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Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 33–43 | Cite as

Restorative Justice Scripts in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Voices

  • Marek C. Oziewicz
Original Paper

Abstract

This essay examines restorative justice scripting in Voices, the second volume of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Annals of the Western Shore.” Narrated by a rape-child, Voices is the story of an occupied city-state and of how the conquered and the conquerors negotiate a formula for peaceful coexistence. They are able to do so by enacting a restorative justice script. Their use of the mediation of an outsider, the wandering poet Orrec, is not unlike the use of trained mediators in victim-offender mediation programmes that operate within the restorative justice paradigm. The steps envisioned by justice scripting in Voices correspond to five general elements of the restorative justice encounter as outlined in Capeheart and Milovanovic’s model. Finally, the resolution of the conflict in the novel is centrally concerned with the reintegration of victims and offenders, involving the elements of a successful resolution in the restorative justice paradigm: apology, behavioural change, restitution and generosity. Generalizing from the example of Voices, it is argued that, in their capacity to generate ideas and feelings about justice, works of fantasy and science fiction evoke and provide what Schank calls “scripts,” thus inviting readers to consider justice imperatives in the real world by means of the cognitive scripting of acts in the fictional worlds.

Keywords

Retributive justice Scripts Fantasy “Annals of the Western Shore” 

References

  1. Capeheart, Loretta and Milovanovic, Dragan. (2007). Social Justice: Theories, Issues and Movements. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Le Guin, Ursula. (2004a). A War without End. In The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination (pp. 211–220). Boston, MA: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  3. Le Guin, Ursula. (2004b). Gifts. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  4. Le Guin, Ursula. (2006). Voices. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  5. Le Guin, Ursula. (2007). Powers. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  6. Schank, Roger C. (1990). Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Schank, Roger C. and Abelson, Robert. (1977). Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  8. Sullivan, Dennis and Tifft, Larry. (2005). Restorative Justice: Healing the Foundations of Our Everyday Lives. Monsey, NY: Willow Tree Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture, Institute of English StudiesUniversity of Wrocław, European UnionWrocławPoland

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