My Own Personal Thoughts on the Topic of Children's Literature (510 words)

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Question

Please write at least 10-12 sentences on "Your Own Personal Thoughts on Topic":
Children's literature as a genre distinctly written and published for children was invented by the Puritans. The 17th century was harsh in many ways; death was all around children all the time. Plagues, child mortality, fires and other deadly occurrences made the Puritans realize that if children are not too young to die they are also not too young to go to hell. They were determined to teach them how to read the bible and love Jesus as soon as they could in order to have a chance of reaching heaven. Since all children were born sinners because of original sin, suffering was a major part of their education.

James Janeway was a Puritan minister and author who, after John Bunyan, which we will read next, had the widest and longest popularity as the author of works read by English-speaking children. Janeway was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating with a B.A. and spent time as a private tutor in a home, like many of the Puritans. He is listed as one of the "ejected" or "silenced" ministers by the Act of Uniformity 1662. The first evidence that he functioned as a non-conformist preacher is from the year 1665 at the time of the Great Plague of London. He was then witness to the second great national calamity in the Great Fire of London in 1666. (Source) Puritans realized that if kids were not too young to die, they were also not too young to go to hell. This promoted them to create a system where all children would learn to read, particularly read the bible, so that they would have a chance at salvation.These events led him to write A Token for Children because the reality of death was very real.

Puritans believed in Original Sin: the sin Adam and Eve committed when they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge for which they were expelled from Edan. They believed that all people, all children were BORN SINNERS. That is why they had to literally "beat the hell out of them." (now you know where this expression comes from!). Fairy tales, which were popular at the same time as Janeway was writing, were banned and forbidden because they were not true stories, they were fiction, and therefore they were lies. The commandment "Thou shall not lie" was one of the most important or Puritans when it comes to the education of their children. Lying was of the devil. Therefore literature for children had to be true stories.

The stories are meant to be real stories about children who died the "right way." They were examples children were supposed to imitate. When you read them, try to be critical. Can these children really have acted and spoken in such a way given the circumstances? What do you think of this emphasis on dying rather than living?

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“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (The Bible, Psalm 51:5). But I wonder: Is this claim really true? In my opinion, this philosophy should remain where it belongs: in the history books, especially if children are involved. No matter what the circumstances are, the children have to be protected against the wickedness of the adult minds.
I understand that the time we live today differs from the Puritans’ times. However, this does not mean they had the right to corrupt the lives of their children so that they could live up to their parent’s expectations and beliefs. The stories their parents read to them did not bring any joy to their lives....

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