The Owl Service Seminar

How does the family in The Owl Service compare with the models seen in other children’s texts? What kind of tensions are there in the family? What questions are raised about the adolescent?


How is the landscape used in the text? Do you see continuities or differences in the portrayal of the natural world in The Owl Service in comparison to the other texts in the module? How do people relate to the environment in this text? Is this different to what we have seen previously? How does landscape affect the movements and actions of the characters? How does it link with mythology?

What kind of history and mythology is The Owl Service exploring? What is the overall message about the past that comes across? Why do artefacts have so much power?

What is the importance of the house? How is it linked with identity and rootedness in the landscape?


What is the role of class in the text? What class tensions can you detect? Consider the relationship between Alison and Gwyn and Nancy and Bertram, for example. How does the idea of ‘bettering oneself’ in The Owl Service compare to Hesba Stretton’s Fern’s Hollow? How do Nancy’s and Gwyn’s attitudes towards money compare to Clive’s?


What national tensions between the English and Welsh can you detect? How is this linked to money?

What internal dissensions can be traced between the Welsh-speaking and urban Welsh?

What role does language play in the text? How is this connected to class?

What do you make of the psychological dimension to The Owl Service?







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