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ERIC Number: ED092942
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 112
Abstractor: N/A
The Portrayal of Evil in Selected Children's Books 1945-1972.
St. John, Barbara Ann
The study focused on the conflict between good and evil as it was portrayed in selected examples of fantasy and realistic fiction appropriate for children in the 8-to-12-year-old range. Newbery Award books from 1945 to 1972 and the Newbery Honor books from alternate years within the same period were analyzed. In addition, children's literature experts were surveyed to determine their definitions of evil as well as their concepts of the role which evil plays in children's books. The following were the principal findings: (1) the majority of character delineation was achieved through inferential statements and behavior; (2) evil was delineated in more than one way in over 90 percent of the books; (3) recognition of the evil force brought change in the character's thoughts or actions in more than 90 percent of the books; and (4) good triumphed over evil in 81 percent of the books. Children's literature experts replied that: (1) evil was defined as involving deliberate action and a conflict with the values and ethics of society; (2) the recognition of evil is dependent on the individual's background as well as his experiences with books; and (3) fantasy presents characters in stereotypes of all good or all evil, thus making them easily recognizable. (Author/LL)
University Microfilms, P.O. Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 (Order No. 74-6935, MF-$4.00, Xerography-$10.00)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A