Pain or Pleasure: The Allure of the Masochistic Young Adult Fantasy Protagonist, As Seen in Twilight and Other Texts
: With a particular focus on the language of sexuality used within a select number of young adult paranormal romance texts

  • Rebecca Bill

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    There is a general misconception of masochism amongst critics and academics. Masochism is often analysed in a way that either regards it as a taboo subject, or wrongly identifies it as sexual abuse. Similarly, masochism is also presented in a highly negative way within young adult literature. In the cases where sexual abuse does happen within young adult literature, it is then excused and identified as masochism. There is a lack of research in this area that rightly identifies the differences between sexual abuse and masochism within young adult literature, more specifically within the paranormal romance genre. This MPhil critical paper thesis discusses the masochistic traits of female protagonists in the young adult paranormal romance genre and identifies a misconception of masochism as a whole, through the exploration of sexual language, eroticism, and death.

    In conjunction with the critical paper, my young adult novel Dark in the Deep later became a platform to explore young adult paranormal female protagonists and the romantic relationships they form. Whilst forming my argument for the critical paper, the novel underwent changes to ensure the romantic relationships that were portrayed within the novel were honest and did not further encourage misconceptions or taboos. It was also important for my views, as a masochist, to be explored and compared with critics and academics from both a creative and critical point of view throughout the self-reflective chapter.
    Date of AwardSept 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBarrie Llewelyn (Supervisor) & David Towsey (Supervisor)

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