content by

Dorothy Bennett

The Power of Adolescent Anger: L’Engle’s Meg Murry and Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching

I’m delighted whenever I come across angry adolescent girls acting as protagonists in science fiction and fantasy, because I’ve found it’s not a long list. There are, of course, angry female villains, angry male heroes, and angry male villains of all ages, but I’ve discovered only a relatively few examples of angry young female heroines.

That’s why the similarities between Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men are so striking. L’Engle’s Meg Murry and Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching both have younger brothers kidnapped by a malignant force, which hinder the boys from being fully human; they both encounter a trio of older women who guide them into a new worldview; they both shoulder the final burden of defeating their story’s villain; and they both are primarily and positively described as angry.

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