Date of Thesis


Thesis Type

Masters Thesis



First Advisor

Jean Peterson


The purpose of this thesis was to examine the ways in which the fantasy genre is ideally positioned for discussing social issues, such as invisibility and liminality. Elements associated with invisibility, such as poverty, homelessness, and alienation, were explored within two novels by Neil Gaiman: Neverwhere and American Gods. Gaiman's application of these elements within the fantasy genre were juxtaposed with samples from other genres, including Plato's 'Parable of the Cave' and Jennifer Toth's The Mole People. Another aim was to contrast Gaiman's use of the 'beast in the sewer' metaphor with previous renditions of the myth, demonstrating how fantasy, paradoxically, offers a unique and privileged view of reality.