The Other and its Representation in Iranian Young Adult Novels

Document Type: Research Papers


Dept. of Persian Language & Literature Faculty of Humanities University of Guilan Rasht, Iran


The present paper focusing on different types of “other”, examines the representation of otherness in selected Iranian young adult fiction. Most theorists contend that the binary opposition between adolescents and adults lies on the assumption of the otherness of the young. In this view, the adolescent is ascribed “otherness” in a network of power relations. However, the adolescent should not be understood only in opposition to the adult; rather, the indirect influence of power hierarchies and families should be taken into account. The adolescent, in turn, does exert influence not only on the adult but also on power relations and hierarchies. The image of the adolescent in Iranian young adult fiction is diametrically different from the reality of the experience of the youth. While most world young adult fictions tend to highlight dialogism, disindividualized perception of power, and celebrate ethnic and racial difference, and de-marginalization of the previously oppressed groups, the inclination to repress the voice of the young adults in Iranian works makes those type of fictions ‘othered’ and peripherial for young audiences. Iranian young adult fiction has rarely addressed the question of the other except in cases centering on poverty and people in the periphery of cities (in the countries) or those in villages. While there has been a recent surge of fiction dealing with issues of gender, ethnic, racial otherness, special diseases, and child labor, more creative and dialogic work remains to be done with regard to otherness caused by religion, illness, and child labor in order to truly give voice to the adolescents.


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