Tom 27 (2021)

Nie tylko o Buce. Egzemplifikacje i ewolucje motywu lęku w książkach o Muminkach Tove Jansson

Hanna Dymel-Trzebiatowska

Strony: 39-49



The article discusses the motif of fear in nine illustrated books about the Moomins by Tove Jansson. Methodologically, the study is a qualitative analysis from the perspective of the double address, the psychological differentiation between the concepts of fear and anxiety, and the iconotextual reading. Although Moomin Valley has been traditionally perceived as a literary arcadia, the plot of the books is surprisingly often interwoven with disasters and dangers, including a volcanic eruption, a freezing winter, a comet, floods, and frequent storms. Jansson employed these motifs — evoking fear triggered by substantive causes — in the contents addressed to inexperienced recipients. She did it intentionally and was convinced that children enjoy fear as long as the story ends happily. In this context a particularly sophisticated character is the Groke, which is usually considered as the most terrifying monster in the series. She appears in four volumes — Finn Family Moomintroll (1948), The Exploits of Moominpappa (1950), Moominland Midwinter (1957), Moomin pappa at Sea (1965) — and the analysis proves that her characterization signifi cantly evolves. Her nuanced nature is from the beginning available to more experienced readers, since it is included in the visual representation, disputing the verbal. Furthermore, the Groke appears to be a hybrid character, as she evokes both fear relating to a specific object and anxiety stemming from an unknown threat — in fact, there are no rational reasons for fearing her.