The Concept of Child in Literature

A child is a human being between the stages of infancy and puberty. Generally, children are dependent on their parents for care and protection until they reach adulthood. Historically, different cultures have defined the concept of the child differently. For example, the international convention defines a child as anyone below the age of 18 years old. But, even this is a broad definition that doesn’t take into account the fact that some people may not attain full adulthood until they are much older.

Regardless of the definition used, there are many things we can learn from the concept of child. In a society that values the child, everyone should work to ensure children receive the best possible care and treatment. There are many ways to do this, such as providing access to education, promoting healthy nutrition, and giving the child a sense of security and belonging.

In the context of literature, children are a special group that requires special attention in writing. This is why writers of children’s fiction must consider their own feelings about the child as well as the child’s perspective. This can help writers create realistic characters and situations that appeal to the child’s imagination and sensibility.

One of the most important things to remember when teaching a child a new skill is that they will need your help initially. This is particularly true if the new skill is something physical. For instance, if you are helping a child learn to use the potty or how to dress themselves, you must assist them in the beginning until they get the hang of it. Once they do, you can slowly begin to phase out your assistance. This is important because too much guidance from adults can discourage a child and cause them to give up.

While some authors have embraced the idea of a “child’s eye,” most high literature for children has been adapted from other works intended for adults. Until the Industrial Revolution, the child as a subject was rare in literature for adults. This was primarily because the child as a person was not seen in his own right. Among preliterate societies, the child was viewed as a miniature version of his father or as a seedbed of future citizen-warriors. Throughout the classical world, the child was either ignored or misinterpreted in drama and poetry.

After the Industrial Revolution, more writers began to embrace the child as a subject. The modern child is a central figure in literature, as evidenced by the popularity of books such as Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables, James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers, Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Yearling, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and Enid Bagnold’s National Velvet. In addition, the modern child is a major character in the media, such as movies, TV shows, and video games. Consequently, many children’s books have won significant literary awards, including the Newbery Medal for writing and the Caldecott Award for illustration.