Do Something! Disciplinary Spaces and the Ideological Work of Play in James De Mille’s <em>The “B. O. W. C.”</em> and Richard Scrimger’s <em>Into the Ravine</em>
This analysis of a recent example of a Canadian adventure novel, Richard Scrimger’s Into the Ravine, is informed by a comparison to a nineteenth-century adventure novel, James De Mille’s The “B. O. W. C.”: A Book for Boys. I examine the development of the relationship between wilderness and domestic spaces and the ideological imperatives of the genre. As the locus of adventure moves from “real” wilderness spaces to the domesticated spaces of ravine and suburb, I suggest that play replaces survival as the ideological subtexts of young adult fiction. For the boys of contemporary Canadian adventure novels, the ravine becomes a complex moral geography shaped by the reactionary panic of modern adults.