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The Visuality of Death in Kitty Crowther's Work (Marianna Missiou)


As the fear of death is expressed from the very early childhood, it is widely accepted as highly important to deal with this fear and to reconcile children with the inevitable reality of death. As such, in today’s children’s literature, several books are written to be read by or with children, in an attempt to help them understanding death and death related topics.  Among these books, there are some that instead of giving ready-made answers, they guide children to seek answers on their own, as a way to help them cope with the subject of death. This article deals with the visuality of death and its problematic representation. It is based on Kitty Crowther’s three picturebooks to represent the abstract theme of death in various aspects. Pictures can raise issues that lead to no specific answers, mainly because in death related topics, completely satisfying answers cannot be obtained. However, iconic elements such as clothing code, anthropomorphic figures, colours, setting and intericonic symbols of death can be utilized to create an interpretative space for the death topic. In Crowther’s books, grief and recovery, death and the transcendental trip are depicted in such a way as to allow the readers to advance forward the idea of death by creating room for questioning and personal interpretation.

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