ERIC Number: ED203320
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The American Revolution in Children's Fiction.
Based on the belief that the study of children's literature has not sufficiently considered the socioeconomic and historical forces that shape literature, a study was conducted to examine the evolution of the content and narrative structure of 32 children's novels written about the American Revolution and published between 1899 and 1976. The content analysis reconstructed the historical conception of the Revolution contained in the novels to discover how authors explained it as an historical event. The analysis of narrative structure ascertained whether common approaches were used by the authors in their recreations of the event and also examined the socioeconomic and historical changes that occurred over the period during which the novels were published. The content analysis revealed that most of the books contained a selective interpretation of the Revolution that ignored the complex debate among historians about the subject--virtually all failed to discuss the dilemma faced by black Americans of the time. The analysis of narrative structure revealed an interdependence between that structure and novel content; for example, changes in the conception of the Revolution as a historical event were usually accompanied by changes in novel structure. Despite the changes, however, the majority of the novels were structured as a "rite of passage" in which the dependent adolescent protagonist was transformed into an independent adult. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Historical Fiction
Note: Research prepared at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.