Children as Adults in Children's Literature Analytical Essay by write123

Children as Adults in Children's Literature
This paper looks at child characters acting as adults in literature, focusing on 'The Ozma of Oz' by Frank Baum and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.
# 105974 | 1,715 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jul 22, 2008 in Literature (Children) , Child, Youth Issues (General)

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In this article, the writer notes that there are many examples in children's literature where child characters act as adults. The writer points out that the characterizations of Alice in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' as well as Dorothy in 'Ozma of Oz are excellent examples of the phenomena in literature. The writer also points out that the reality of the phenomena is that, for the most part children's literature is created by adults, and these same adults, as children wish they had been able to act as adults, upon the arbitrary world of adults. The main characters in these two works demonstrate this phenomenon by calmly dealing with the world around them as if they had years of adult conflicts under their belt, as the desire to be recognized as having power, as a child demonstrates a desire to emulate adults and therefore resolve the arbitrary conflicts that occur in the adult world. The writer concludes that part of the the purpose of the writer is to recount the innocence of a child, and still manage to fulfill one's obligations as an adult. The writer maintains that the children in these two fantastic stories are reflecting the need to remember the fantasy of childhood as well as the obligations of adulthood, without losing either.

From the Paper:

"The resolution to resolve the arbitrary conflicts of adults, in the magical world of mystery, as well as in the real world are clear intentions of personal growth. To act as an adult, and to have the influence of an adult, is the aspiration of all children, especially in a world where such actions are recognized as brave and necessary. Adults who write works of fiction for children, remember their own days as children, being unable to navigate the mysteries of the adult world and wishing more than anything to have influence over them. The reflection of the desire, as a child to understand and resolve the mystery of the adult world is reflected in fantasy. Childhood is a period of clarity and innocence, that writers of children's works wish to retell to children of the younger generations. There is no sense of real childhood fear, as the innocence of a child drives his or her clarity in the world of adults, no matter the level of mystery. The idea of personal growth and influence, drives the child's actions, and the child seeks this recognition in the real as well as the world of imagination. Upon waking, Alice's sister, now an adult recognizes in Alice's recalled dream the nature of children and the need to remain innocent."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baum, Frank. The Ozma of Oz. Project Gutenberg Etext 1996 Retrieved October 15, 2007 from,%20Lyman%20Frank/Baum,%20Lyman%20Frank%20-%20The%20Ozma%20of%20Oz.txt
  • Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. London: Macmillan, 1898.

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