Date of Publication

5-2011

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Megan Norcia, PhD

Abstract

This thesis is going to delve into the areas surrounding weight problems in four chapters. The first will cover physical health problems that stem from being both overweight and underweight, and will also touch on different ways teenagers in fiction deal with unhappiness concerning their weight. The second chapter discusses the effects of peer relationships on children‟s ideas about their self-image, specifically how peers can be some of the most negatively influential factors in a child‟s life. It is also true that peers can be some of the most important people for a child with a weight problem, because friends make life more bearable and do not focus on taunting children with weight issues like bullies do. The third chapter brings up the importance of the child‟s relationships with his parents and also non-parent adults. In literature, the parents tend to be painted as the problem, whereas the non-parent adult is the outsider who gives the child positive and healthy advice. In general, these novels do follow that pattern quite closely. The final chapter wraps the novels up, showing how each story ends in a way that will bring hope and confidence to any reader who can relate to it. It is something that young adult readers need in order to realize that if they are going through a difficult time, it will not last forever.

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