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ERIC Number: ED400847
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Dickens and Children's Literature.
Pearson, Richard
This paper compares and contrasts two articles in which Dickens constructs an adult identity through his childhood reading, "A Christmas Tree" (1850) and "Nurse's Stories" (1860), with one in which Dickens constructs the identity of a child in his work for children, "A Child's History of England" (1851-53). Infused into all of these works is Dickens' memory of his own childhood reading, and his reconstruction of childhood as a tension between innocent wonderment and disturbing fears. The darker side of the mind can only be held in check by the retention of childlike innocence. The family unit is, for Dickens, the facilitator of this preservation. But the family is also the source of the darker thoughts of the individual. Dickens' philosophy is a complex and ambiguous one. If the family can be the inspirer of wonder and the preserver of innocence, so it can also be the introducer of terror and fear to the child's mind. Dickens' childhood world is not a simple one. And he as father, teacher, and author continued to recreate his own childhood fantasies and fears in the minds of his readership. (Author/SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A