Myths revisited: A literary analysis of Percy Jackson and the Olympians with a focus on gender.
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This thesis examines how five characters in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan are depicted, with a focus on both gender and Greek mythology. The analyses aim to find out how Riordan portrays his characters regarding gender stereotypes, and how he has adapted Greek mythological figures to fit into a narrative in the 21st century. Gender equality and gender roles are subjects that are discussed across the globe, and I, therefore, found it important to find out how gender representation is in such a popular book series for children. The Percy Jackson books take place in a world where Greek mythology is real, and it was therefore appealing to include that aspect in the research. Based on the goals for this thesis, the over-arching research question is: How are female characters depicted in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series in the light of their portrayal in the Greek myths? Using literary analysis as a method, I analyse how the five characters are portrayed and compare them to each other. By using gender theory and discussing women’s role in Ancient Greek society, the analyses and discussion can provide a broader view of the representation shown in Riordan’s books. The findings show that Riordan subverts the stereotypical gender norms with his characters and not letting their gender limit them. The three characters created by him all exhibit stereotypical feminine or masculine traits, with no traits being seen as more negative than the other. Riordan follows the tradition of retelling myth with his adaptation of Medusa and Circe, adapting them to fit into a modern narrative while also keeping older versions in his story.
Children and Young Adults' Literature Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics and Interpreting