Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

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Didacticism is the concept of instruction and informative messages in children’s fiction, it is used to indicate beliefs or principles that adults perceive to be, the established or desired way in which children are expected to behave and act. Child agency refers to children being active participants in their own destiny and future. This is an opposite concept to didacticism as it allows children to think for themselves, make mistakes and learn from these in order to gain autonomy, exert control, choice and freedom in situations that inhibit or oppress them. This essay examines some fluctuating systems of didacticism in relation to children’s literature; namely within Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor, 1976), Tom’s Midnight Garden (Pearce, 1958) and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, (Rowling, 1997). The choice of these novels is to establish a broad and diverse selection from children’s literature in realistic autobiographical context, supernatural fantasy and fiction that incorporates both realistic and fantasy elements. It will also explore the position of the author’s focalisation on child characters within the narratives, acting in their own right, expressing active child agency, producing self-esteem and free will. Mildred. D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry (1976), exemplifies a realistic autobiographical story, her…show more content…
Mary, her mother, clearly offers advice on the situation and states, ‘baby, we have no choice of what color we’re born or who are parents are…what we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives,’ (Taylor, 1976, p.107). David, Cassie’s father also subsequently attempts validating his daughter’s self-worth and self-respect (McDowell, 2009, p.244). He uses didacticism in a more explicit approach stating ‘you know the Bible says you’re s’pose to forgive things’ (Taylor, 1976,

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