Guess what I did last week? I handed in my bachelor thesis! Now I don’t usually write about my school work on my blog, but since I’ve been talking about it before and I’m actually quite proud of it, I thought I’d share this. It’s written in Swedish, but in English, the title would be something like: “I wish somebody would write a story about the people who warm up the heroes afterwards.” An analysis of gender stereotypes in Tove Jansson’s Moomin books. Tove Jansson was a Swedish-speaking Finnish children’s book author, illustrator and painter, and she’s mostly famous for her books about the Moomins, which she wrote and illustrated herself. There’s also a tv series that’s based on the books, which you might have seen if you grew up in the 90s like me.
In my thesis, I compared the gender stereotypes in two of the Moomin books: Trollkarlens hatt (Finn Family Moomintroll) and Trollvinter (Moominland Midwinter). What I found out was that in Finn Family Moomintroll, the characters were portrayed pretty stereotypically, although this may also be interpreted as irony at some points, whereas in Moominland Midwinter, the characters were breaking the gender stereotypes. Moomin is probably the most complex character: he is very sensitive but also smart, and he loves adventure, but sometimes he just wants to be safe at home. This probably explains why he, along with Little My, who doesn’t care one bit about what other people think of her, and Too-ticky, who’s very dreamy and philosophical and questions basically everything, is one of my favourite characters.
So, that’s how things ended with my thesis. I thought it was interesting to write about a literary subject for a change. Even though I’ve written two of these papers before, I feel like I have learned a lot during the process of writing this one, and it was the first time I actually enjoyed it. So tell me, have you ever read the Moomin books or watched the series?