jueves, 18 de junio de 2009

Going Back To Our Childhood

How many times were you told “Once upon a time....” during your infancy? Most probably more than,or at least, three times.
Literarture dedicated to children has been in used for many years. However, the sense and even the intentonality towards a child has varied notably.

One of the most controversial issues is the fact of elaborating a complete and clear definition of Literature for Children; it will depend on: whether the books are written for children in general, chosen by children as readers or chosen for children by adults such as parents, teachers and specialists. On the whole,this kind of literature will comprise picture books, myths,fables, legends,fairy tales,fantasy fiction,realistic fiction,poetry and verse, nonsense literature,comics,and nursery rhymes in accordance with the age and the developmental cognitive structure of the child.
The development of this way of writing has suffered a large number of changes over time. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance there was a reduced group who could enjoy books, the upper classes. Ocassionally if a child listened to some story by those days, as didactic principles were not fashionable yet, this would be told the same as adults. Just a few books were destinated to the youngest: they focused on learning the alphabet containing sentences that were based on rules of social and religiouos behaviour. In this period, the invention of the printing press contributed the spread of books including the books designed for children.
Once the 17th C & 18th C arrived, a new tendency took place. Pictures were considered as important as written words. The pionner was Comenius in 1658 with his work “Orbis Sensualium Pictus” in which he assocciated a word with a picture. Charles Perrault also became a representative author in this branch dedicated to children, introducing a series of fairy tales in 1697.
Finally, with the arrival of the 19thC, another paradigm began to be taken into account. Now apart from the visual aspect, literary nonsense was arising; its atractiveness was to show imaginary characters (elves, fairies, ghosts and witches) living in a magic world full of bizarre episodes all along the entire story.

This sort of Literature has varied a great deal lately.However it persisted in time and still keeps alive in spite of the changes it suffered. The issue here is not to restict our kids from literature but to promote the interest towards reading from very early ages of life, letting them feel and relive the magic world of literature

jueves, 4 de junio de 2009


“Little Red Riding Hood- Bettelheim’s Analysis Summarized”.(1) ; “The Effects Of Classic Fairy Tales”.(2) ; “Little Red Riding Hood, From Vikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia”(3)

Available at:
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843 (1)
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/63547/Bruno-Bettelheim (2)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Riding_Hood (3)

Little Red Riding Hood, Bruno Bettelheim’s Phychological Analysis:

Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale which has several versions. However, Bruno Bettelheim in his book The Uses Of Enchantment, where he shapes a phychoanalitical look, will be based on two authors mainly, Charles Perrault and the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The main difference resides in the way the endings are told: on one hand , Perrault finishes the story when Little Red Riding Hood arrives her grandmother's home and, after an answer- question conversation between the girl and the wolf, she goes to bed next to the animal and it eats her whereas Grimm's brothers tell us a more modernized and known close: she enters the house, makes the questions, the wolf jumps out of bed and swallows her as well as he had eaten her grand mum before she got into the bedroom; the wolf falls asleep and after his nap a hunter kills him and rescues Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother from the wolf belly.
So, after an intensive analysis, Bettelheim's conclusions are:
§ The litlle girl is not that innocent , instead she represents the constitution of premature sexuality, for example,when the wolf(which embodies the father's figure) eats her because she, unconsciously, wants the wolf seduces her, and so it does.
§ The fact that the wolf eats her grandmother(=mother )means that the little girl wishes her mother would not exist so as to have her father only for her.
§ The hunter also symbolises the father when he cuts the wolf belly, in the sense that he is closely involved in the pregnancy and “rebirth” of the child.
§ The red colour has to do with her unconscious sexual desires
§ The hood, a present from her granny that comprises the sexual attractiveness inherited from an old woman

There are other interpretations as from this fairy tale:
-The opening “Once upon a time”, as Bettelheim proposes “this deliberate vagueness in the beginning of fairy tales symbolises that we are leaving the concrete world of ordinary reality”
-The happy ending, which satisfies reader's wish of justice: the wolf disappears from the story when the huntsman kills it because the "bads" are always punished.
-The importance of the figure of the woman as a main character: suggesting the idea of equality between men and women within society.
-The moral:do not believe in strangers even if they behave kindly, in order to prepare children to insert them into adults' society.