|dc.description.abstract||This thesis explores 82 years of fiction written in New Zealand for adolescents. It has a particular emphasis on the portrayal of the immediate family and relationships within the extended or adopted family.
The sample consists of 22 novels written by 11 authors, the earliest published in 1914, and the most recent in 1996. The selection was made on the basis of popularity, influence and appropriateness to the theme of family relationships. It excluded novels which lacked a New Zealand, or were set in a distant past or future.
The sample of novels is grouped into two main categories which are divided chronologically. The earlier category includes a work by William Satchell, plus nine 'classic' New Zealand books from the Kotare series, chosen by Betty Gilderdale. The later consists of four novels selected from the work of Maurice Gee, four from Margaret Mahy, and five from Jack Lasenby.
A significant difference in the representation of family relationships exists between the two groups. The thesis examines six propositions, and finds them substantially supported by this sample. The propositions are that:
(1) Early authors tend to support the current values and myths of their society
(2) Early authors use inherited literary conventions as the vehicle
(3) Early authors do not intentionally write for 'young-adults'
(4) Later authors question the values of their contemporary and past New Zealand society
(5) Later authors use critical realism or fantasy to explore serious issues
(6) Later authors consciously write for the 'young-adult' generic framework||en_NZ