Date of Award
Master of Arts
Maria Stehle, Dan Magilow
Children's books often show recurring themes. One such theme is friendship. My thesis is a comparatistic work between the German book Die rote Zora und ihre Bande by Kurt Held and the English book Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, as those books have recently been turned into movies recently advertising the theme of friendship. I compare these two books for parallel friendship constellations. This research reveals two types of friendships: cross-sex friendships and same-sex friendships. In both books cross-sex friendships can be seen within a group, 'Zoras Bande' and Wendy and the Lost Boys. I analyze these friendship constellations according to the features found in realistic friendships: companionship, reciprocity, acceptance, cultural background and other similarities. Additionally, both books offer dyads (Zora-Branko, Zlata-Branko, Wendy-Peter) made up of a boy and a girl who stand out from the group. In comparing these dyads I use gender perception as a basis, for it reveals the similarities and differences within those dyads. This research shows that that same-sex groups of friends' share other similarities than the cross-sex friendships. Both authors basically used these group constellations (―die Gymnasiasten‖, the pirates and the Indians) as a narrative device to propel the story. In my research I came to the results that even though both books seem to be similar at core due to the similar friendship constellations, there are nonetheless some differences. I trace these differences back to the different time periods the books were written and published in.
Moldovi, Roswitha-Maria, "Friendship in Die rote Zora und ihre Bande and Peter Pan. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2009.