Essay about The Keyword Mystery

Essay about The Keyword Mystery

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The keyword mystery takes on diverse connotations within young adult literature and has the ability to cross multiple genres. It appeals to male and female readers, and includes all races, ethnicities and cultures. Teenage life often feels mysterious in itself and comes with immeasurable physical, emotional and psychological changes, and so adolescents seek out books that explore identity: autonomy, spirituality, personal achievement and empowerment. Mystery is explored in young adult literature on conscious and subconscious levels, while simultaneously adding relevant youth culture themes that invoke a greater sense of social and self awareness.
Starting with its earliest origins, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, mystery comes from the Latin word mystērium, and influences from ancient Greek mustérion and ancient Middle French mistere. These earliest explanations have theological- religious or spiritual meanings related to “mystical truths” and/or symbolic secret rite(s), revelations of religious truths, and/or forces of good versus evil- all “beyond human comprehension”. Beginning mainly in 14th and 15th centuries, evolutions of non-theological definitions- “a hidden or secret thing; something inexplicable…evoking awe or wonder but not well known or understood.”
The term mystery genre took off in mid-1800’s literature with crime and murder detective stories, seen in the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens and the infamous creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. While, early (and modern) detective stories portray realistic settings and follow similar writing formulas, according to Goldman, mystery’s value comes from the reader’s experience and has the “capacity to engage fully and si...

... middle of paper ... is important, but the journey to find the truth is equally, if not more important to the development of Jacob’s identity and purpose. As Jacob reveals certain things about himself and pieces together clues - either alone or with the help from his entourage: Miss Peregrine, Emily, Brownyn, Enoch and Millard, he gains a greater sense of self-empowerment and confidence. This is seen when Jacob openly reveals his “secret shame” (Riggs, 247) that he can see hallowgasts (wights), only to learn that he shared the same ability with his late grandfather his grandfather, which is actually which quite rare and indispensable to the protection and survival peculiars. Discovering these truths force Jacob to make adult-like decisions: “In one direction lay home and everything I knew, mysterious or ordinary and safe” or head in the “other direction…for the future” (Riggs, 342).

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