The Invention of Childhood by Hugh Cunningham Essay

The Invention of Childhood by Hugh Cunningham Essay

Length: 864 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Contemporary anxieties about childhood have often fuelled the incentive into historical research on the subject, with childhood enjoying a high status in our social, political and cultural debates. This has been reflected in what can be described as a ‘lively field’ of historical investigation , aiming to give us a wider perspective on the changing conceptions of childhood, and an understanding of the experiences of children through time. The publication of Philippe Ariès’ L’enfant et la vie familiale sous l’ancien regime in 1960 helped to stimulate an upsurge of interest in the field, with Ariès managing to convince most of his readers that childhood had a history, and that ideas about childhood and the experience of being a child had changed over time and in different cultures.
In this area of study, there has often been a belief that the ‘true nature’ of childhood emerged in the eighteenth century, and has since been established as a norm in Western European societies . Many of our modern ideas about childhood are indebted to eighteenth century thinkers, such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many of our modern perceptions of childish ‘nature’ can be embodied in art of the time, such as that of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Jean-Baptiste Greuze. It is therefore unsurprising that we often locate the discovery of childhood in this century, as it seems to symbolise the origin of our contemporary beliefs. Many historians repudiate this ‘true nature’ approach; Colin Heywood considers childhood not as ‘a timeless category waiting in the wings of history to be discovered’ , but as a cultural construct which is deeply determined by its historical, social and economic context. Distinctions are also drawn between the history of ch...


... middle of paper ...


...69)
Anja Muller ‘Fashioning Childhood in the Eighteenth Century’ (2006) pp.5
Hugh Cunningham ‘Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500’ (2005) pp.17
Gerrard Winstanley ‘Education of mankind, in Schools and Trades’ Chapter 5 (1652)
Anthony Flectcher ‘Gender, Sex and Subordination in England, 1500-1800’ (1999) pp. 217
Hugh Cunninham ‘The Invention of Childhood’ (2006) pp.66
William Sloane ‘Children’s Books in England and America in the Seventeenth Century’ (New York, 1955)
Clifford Orwin and Nathan Tarcov ‘The Legacy of Rousseau’ (1997) pp.xiv
Christoph Houswitschka ‘Locke’s Education or Rousseau’s Freedom’, Essay published in ‘Fashioning Childhood in the Eighteenth Century’ (2006), pp.82
Locke, 1690/1947, bk. II, chap. 1, p.26
Desiderius Erasmus ‘Collected works of Erasmus’ 1531 Edited and translated by Clarence H. Miller (2012) pp.305

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Death In The Hours by Michael Cunningham

- The men and women of "The Hours" view death as an escape from an ordinary lifestyle which lacks anything truly extraordinary or exhilarating. Laura Brown considers death as an alternative to the constraints of her role as a mother and a wife. Both Richard Brown and Virginia Woolf ultimately commit suicide in order to escape their illnesses and their failures to live up to society's expectations. Though Laura does not end her life, she does die symbolically to her family. Over the period of a day, Laura Brown gradually succumbs to her overwhelming desire to liberate herself from her mundane life....   [tags: Cunningham Hours]

Better Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

The Invention Of A Patent Essay

- ... The patent is believed to have originated in Renaissance Italy; however the first recorded patent was issued in 1449 in England, and was granted by King Henry VI. The patent protected glassblower John of Utynam, the owner of the patent, from other glassblowers using and profiting from his skills and techniques in the process of creating stained glass. The patent allowed John a monopoly on creating stained glass for the next twenty years. It is believed that the governments had allowed patents because they had viewed patents as an incentive for inventors, which would in turn improve the lifestyle of those that were able to benefit from new inventions....   [tags: Patent, Invention, Innovation, Patentability]

Better Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Homosexuality, Suicide and Feminism in Cunningham's, The Hours

- Homosexuality, Suicide and Feminism in Cunningham's, The Hours In "Man of The Hours", an interview published in People magazine, Michael Cunningham describes The Hours as "essentially an optimistic book that deals with the terrible things that happen to people"(105). More precisely, the book is about three women living in different eras and addresses several issues, among them homosexuality, suicide, and feminism. Much Cunningham's portrayal of Virginia, who is working on her famous novel "Mrs....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Cunningham's The Hours: The Mind of Virginia Wolf

