Distorted Mirrors & Fantastical Reflections Encounters with the Other in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
Haar, M. ter
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Throughout our lives, we encounter people that are different or other, and people have demonised and distrusted those others. The fear of the other is mirrored in the stories we tell. Fantasy worlds allow the author to create a world separated from the real one, where we can meet new conceptions of the other. This thesis examines which others we encounter within the Watch sequence, part of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, answering the research question: What Others do we encounter in the Discworld series, and how does Terry Pratchett use humour and fantasy to interrogate our conceptions of the Other? The theoretical part will first discuss who the other is, and how she has been theorised, then define Fantasy as a genre, and explore why it is suitable for examining social questions. The theoretical part ends with an exploration of humour, including the types of humour used within the Discworld series. This thesis then analyses three different types of others that are encountered on the Discworld: the Racial Other, the Nonhuman Other, and the Dehumanised Other. An analysis of these Others shows that The Watch sequence offers a funny, heartfelt plea to accept those who might be different, marginalised, or actively maligned.