Children's Literature Becoming an Equalizer Essay

Children's Literature Becoming an Equalizer Essay

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“While we are undeniably a multicultural society, we are not yet a truly pluralistic society where persons of every ethnic background and race share equal access to opportunities for empowering their lives and have the right to pursue their own good.” (Bundy, 1992) The upperclass were wise to the importance of reading; which, is the basis for leaving England settling in America. Children’s literature started with teaching to read for the expressed purpose of understanding the word of a higher power and living accordingly. The importance of literacy becomes more apparent as society falls in to war. Furthermore, many authors, philosophers and many other important figures in history impacted children’s literature, expanding on the original idea reading is an equalizer.
In Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke “…stated that people are born without ideas—that is, with a blank mind—directly challenging the belief that people are born with certain knowledge already implanted.” (Batten, 2011). His influences are found through out history of not only children’s literature but also government. Society at the time was in a power struggle between old and new ideas. The upperclass, or royal court, members were well educated and comfortable with keeping the rest ignorant to maintain control. Puritans were a threat because they expected people to be responsible for themselves and their actions. Reading was a very important aspect in obtaining knowledge and passing it along to later generation. Consequently, the idea to educate everyone preparing society for Jean-Jacques and the moral tales of the 18th Century.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “maintained that children were born innocent but were later corrupted by society.” (Susina, 2004), as ...


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...ope, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. Ed. Jonathan Dewald. Vol. 5. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. 266-268. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2014.

SUSINA, JAN. "Children's Literature." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: In History and Society. Ed. Paula S. Fass. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 178-185. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2014.

”Defoe, Daniel (1660–1731)." Encyclopedia of European Social History. Ed. Peter N. Stearns. Vol. 6: Biographies/Contributors. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. 71-72. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2014.

"Adventure Stories." The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English. N.p.: Cambridge UP, 2001. N. pag. Credo Reference. 1 Jan. 2002. Web. 27 May 2014. .

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