Let your soul roam free. Discover your true self. Play with your inner child. Share the memories of your ancestors. Understand your parents. Have total self control. Open yourself up and peer inside. These are accomplishments most humans will never achieve, but Nicola Griffith’s Marghe from her novel Ammonite and Nancy Springer’s Larque from her novel Larque on the Wing are able to do all of these things and more. They are accomplished not simply through careful, quiet reflection, but from action, adventure and danger which drive them to the point at which they must adapt and grow or lose themselves forever. Both women are fully grown at the time of their respective adventures, both have struggled through puberty and young adulthood, and have already “come of age” in so many words, and both are strong individuals who seem relatively happy with their work and their lives. However, because of the conflicts they are thrown into, they receive the chance to understand themselves more fully. Marghe and Larque’s adventures and misadventures open up possibilities for them to look deep within themselves and discover who they truly are-to remember their pasts, gain insights into their personalities, and to fully realize their potential as human beings. All of these things combine to paint exciting stories which give the reader greater insight into the human mind and a chance to explore gender roles in ways unavailable to us in our day to day life.
For Marghe, her stay on Jeep was supposed to be short, a trip to study the people and their society, but once she realized that she would be spending the rest of her life there, sh...
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...natural and healthy. Both authors have presented a view of gender in which having specific “male,” or “female” qualities is unimportant, and what matters is exploring all of your potentially human qualities.
Marghe and Larque unexpectedly embark on quests to learn more about themselves, and what they discover is more than they had ever thought possible. They connect with their pasts, discover hidden desires, and gain insights and abilities which cause them to grow exponentially. They discover who they truly are. Truth with a capital “T.” As Lark proclaims near the end of the novel as she battles her mother in a battle of the wills heightened by their psychokinetic powers, “I am ME!” (Springer, 1994)
Griffith, Nicola. Ammonite. Toronto: Ballantine Books, 1992.
Springer, Nancy. Larque on the Wing. New York: Avon Book, 1994.
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