2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Clubs and Axes: Truth, Prejudice, and Satire in Terry Pratchett's Thud!
Amy E. Reynolds
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Terry Pratchett's Thud! (2005), the latest in this British author's series about the Discworld, combines fantasy with satire to expose stereotypes in both the realm of fantasy and the realm of modern society. Nowhere in the book is this better demonstrated than in the relationship between the trolls and the dwarves, two ancestral enemies who have been fighting one another on and off for centuries. And as the anniversary of their first official battle, Koom Valley, draws near, it falls to Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, to make sure they don't replay the battle in his city—the sprawling, semi-medieval metropolis of Ankh-Morpork. This paper will analyze how Pratchett employs the racial tensions between trolls and dwarves to expose prejudice, manipulate fantasy archetypes, and defy social stereotypes that mirror our own fears, intolerance, and ignorance. I will also explore how the conflicts in this novel can be seen as a reflection of the postmodern problems that plague both our "real" and Pratchett's fantastical worlds.

Keywords: Terry Pratchett, Thud!, prejudice, postmodern


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 24-1
Location: OP 2113
Time: 9:45 am

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