The dragon has been a staple character in myths and stories in all cultures for centuries, and in most cases of Western culture, the dragon is an enemy. However, the typical role of the dragon has recently been undergoing some significant changes, particularly in the area of young adult literature. A trend has arisen in which the dragon no longer carries the connotation of evil or darkness. Instead, the dragon is being written in a number of benevolent roles including mentor and companion to the hero. The characteristics resemble those of Eastern dragons from areas such as China and Japan. How did this typical image of the dragon come about, and what does this recent change in characterization mean for the traditional role of the dragon now? Perhaps globalization has had an effect on the sharing of ideas concerning the role of the dragon in modern young adult literature. Perhaps benevolent dragons have been introduced to young adult literature as a result of increased travel between Eastern and Western nations. This paper will explore the ever changing role of that once strictly fearsome beast through the pages of young adult literature and whether globalization seems to have had any effect on stories involving these creatures.
Renfro, Miranda D.
"Redefining Dragon Depicture,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 5
, Article 5.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol5/iss1/5