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ERIC Number: ED455538
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Romanticism or Reality? An Exploration of Frances Mary Hendry's "Chandra."
Johnson, Jilaine
This paper singles out a novel written for children about India, "Chandra" (1995) by Frances Mary Hendry, as a powerful and useful novel to present to today's 11 to 14 year old students. The paper contends that the novel allows students to explore and consider different value systems, challenges them to become aware of prejudice and the making of assumptions and, particularly, to consider some specific issues faced by some Indian girls and oppression experienced by vulnerable groups. The paper first defines romanticism and reality as a cultural practice. It examines the issue of romanticism or reality through the following: (1) the tensions between tradition and modernity; (2) issues of patriarchy; (3) child marriage and abuse of wives; (4) widow slavery; (5) issues of dowry; (6) female health; and (7) education opportunities and neglect and abuse of the girl child. Throughout the paper a question is posed: What is the nature of reading as cultural practice? It is argued that as a reader, a person can step outside of his/her ideology by: having substantial experience in the field in question; seeking expert mediators within a culture both as writer and reader; and seeking supporting evidence, especially from within the culture. The paper finds that in this way, the question of romance versus realism can be resolved, though findings may need to be expressed in conditional ways. It concludes that the challenge for a teacher is: to debate with students the issues of equality and personhood; to assist them to understand and possibly resist the dominant positioning of the text; and to consider the plight of young people who suffer oppression anywhere, anytime. (Contains 28 references. An appendix presents 2 tables of data.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India