Childrens Stories WITH THE Nineteenth Century English Literature Essay

memorable adventures that stay popular today. Children continue steadily to feel the heartaches of heroines such as Jo March in Louisa May Alcotts Little Women -which has never eliminated out of print out, (Watson, 2009, p13) and eagerly switch the internet pages of Robert Louis Stevenson's colonialist Treasure Island to read about Jim's adventures and bravery. Yet these relatively fun-filled Bildungsroman tales are reliant upon a value-system delineated by patriarchal constructions of gendered social jobs of the later nineteenth century where they were written. Both books overtly show that in order to accomplish personal value or capital (and therefore maturity), the youngster and girls of these stories are anticipated to succumb to the interpersonal expectations identified by their individual genders, ultimately exchanging their juvenile flexibility with responsibility and obligation. Consequently, for the purpose of this essay, fatherhood has been interpreted as important masculine power that invests both instruction and support in attaining this maturity. These depictions will be likened and contrasted in an attempt to dispute that despite absent fathers, seemingly contrary contexts, perspectives and closely gendered ideals, these novels both depict fatherhoods that task the gendered 'assumptions and worth underpinning the imperial beliefs and identities. . of the period' (Montgomery, 2009, p108. ) Whilst 'seek(ing) to empower young readers to become active providers of future change'(Sambell, Audience 2, p. 386) by challenging the apparent 'trip from domesticity' (Tosh, 1999, p4)of the time.

Little Women and Treasure Island stand at the threshold of changing notions about years as a child (and consequent changes in children's books), between more didactic literature from earlier in the century, and the greater purely amusing books written later. Little Women, focusing on four sisters in a middle-class New England domestic setting, offers particular insight in to the changing position of fatherhood to young girls and ladies in American Civil Warfare population, whilst Treasure Island forefronts an imperial masculine personality aimed towards Uk kids in the elevation of colonial expansion (Montgomery, 2009, p74). These differing contexts are crucial to consider as they provide as a "frame" by which the kid, and (importantly) parent, reader would interpret the authors' text messages and ideals of fatherhood, and eventually contributed to their success. The comparability of the depictions of fatherhood will begin by analysing Alcott's portrayal of key father-figures within Little Women, accompanied by a comparative research of fatherhood issues resolved in Treasure island.

The March family, with the initially absent daddy, portrays a female-dominated home world where men, including Laurie, Mr. Lawrence, publishers, suitors, and even Mr. March, play second fiddle. However, the patriarchal contemporary society of that time period dictate that, just as Jim Hawkins' journey towards accruing capital must be initiated by an investment of masculine capital, the lessons of domestic virtue within Little Women are always framed within the context of actually or ethereally present father-figures. Mr. March's notice sparks his daughters' journeys toward virtue in the book and he's acknowledged as the guiding way to obtain Marmee's goodness as well as providing the time body for the first 1 / 2 of the book. When Jo questions her mother about how she learned to control her emotions, she changes to the example Mr. March place before her. She claims;

'He never manages to lose patience, never concerns or complains, but always hopes, and works

and waits so cheerfully that a person is ashamed to do in any other case before him. He helped

and comforted me, and confirmed me that I have to try to practice all the virtues I

would have my little girls possess, for I was their example. ' (p76)

Through Alcott's use of heterodiegetic narrative the audience is shown how each of her daughters make an effort to end up being the selfless, loving girl that Marmee symbolizes, and by making Mr March the foundation of her goodness, Alcott features all moral power and value to him. Alcott, through Mr March, constructed the house and Marmee herself, so that even though he is gone she remains in back of, reinforcing the values of the patriarchal local authority her man instilled within her. Alcott expresses (perhaps a little too earnestly) that regardless of the clear image of the 'five energetic women [who] seemed to rule the house' (p229) he remains 'head of the family' (p230) and the primary source of social value and power in the March family.