- While writing a fiction novel, I would think that the writer would have to dig deep into their mind and into their heart in order for them to convey realistic emotions through their characters. This process could almost be related to hypnosis where the writer relies on his or her inner thoughts and feelings to effectively add depth to their novel's fictitious characters. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf used a technique called stream-of-consciousness in which she attempted to write the novel in the same patterns as her brain's thought process....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Free Essays
1950 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about Merce Cunningham as a Pioneer of Modern Dance

- Merce Cunningham as a Pioneer of Modern Dance In the age of conformity, Merce Cunningham has resisted the temptation to remain aligned with his peers. Cunningham has pioneered a new school of thought in dance, and has set the standard for future pioneers. He is passionate about what he does and it has been evident in his works as a dancer and a choreographer. Cunningham was born on April 16, 1919, in Centralia, Washington. At the age of twelve, Cunningham became interested in dance and started informal instruction....   [tags: Merce Cunningham Dancers Dancing Essays]

Better Essays
1475 words (4.2 pages)

Automobiles: The Greatest Invention Essay

- To many people, when they hear the word “invention” they think of clever gadgets and devices that are now common. Such as the safety pin, zippers, computers, telephones, and cars- all of which have amazing stories behind them. However the word “invention” actually goes back to the Latin word invenire for “to come upon.” Basically an invention can be any tangible device or a process, which is brought out by the human imagination. Now a lot of these inventions have helped shaped America....   [tags: Invention of the Car]

Better Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Cunningham's The Hours: A Story about Life and Death

- Cunningham's The Hours: A Story about Life and Death "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham is a complicated story that explores life and death. Cunningham attempts to distinguish his writings from author Virginia Woolf's by characterizing sanity and insanity while each protagonist contemplates their own life and suicide. Each woman in The Hours wrestles tension and confusion throughout the novel giving a sense that these issues transcend time. By introducing issues of homosexuality, infidelity, and suicide the reader is invited to think of life's experiences within the context of daily life....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Parallel Experiences of Three Troubled Women in Cunningham's, The Hours

- Parallel Experiences of Three Troubled Women in Cunningham's, The Hours According to Chronicles magazine, "Woolf was undeniably a brilliant writer." Woolf's work of Mrs. Dalloway was read by fifteen-year-old Michael Cunningham in order to impress an older girl in school. As he stated, "the book really knocked me out." Once older, Cunningham wanted to write about Mrs. Dalloway, but thought not too many people would want to read a book about reading a book. He then thought he might want to read a book about reading the right book....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Women and the Patriarchal Society in Michael Cunningham's The Hours

- Women Pressured by the Demands of a Patriarchal Society in Michael Cunningham's The Hours In Michael Cunningham's The Hours, Laura Brown, one of the novel's protagonists, is trapped by the responsibility of being a housewife and mother. Cunningham's story uses one of Virginia Woolf's works, Mrs. Dalloway, as a template to weave the lives of three women together in a narrative delicately split into three branching tales that echo each other. One branch of the story leads to a fictional account of Virginia Woolf creating the first draft of her famous novel....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

Essay about Lawrence S. Cunningham's The Catholic Faith: An Introduction

- Lawrence S. Cunningham's The Catholic Faith: An Introduction Lawrence S. Cunningham's The Catholic Faith: An Introduction is a difficult book to muster up a response to. One is tempted to quip "there it no there there,"although more accurately I would say that there is little there that inspires much more than an indifferent shrug in response. Perhaps the blame lay in the purpose of the book, which is set out first to not be "an encyclopedia of Catholic trivia" (Cunningham, 8). I was disappointed to read this, since while an explanation of the meaning of the different titles and offices in the Catholic hierarchy, or an explanation of the various vestments and ceremonies may be "trivia...   [tags: Lawrence Cunningham Catholic Faith Essays]

Better Essays
1823 words (5.2 pages)