Even though children's literature was born as a pedagogical (i.e. conservative, conforming) tool, the children's books that are unanimously considered literary masterpieces take the opposite direction and send mostly subversive messages. At its best, children's literature challanges the official order of things and interrogates the shared values of society, it dismantles our certainties and beliefs, it discredits what we hold dear and we think is true - 'we' meaning the adults. The best of children's literature continually questions the adults' world, their way of seeing and even of being, and this seems to be its implicit function. No other discourse in our society is so radically critical of what the grown-ups regard as 'normality' or even as 'reality' in a philosophical sense, no less. The books of Mary Poppins are a case in point and in this paper they are analysed according to this premise, together with some other examples of children's classics.

Subversive Mary Poppins in Children's Literature

Giorgia Grilli
2020

Abstract

Even though children's literature was born as a pedagogical (i.e. conservative, conforming) tool, the children's books that are unanimously considered literary masterpieces take the opposite direction and send mostly subversive messages. At its best, children's literature challanges the official order of things and interrogates the shared values of society, it dismantles our certainties and beliefs, it discredits what we hold dear and we think is true - 'we' meaning the adults. The best of children's literature continually questions the adults' world, their way of seeing and even of being, and this seems to be its implicit function. No other discourse in our society is so radically critical of what the grown-ups regard as 'normality' or even as 'reality' in a philosophical sense, no less. The books of Mary Poppins are a case in point and in this paper they are analysed according to this premise, together with some other examples of children's classics.
Children's Literature and Children's Lives
48
51
Giorgia Grilli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/803533
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