An Exploration of the Effects of Alternate Realities on One’s Identity through Neverwhere and The Neverending Story.
by Noemie Voss and Phong Nguyen
Category: Social Sciences
Abstract – One perspective on identity is how it is shaped by a person’s subjective and spatial reality. Where how one perceives and experiences the world, as well as the immediate environment that they are in, defines a person’s reality. Due to this, reality stands as a paramount foundation to a person’s core identity. Yet, there are many ways of experiencing different realities such as in fantasies, dreams, virtual reality etc. This concept is a fundamental cornerstone of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. Both novels present the protagonists being subjected to both their everyday reality and the alternate fantasy of the respective novel. Through this, an exploration on concepts of escapism and identity work as the authors showcase their characters being consumed by the fantasy. This establishes the theme of the novels: fantasy diverts one from their reality. Exploring this notion, it is apparent how the two authors are able to put forth separate commentaries on the effects of different realities on identity.