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Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

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Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Sondos » 27 Dec 2011, 23:09

Hello, I am writing an undergraduate essay on post-1945 children's literature, particularly changing presentations of parenthood. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions of particular Enid Blyton books which portray parenthood (or children replacing parents) in interesting ways. I would very much appreciate your help and would be happy to give due credit in my essay. Thank you.
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 27 Dec 2011, 23:18

Welcome, Sondos. The Six Bad Boys, a stand-alone novel, gives a fascinating insight into how parenthood was viewed in the 1950s, with various families being compared and contrasted and the behaviour of the children (some of whom join a gang and go off the rails) being directly related to their upbringing. Enid Blyton says in her 'Note for the Reader' at the front of the book: "Are you a child? Or are you a grown-up? It doesn't much matter, with this book. It is written for the whole family, and for anyone who has to do with children. It is written, as all stories are written, to entertain the reader - but it is written too to explain some of the wrong things there are in the world, and to help put them right."
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Sondos » 27 Dec 2011, 23:24

Anita Bensoussane wrote:Welcome, Sondos. The Six Bad Boys, a stand-alone novel, gives a fascinating insight into how parenthood was viewed in the 1950s, with various families being compared and contrasted and the behaviour of the children (some of whom join a gang and go off the rails) being directly related to their upbringing. Enid Blyton says in her 'Note for the Reader' at the front of the book: "Are you a child? Or are you a grown-up? It doesn't much matter, with this book. It is written for the whole family, and for anyone who has to do with children. It is written, as all stories are written, to entertain the reader - but it is written too to explain some of the wrong things there are in the world, and to help put them right."


Thank you Anita, I'll definitely have a look.
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby mynameisdumbnuts » 28 Dec 2011, 00:41

You might find "Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm" and "Six Cousins Again" interesting because of the contrasting parents, especially the mothers. "Six Cousins Again" is the one where it really stands out, but I think it would help to read the first book for context.

Good luck!
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Viv of Ginger Pop » 28 Dec 2011, 00:53

The Adventure series is about a reconstructed family.

At the start Mrs Mannering is a widow working all hours at her business to support her two children, who then stay with relatives in the holidays. By the end of the series she has a new husband, and two additional adopted children - plus parrot! :lol:

Children at Green Meadows has a stressed out mother, and a dad who was injured in the war and now confined to a wheelchair

House at the Corner and Family at Red Roofs are also worth a look

http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/book ... the-Corner

Then... Mr Golly the Garage owner is the most successful businessman in Toy Village, and somehow ends up with a son like Gilbert!

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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 28 Dec 2011, 11:07

The Barney Mystery series is also interesting. Mr. Lynton as a father is a remote disciplinarian and breadwinner who spends little time with his children while his wife looks after the house, organises the family and keeps things as calm and peaceful as possible. Snubby and Barney manage without parents for much of the series, and Barney's parentage is out of the ordinary.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Moonraker » 28 Dec 2011, 11:25

Take care, Sondos, before you know it you'll be hooked! :D
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Viv of Ginger Pop » 29 Dec 2011, 11:08

Moonraker wrote:Take care, Sondos, before you know it you'll be hooked! :D


Crumbs - this is getting to be a big topic!

How about the travelling families? There is a right mixture from close knit to child abuse!

This is a really interesting one
http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/book ... +Circus%21

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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby dsr » 31 Dec 2011, 01:57

The Secret Island has a child (Jack) acting as a surrogate parent to three others when their parents disappear in a plane crash. Not an adult in sight after the first few chapters.

Bear in mind that nearly all these parents are middle-class, to whom "poor" means "can hardly afford boarding school fees". Though of course that's true of many early post-war children's books.
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Sondos » 04 Jan 2012, 20:41

Good grief! Thank you so much for the positive advice everybody. I'm overwhelmed by the number of responses.
Will definitely have a look at the suggested titles.
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Viv of Ginger Pop » 05 Jan 2012, 00:14

Have you seen this?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16409882

Are there any contemporary children's writers who concern themselves with happy kids in loving families?

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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Tony Summerfield » 05 Jan 2012, 11:37

Viv of Ginger Pop wrote:Are there any contemporary children's writers who concern themselves with happy kids in loving families?

viv


There are some terrific Children's authors around today, the standard of children's books has gone up enormously in the last few years and many of the books have complex plots and are very well researched. However, I am not sure that the 'happy kids in loving families' leads to an exciting book to read.

Enid used to build up the excitement by getting the adults out of the way and you often cannot say too much about the families. It is difficult to say that Julian & Co. came from a loving family when they seem keen to pack them off at any opportunity!
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Re: Parenthood. Undergraduate essay

Postby Moonraker » 05 Jan 2012, 11:48

It wouldn't seem that many of Enid's families could be called loving! Children were tolerated to a differing degree, and disciplined by fear of a thrashing. I would say that families are much more 'loving' today than they were in the post war years. Good to see that south London isn't as bad as black cab drivers think!
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