These (frequent) explicit assertions of dependence on masculine validation and portrayal of domesticated manliness however, are in complete contrast to the image Alcott uses of his come back as an 'invalid' (p168)'muffled up to the eyes'(p164). This 'busted man leaning on his wife's arm' (Fetterley, p26), consigned to the collection in most of the storyplot, seemingly contradicts the patriarchal assertions that Alcott loudly professes throughout. Similarly, as Fetterley asserts, Mr March's health problems is 'consigned to the distant qualifications and only vaguely described ' (ibid) instead hinting at a new form of patriarchal role-model; one that performs second fiddle to 'God and Mom' (p181).

Alcott's use of Intertextuality in the thematic elements of Pilgrim's Improvement woven throughout the plot reaffirm her spiritual ideologies and point out the novel's links to more didactic mother nature. Religious becomes a masculine specialist of piety and determination to whom the March females look for direction and strength. Likewise, the March young ladies are consistently instructed to call upon their "Heavenly Dad" to help them endure their burdens. Girls therefore have three ethereal masculine numbers of moral specialist steering them as they figure out how to fulfil their gendered functions: their father (in his lack), God, and Christian. When girls need the physical presence of a man, they have got Laurie:

The girls describe Laurie as 'a amazing youngster' (p278) whom they use as a standard to measure both other teenagers and their own behavior; Angry Jo's ill temper is highlighted when 'even good-natured Laurie had a quarrel with her' (p104); Vain Meg first realises her misconduct through Laurie's disapproval in 'Vanity Good' (p87); timid Beth is shown Laurie as a style of achievement without conceit (p67); and selfish Amy is saved from thin snow by his composure, from dreary Aunt March by his capacity to captivate, and from an unsuitable marriage by his reprimand (p74, 180, 397). Yet, not surprisingly conformance to the traditional daddy role, the human relationships also show reciprocal as Laurie is also informed by the March girls: It is Amy who urges Laurie to 'wake up and become a man' (p384), Jo who manages his relationship along with his grandfather (p198-203) and he himself credits them 'for an integral part of my education' (p429) leading to newly received 'manly' virtues (p395. )

This re-education of the male personas to conform with the female model that the women provide, along with Marmee's pleas for the equivalent engagement of fatherhood in family life(p366), is put into progressively successful practice by each of her sons-in-law.

Fetterley represents how when Jo gets final father-figure, her 'big man' or 'Papa Bhaer. . her rebellion is neutralized' (p29) and advises Alcott's conformity with the gendered assumptions of fatherhood, yet once more there are signs that covertly task this view. Jo and Friedrich display the most reformation of the traditional family for the reason that Jo 'selects the life improve herself and her partner, and the setting because of their new institution' (Dalke, p563). She actually is financially indie and ultimately becomes accountable for educating boys.

It is the opportunities provided by the strength and stability of the March matriarchy for reinventing manhood that lead the husbands, sons and fathers of Little Women to be re-educated by the women they love. Love which becomes, by the novel's end, not the energy play defined by Fetterley, but rather an take action performed mutually by both mothers and fathers to promote the reformation of an patriarchal contemporary society by beginning with the reformation of an individual family.

Like Little Women, Treasure Island can be read as a Bildungsroman, yet, in direct compare it requires a rite of passing of Jim Hawkins' predominately autodiegetic (retrospective) narration of his trip to maturity from which, as Stevenson records, 'Women were excluded' (xxvi) (with the exception of Jim's mother and Captain Flint- who notably gets the last word in this masculine book. ) Whilst Little Women is saturated with numbers of masculine power and advice, Treasure Island subject areas its protagonist to little if any immediate masculine, patriarchal authority as Jim's daddy is fatally ill and soon dies. Yet, unlike Alcott's explicit portrayal of what the kids should and really should not be, the men Jim involves admire are neither wholly good nor bad examples; both contain attributes Jim admires and traits he detests, and Jim's success of independent adult identity lies in his own negotiation of father characters and rival male groupings, reaffirming the 'ideology of individualism' (Loxley, p63) and, like Little Women, emphasising the writers' notion in the need for change.

