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ERIC Number: EJ1061539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
The "Mother" of All Schemas: Creating Cognitive Dissonance in Children's Fantasy Literature Using the Mother Figure
Palkovich, Einat Natalie
Children's Literature in Education, v46 n2 p175-189 Jun 2015
Mothers are essential facilitators of early Theory of Mind development and intrinsic to the acquisition, as well as the content, of many basic schemas learnt in infancy. In this article it is argued that the "mother" schema in children's literature can ease a child's transition into literary discourse by exploiting the child's "secure base" schema. Furthermore, by generating a sense of felt security in the reading event, the benevolent mother becomes an inherent part of the child's broader "reading" schema. Two texts are examined in this article in which the good mother's familiarity is undermined through the introduction of elements traditionally associated with the bad mother figure. Using Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" and V.C. Andrews' "Flowers in the Attic," it is argued that the modification of the "mother" schema can serve as a way to introduce the reader to new genres and themes; however, significant dissonance is generated in the child's "reading" schema in instances where the good/bad mother dichotomy is not restored by the end of the narrative.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A