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ERIC Number: EJ1061537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Playing at Crusoe: Domestic Imperatives and Models of Motherhood in Robinson Crusoe-Inspired Toys and Novels for Girls
Hicks, Amy
Children's Literature in Education, v46 n2 p110-126 Jun 2015
Carol Ryrie Brink's "Baby Island" (1998/1937) draws directly from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (2007/1719) but revises the prototypical castaway novel by depicting two young girls who not only ensure their own survival but also mother four babies while cast away. Preceded by Crusoe-themed toys such as tea sets and paper dolls that allow girls to "play at" Crusoe and prepare for future motherhood, "Baby Island" extends Defoe's narrative to demonstrate the compatibility of adventurous qualities with domestic roles. By framing an analysis of Brink's novel with a historical examination of the early twentieth-century glorification of motherhood, the article shows how qualities typically associated with masculinity, such as pluck and resourcefulness, ultimately lend themselves well to a new model of robust maternity. Late nineteenth- through early-twentieth-century Crusoe-inspired toys and novels for girls appropriate and revise Defoe's prototypical castaway to construct Crusoe as a figure that is capable of inspiring maternal ideals in girls.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A