The Attempt Of Children’s Literature To Prompt Moral Dialogue In Children

Open Access
Eastman, Julia Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Ebony Coletu, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Xiaoye You, Honors Advisor
  • children
  • literature
  • hoffmann
  • edgeworth
  • barry
  • english
  • moral
  • tales
  • stories
This thesis will explore three trends of children’s literature and their intended effects for framing moral conduct in both children and adults. Through the work of Maria Edgeworth’s “Purple Jar,” a simple, didactic tale functions as a manual for parents to aid their children in understanding a moral landscape. The emotional appeal to moral decency Heinrich Hoffmann employs in Struwwelpeter aims to shock and shame children into good conduct. Finally, Lynda Barry illustrates children’s literature as an invitation to child creativity and exploration. The following pages will explore how the dualistic audience of adults and children both furthers the impossibility of children’s literature and shapes this genre. The following pages will follow these three trends as methods of beginning moral dialogue in children.