The Importance Of Motifs In Children's Literature

1553 Words7 Pages
Motifs have a major role to play in children’s literature. One such motif that is utilised in children’s literature that is hugely significant is “The garden”. Motifs such as “The Garden” have been utilised as a setting in children’s literature and furthermore, the utilisation of the motif “The Garden” can signify a variety of perspectives on a child’s text. This assignment will highlight the significance of “The garden” as a motif in a selection of children’s stories and novels. Innocence, Christianity, escapism and growth will be central themes in identifying the garden as a significant motif in children’s literature. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Tom’s Midnight Garden, Through…show more content…
Wullschlager (1995) believes that the motif “The garden” is based on Christianity and in particular, the Garden of Eden. Secondly, Wullschlager (1995) highlights that “The garden” is a place of innocence and the perfect place for a child to spend their time. This seems to suggest that the Garden of Eden is child centred and focuses on the innocence of the child. Similarly to this, Rose (1984) demonstrates that the image of innocence that is portrayed of children has an adverse effect on the image portrayed of adults. Rose (1984) demonstrates adults as guilty and sinful characters. A clear and vivid example of this is in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll (1865) highlights in his book the child entering into a garden and on her journey, the child encounters adults who are portrayed as mad or corrupt. Carroll (1865) demonstrates to the readers that it is the adult Queen who is corrupt and her sole aim is to oversee the death of Alice. This creates tension and it highlights the linkage between the Garden of Eden and “The Garden” as a motif in children’s literature. This highlights that the Queen is portrayed as a corrupt and evil character which has direct associations with Eve in the Garden of Eden, who also finds herself becoming corrupt. This seems to suggest that the motif of “The Garden” is central to the corruption in both stories. Furthermore, C.S Lewis’ (1950)…show more content…
Children’s literature has highlighted that “The Garden” permits the child to enter into a new world and escape from their current lives. The children in children’s literature are viewed as the protagonist and in the garden, children can relive themselves of any fears and responsibilities. Secondly, “The Garden” symbolises security and allows the child to create their own world in the naturalistic setting of the garden. Beck (2003) highlights the positive impact the garden has on the children and allows the child to create their own fantasy world without the assistance of an adult figure. This creates a sense of freedom in the child in the purist setting. Tom’s Midnight Garden is a clear example of how a child has the ability to create their own world and the world of fantasy is centred in “The Garden” (Beck, 2003). Pearce’s (1958) novel focuses on Tom, the central character and protagonist, as an extremely frustrated and lonely character. However, it is through his frustration and lack of sleep that he finds solace and friendship in the form of a young girl. This highlights the centrality of “the garden” in children’s literature and the positive experiences that the children have when they enter into the garden. However, Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (1871), highlights the unpredictable nature of Alice’s fantasy garden. In this story, Alice comes in contact with nature that aim to criticise her, corrupt her and
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