“It Never Hurts to Keep Looking for Sunshine”: The Motif of Depression in Works for Children and Youth Inspired by Classical Antiquity





mental health, Greek mythology, Laura Orvieto, Rachel Smythe, Patricia Satjawatcharaphong, Anastasia Gorshkova


The paper analyzes a handful of works for children and youth that are based on mythology and deal with depression, a topic that is becoming more frequent in contemporary children’s and young adults’ culture, mainly because of the need to break the mental he­alth taboo. These are the newest edition of Laura Orvieto’s Storie di bambini molto antichi (2014, first published in 1937), Rachel Smythe’s digital comics Lore Olympus (2018–2020), Patricia Satjawatcha­raphong’s short animation Reflection (2010), and the webcomic series Therapy created by Anastasia Gorshkova (2019–2020). They provide examples from literary and audio-visual culture for very young re­aders and more adult teenagers and youth, raising the issue of deep sadness utilizing storytelling and not in a didactic way. Some of the protagonists struggling with the problem are far from lively chara­cters in conventional interpretations of the myths (including Hades, Hydra, or Medusa), so the texts play upon stereotypes entrenched in the culture. It appears that children’s works inspired by classical antiquity have significant interpretative potential and educational value – as well as the ability to surprise the audience.


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18. 12. 2020




How to Cite

Rejter, Dorota, Hanna Paulouskaya, and Angelina Gerus. 2020. “‘It Never Hurts to Keep Looking for Sunshine’: The Motif of Depression in Works for Children and Youth Inspired by Classical Antiquity”. Clotho 2 (2): 127-54. https://doi.org/10.4312/clotho.2.2.127-154.