In distinction to Mr March, Jim's biological daddy is immediately portrayed as vulnerable and lacking of power. Jim's lack of respect because of this authority is confirmed when he needs Billy Bone fragments' money to stand watch rather than helping his dad as he should. Stevenson's focalisation through 'young Jim' (Montgomery, 2009, p99) of his vulnerable, 'poor daddy' (p11) whose 'unsatisfied loss of life' (p10) was attributed to his 'terror' (p10) heightens the sense of disappointment and assists to justify Jim's take pleasure in the company of men as different from his father as he can find. Jim's disappointment in the 'chicken-hearted men' (p32) in town is also clear; none of whom offer to help his mother retrieve the money owed to her (ibid) and it is instead left to a woman and a boy. Stevenson's choice of these weak male authorities advises a failing model of masculinity, frail in the risk of adversity. Jim's dad struggles to contend with the issues induced by the pirate; his boy, and wife, however, can.

In Jim's goal for self-definition it becomes clear that, right away, Jim respects Long John Magic and prefers him to all other father-figures wanted to him. Among the list of gentlemen, the Squire is too imperceptive and too gullible to transport sufficient moral power, and too self-involved to be aware of Jim's needs. Captain Smollet, from the start, establishes himself as stern and uncompromising. Only Dr Livesey shows any readiness to react emotionally to Jim, as Sandison advises, his 'self-assured authority' (p55), 'innate compassion' and demonstrable 'integrity' (p56) establish him up as an appropriate 'choice moral power' (p57) but Stevenson questions this choice as a father-figure through his (pirate-like) 'mercenary pursuit of profit' (Loxley, p75).

Silver's clean and well-run inn, his appearance, demeanour, and the evident efficiency with which he works his establishment, plainly win over Jim and immediately contrasts are attracted to his natural father's inability to perform his own inn (ibid. ) The connection between the two fathers is quickly established and carries on when Silver precious metal almost immediately takes on Jim's education at the docks (p72-73, ) more than we've been told Jim's dad ever bestowed after his kid. Stevenson differentiates Gold from other pirates - such as Flint and Pew, who 'passed away a beggar-man' (p106) - by emphasising how he has a wife and has his money properly spent. Trelawney launched him as 'a man of product': 'he has a banker's profile which includes never been overdrawn' (p69. ) Sterling silver, too, boasts about his financial success: 'I laid by nine hundred safe, from Great britain, and two thousand after Flint all safe in bank or investment company' (p101). Magic has an enthusiastic vision for accounts and cost savings, equally as those pillars of the city, the doctor and the squire, are eager to get their hands on pirate treasure.

At chances with the increasingly industrial and imperial world in which Treasure Island was written, was the earlier idea that 'the home sphere. . . is important to masculinity'(Tosh, 1999, p4). In this romantic adventure-story filled with gentlemen, Stevenson leaves a enduring impression that the most excellent are: a guy of fourteen; whose activities from the start are driven by a desire to protect his mother and home, and a crippled pirate; really the only committed adult in the publication besides Jim's daddy. These heroes operate in an absence of conventional nineteenth century satisfactory masculinity, yet they affirm characteristics ascribed to the gentleman as, first, a hubby and a dad. Stevenson's critique of masculinity in the empire, lies in the depiction of Sterling silver as paternal surrogate dad to Jim. It really is this non-biological redefinition of the father-son romance in Treasure Island -which Stevenson wrote with source from his young stepson-that the effectiveness of his argument is placed.

Stevenson relatively blames the empire for the erosion of British fathers' importance in their children's lives. His juxtaposition of treasure-seeking pirates and gentlemen as probable fathers for Jim portrays scathing critiques of the types of men created by greed, capitalism, and colonialism, and features the need for the individual child to be mindful of false claims for trip. By the end of the book, Stevenson's view of the British isles Victorian gentleman emerges as part pirate and part child, but most of all, like the fathers of Little Women both focused on their roles in the family.

Despite the clear contrasts in approach, context, subject matter and design of fatherhoods depicted in Little Women and Treasure Island, similarities have been outlined in the authors' subversion of nineteenth century patriarchal ideals. Both texts have been shown to implicitly promote domesticity in their key father figures, whilst pushing reformation of the traditional family model by rewarding individualism and therefore 'seek(ing) to enable young readers to be active agencies of future change' (Sambell, Reader 2, p. 386. )

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