The Abandoned Child Research Paper by Miller

The Abandoned Child
Traces the abandoned child archetype in children's literature.
# 108595 | 3,258 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Oct 17, 2008 in Literature (Children)

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The paper notes that abandonment, trial, struggle and triumph are elements which come together to create the familiar monomyth that people have been growing up with for millenia. This paper proves that the archetype of the abandoned child is historically the most predominant genesis for the child hero, and traces the evolution of this theme through children's literature from earliest stories to modern fiction by exploring characters from mythology, fairy tales, and contemporary children's literature.

From the Paper:

"One last example of the abandoned child archetype in mythology appears in the story of Romulus and Remus, which illustrates that the archetype can apply not only to single orphans but to orphaned siblings, or even close friends as well. Closely following the story of Ion, the twins are a product of Ares rape of a woman, and are left to die of exposure. This time, the outside help came in the form of the god of the Tiber River, Tiberinus, who used its power to bear the twins to safety. However, the twins were first recovered not by man, but by animal, and suckled on a she-wolf until they were rescued, again, by another Shepard. Years passed, and together the twins fought many battles, which culminated in the foundation of Rome."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barry, J.M. Peter Pan. HarperFestival. 2003.
  • Byrne, John. Superman (Various). D.C. Comics.
  • Campbell, Joeseph. The Hero with A Thousand Faces. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ. 1949.
  • Fordham, Frieda. The Care of Repressed Patients and the Child Archetype. Journal of Analytical Psychology; Jan1964, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p61, 13p.
  • Hallman, Ralph J. The Archetypes in Peter Pan. Journal of Analytical Psychology; Jan1969, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p65-73, 9p

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