Constructing Childhood: The History of Early Children s Literature and the Place of Fairy Tales - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Constructing Childhood: The History of Early Children s Literature and the Place of Fairy Tales

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    1. Constructing Childhood: The History of Early Childrens Literature and the Place of Fairy Tales English 507 Dr. Karen Roggenkamp Image: Orbis Sensualium Picture Facsimile of 1672 English Edition

    3. Analyze childrens literature in order to . . . Uncover cultures ideal views of childhood Examine societys concept of self Interrogate individual authors relationship to broader cultural contexts Viewed across time, provides insight into our own concepts of childhood and normalcy Image: Arthur B. Houghton, Mother and Children Reading, 1860

    4. What did childhood mean? Key shifts: Augustinian paradigm (17th Century, Puritans): Children innately corrupt, sinful; animalistic nature (self will) must be constrained; spiritual objectives; instruction through punishment Educationalist paradigm (18th century; Locke): Childrens minds offer a blank slate (tabula rasa) on which to write; neither good nor evil by nature; intellectual and moral objectives; instruction through logic and reason; literature to instruct and delight Natural Educationalist paradigm (18th-19th centuries; Rouseau): Children innately pure, wise; childlikeness (self will) must be developed and protected from corrupting social institutions; emotional and moral objectives; instruction through non-directive means 40 years ago: children need to read about harsh realities of life

    5. Childrens Lit in Ancient World (roughly 50 BCE / BC - 500 CE / AD) Oral tales heard, not read Hybrid audiencechildren and adults alike Aesops Fablesanimal tales with pointed moralsnot just for children Guide/shape citizenry; entertain Image: John Ogilby, The Fables of Aesop, 1673-75

    6. Middle Ages (500 1500) Low literacyclass-based Childhood generally ignoredshort and not so sweet Little adultscf. portraiture Medieval epics, romances, histories for adults also held childrens interest (e.g. Beowulf, King Arthur, Robin Hood, lives of saints, historical legends, etc.)

    7. Medieval Fables (500 1500) Mingle reality with magic, fantasy, enchantment; animal characters Literature rich with childlike elements (wonder, mystery, fantasy, etc.) Gesta Romanorum (Deeds of the Romans), late 13th century: moral tales; animal tales; familiar story plots for centuries to come (Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare) Image: Early Manuscript, Gesta Romanorum

    8. European Renaissance (1500 1650) Printing Press (mid 15th century): Print books in quantityreduce time, labor, cost Increased literacy, promoted education, disseminated knowledge and practice of reading Eventually change nature of childhood, childrens literature, and fairy tales Image: Replica of early Gutenberg press

    9. Bad Boys and Girls: Protestantism, 17th-century Puritans, & Roots of Modern Childhood Ideal of universal literacy Children products of original sin; prepare for adult religious experience Instructional books, conduct books Primers: teach reading, but also turn innately sinful children into spiritual beings Themes of death, damnation, conversion Image: From New England Primer, circa 1690

    10. A little light bedtime reading . . . Popular reading for Protestant children: Book of Martyrs (1563), Anti-Catholic account of Bloody Mary The Day of Doom (1662), poem of damnation of world Images: Thomas Foxe, Book of Martyrs, 1563; Michael Wigglesworth, The Day of Doom, 1662

    11. Children can be Reasonable, too: The Enlightenment (late 17th, 18th centuries): John Locke (1632-1704) Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) Young mind as tabula rasa (blank slate) Children not burdened by original sin Logical beings awaiting proper educationrational writings Whole new construction of childhooddistinct phase of life Image: John Locke

    12. Romanticism (late 18th, early 19th centuries): Enter Innocence Jean-Jacques Rousseau Emile (1755)Children should be raised in natural settings, free to imagine Children naturally innocent, moral The child is the father of the man (Wordsworth) Books should free childrens imaginations Romantics influence writers of Golden Age Image: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    13. Folktales, Fairy Tales, and the New Child Complicated role of fairy tales in literary history of 18th, 19th centuries Romantic interest in folktalescollect authentic culture But Enlightenment thinkers disapprovefolk culture too childlike and fantastic Fairy tales eventually deemed appropriate only for children and the folk (peasant, simple, lower class) More educated could be intellectually interested in folk culture and the LITERARY tale

    14. Key Figures of Literary Fairy Tale Charles Perrault (1628-1703) Tales from Times Past; or, Tales of Mother Goose (1697) Retellings & literary renderings of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, etc. Some explicitly directed toward children Image: Histoires ou Contes du temps pass avec des moralitez, 1697

    15. Key Figures of Literary Fairy Tale Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Nursery and Household Tales (1812-1815) directed explicitly toward children Clean up folktales; develop Perraults literary fairy tales Rewrite to fit 19th-century sensibilities and ideas about morality, politics, social class, etc. Image: Little Brother & Little Sister and Other Tales by the Brothers Grimm, illus. Arthur Rackham, 1917