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ERIC Number: ED407681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
School in Cleary's "Ramona" Books.
Salas, Angela M.
Schools, with the assistance of parents and teachers, frequently gang up on children in the service of what they believe is a neutral, objective idea of how a child ought to behave, look, dress, learn, and be. Children, in turn, learn how to live within these supposedly neutral norms, and may grow up to enforce these same rules upon their offspring, students, and family members. In B. Cleary's "Ramona" books (1968, 1975, 1981, 1984), Ramona Quimby's trajectory from "Ramona the Pest" to "Ramona Forever" seems positive. The books tell the story of an initially willful and often unhappy child who, through frequent mishaps and firm teacherly correction, learns that pulling hair is always a bad idea, and that she cannot expect everyone to see and do everything her way. Ramona evolves into someone Roberta (her new baby sister) can safely emulate and pester, as Ramona herself pestered older sister Beezus. In short, Ramona is wised up and much happier by the end of "Ramona Forever" than she was in the earlier installments of her saga, when she was diagnosed as having "poor self-control" and a "negative desire for attention." Ramona's scholastic trials, however, can be seen less as ordinary (harmless) rites of passage than as ubiquitous (but traumatic) examples of the ways schools function to normalize and homogenize their subjects. Ramona is seen as moving from one wounding experience to another as she learns how to get by and do exactly what is expected of her with half her brain while daydreaming with the other half. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A