels will be based on Stoknes’ ABC model of attitudes, according to which every attitude has three components: affective, behavioural and cognitive. I will also be drawing on theories from the field of ecocriticism, theories about the effect of reading on our ethical deliberations, and theories about common climate narratives. Among other things, I wish to examine how fictional narratives distinguish themselves from factual presentations of climate matters, and what advantages fiction brings to bear. The novels I have chosen are En himmel full av skyer (‘A sky full of clouds’), a children’s book written by Arne Svingen, and Bouvetøya 2052 (‘Bouvet Island 2052‘), a book for teenagers written by Lars Mæhle. While the two books are very different in terms of their genre and style, my findings show that there are several similarities in the way they present the climate crisis, and how they encounter and address it. Both have an open-ended finish, are clear about the urgency required to combat climate change, and make the point that children and young people can influence developments. Both novels feature young people as the main trail blazers for climate action and as the experts on climate problems. Furthermore, both novels advocate political activism and point to Norwegian climate policies as being far too ineffective. Despite the many similarities between the two novels, there are also differences. For example, En himmel full av skyer takes an overall sustainability perspective that puts climate problems in the context of other global challenges. In Bouvetøya 2052 on the other hand, the focus is solely on climate change. Also, En himmel full av skyer describes, to a much greater extent than Bouvetøya 2052, small eco-friendly actions that lend themselves to being incorporated in our daily lives.
Master i barne- og ungdomslitteratur Institutt for språk, litteratur, matematikk og tolking 15. mai 2019