Original Research

A comparative analysis of the depiction of queer characters in Hartinger’s Geography Club and Entin’s film adaptation

Matthys J. Uys
Literator | Vol 43, No 1 | a1900 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v43i1.1900 | © 2022 Matthys J. Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2022 | Published: 06 October 2022

About the author(s)

Matthys J. Uys, COMBER, Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Literature is very important when referring to problems experienced by individuals, talking about life and life around individuals. Though interesting and entertaining stories can be told, various forms of stories can stimulate and inspire readers, especially when conveying human values through the means of ‘character’ (Alvinindyta 2018:8, 10). The depiction of fictional characters is a pivotal literary element in exposing and informing a target audience of an identified social issue. Therefore, the fictional characters depicted within literary texts may be used to allow more individuals to become better acquainted with the gender identities that form part of cultures and traditions in heteronormative societies (Uys 2020:3; Uys, Romylos & Nel 2021:3; The Other Foundation 2016:23). This article aims to show how Brent Hartinger depicts queer characters in his 2004 queer text Geography Club. Entin’s 2013 film adaptation is also included to carry out a comparative analysis of the novel and the film, adding more depth to the article and broadening the scope. The aim of the investigation on which the article is based was to allow more readers to become better acquainted with gender identities that form part of cultures and traditions in heteronormative societies. A qualitative approach was followed, using hermeneutics as the strategy of inquiry. The conceptual and theoretical framework was queer characters as a queer literary element, whilst the data generation method was document analysis. The main findings were that there are four possible types of queer characters (Cart & Jenkins 2006) presented that may be applied to depict fictional characters of a queer literary work, and Hartinger (2004) and Entin (2013) depict their queer characters accordingly to inform readers and possibly change ingrained perceptions of various gender identities.

Keywords

queer; gender identities; literary element; queer characters; heteronormative societies; Geography Club; Brent Hartinger

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