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Describe the Capstone Project For the Universal Themes.

Picture Books

There has been a long history of literature, and people have used literature writings to gain knowledge and as well as to use it as an entertainment (Blamires). It deals with universal themes and values. There are different kinds of literature that are intended for every age group (Godden, Malcolm, and Lapidge). Various forms of writing serve a different purpose and along with time literature has also evolved. The study is based on different types of literature belonging to the different genre and how each genre has transformed as well as served humankind. It also includes analysis of author’s way of writing.

PICTURE BOOKS: Picture books have a significant role to play, and that is the reason why there is a need for the picture books. Picture books act as a rich medium that generates creative engagement of the readers through the ways the words and pictures are presented, perceived, organised and assimilated (Al-Yaqout, Ghada, and Nikolajva). The picture book selected here is The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) by Beatrix Potter. It is a story that tells fundamental moral values that still appeal today. The story teaches how disobedience can lead to unpleasant circumstances and life moves on no matter what happens. The quality that appears dated is the style of writing. In today’s writing, the stories are written in a simplistic way that is easy to understand (Lodge). The tale defiantly talks about the struggle for survival, and it is a universal truth which will remain even in the recently published books. The way of the author to rebel against the British society is what is likely to be time sensitive. Culture is always changing, therefore, the social issues are changing as well along with time.

FOLK AND FAIRY TALES: Cinderella was amazed seeing the fairy transform the pumpkin into a fantastic BMW. She was all set to go for the party when the fairy turned the two little mice into two bodyguards and the toad into a fine well-dressed driver. The beautiful girl arrived at the party and at instant met some girls who invited her to join them. She danced with a few girls and then the prince came. It was a fun time for her since in her busy schedule she did not get chances of going out with friends, meeting new people and have some meaningful conversation. Finally, she met the prince, a handsome gentleman with a perfect jawline and they danced under the beautiful chandelier. It was time for her to head back home when the prince offered her a ride home. She happily denied as her magical BMW would give her what the prince could not, her alone time after party with her favourite book.

The modern version of the Cinderella story manifests what is the importance of relationships are in this contemporary era. People in the city do not feel relationships like the traditional era (Triandis). The individualist nature of society is portrayed through the modern fairy tale where the girl who does not get time to go out in the busy schedule chooses have some quality conversation, fun time and some alone time with her book. The primary focus of the story is the main character Cinderella, and the sole reason for devoting only two lines to the prince is because the story tells Cinderella’s traits and life. The traditional fairy tales and children books are found to be gender biased which is why the modern Cinderella story does not focus on the prince but the main character (Pinsent). The marriage as in institution has gone through many changes therefore, the prince could not ask Cinderella to marry him since it is not the traditional society where women give the primary priority to true love and relationships. There are other aspects of life that are much needed to survive in the world, and therefore neither Cinderella nor the prince could think of getting married at the first meeting. The traditional literature plays a significant role, and all the countries around the world follow the tradition of reading a traditional novel to educate children. Traditional literature helps children form concepts, understand personal dimensions and learn cultures. It teaches the children morals, values and disciplines in an entertaining way (Galda et al.). However, as the latest findings tell that children form gender biased concepts about the gender roles. Through the retelling, I have tried to show that females are not abided by only household works and women do not dream about marriages and families only. In this contemporary era, it would be a foolish decision of marrying a person whom she has met one time. Therefore, the retelling of the story is for the repetitive nature of women shown in the traditional literature.

Folk and Fairy Tales

FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION: Children’s books are found to manifest enormous gender gap and mostly dominated by male characters as the lead. This teaches the belief in children that women and girl hold a less significant part in society compared to men (Hollis-Sawyer, Lisa, and Cuevas). Children are usually unaware of the gender concepts, and they feel the strength of achieving the world. The science fiction books and fantasy books generate fictional characters that save the world with their powerful actions and children also, develop the confidence of doing similar things in life (Stephens, John, and McCallum). However, the majority of the fictional characters that are presented as heroes are male, and the women that are present in the story are either to display household roles or any role that is to give support to the lead male character. The trait of portraying male characters as powerful, essential and goal achiever is not similar to portraying the female characters. The children develop the gender perception based on these stories and also by the way teachers present it. Since the teachers are the one delivering the stories to the children they can interpret it to help them build a better understanding of gender concept.

SERIES: Harry Potter and its series have touched the peak of success as well as hearts of million. The well-written book will take you to an imaginative world of magic that revolves around Harry Potter’s life (Berndt, Katrin, and Steveker). The author has beautifully written all the series, where each part consists of carefully chosen materials that would be suitable for children. The constant attempt of showing the good over evil gave the reader little joy over ending each book of the series. The amazement, intensity and the attachment are gradual with each part, and the power of the series unfolds every time with the next book. The series has definitely evolved with each section revealing each part of the riddle. The author has ended the book in a very sufficient and fulfilling way.

Conclusion:

The first topic selected in the assignment is the picture book. Under this genre the Tale of peter Rabbit (1955) is selected and analysed. There are qualities of traditional literature that has become obsolete and there are certain literatures that are evergreen and still played a vital role in educating children. However, it is found that there has been changes with all the years where the culture and societies are transforming therefore it is needed a good look in the traditional literature before following it. The second section is the folk and fairy tales that includes the retelling of a fairy tale. The Cinderella story is told in a different form with different perspective where the individualistic trait is noticed also the gender biasness. Thirdly, the fantasy and science fiction genre is alalysed that presents children’s books as gender bias novels. The books form the perceptions of children however; the books fail to do so. Lastly, in the series section the harry potter series is analysed. The focus is on the author’s way of writing. The author has maintained successfully the rhythm in the series and with gradual movement has reached the climax. 

References:

Al-Yaqout, Ghada, and Maria Nikolajva. "Re-conceptualising picturebook theory in the digital age." Barnelitterært Forskningstidsskrift 6.1 (2015): 26971.

Berndt, Katrin, and Lena Steveker, eds. Heroism in the Harry Potter Series. Routledge, 2016.

Blamires, Harry. A short history of English literature. Routledge, 2013.

Galda, Lee, Lauren A. Liang, and Bernice E. Cullinan. Literature and the child. Cengage Learning, 2016.

Godden, Malcolm, and Michael Lapidge, eds. The Cambridge companion to old English literature. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Hollis-Sawyer, Lisa, and Lorilene Cuevas. "Mirror, mirror on the wall: Ageist and sexist double jeopardy portrayals in children's picture books." Educational Gerontology 39.12 (2013): 902-914.

Lodge, David. The modes of modern writing: Metaphor, metonymy, and the typology of modern literature. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

Pinsent, Pat. Childrens literature and the politics of equality. David Fulton Publishers, 2013.

Stephens, John, and Robyn McCallum. Retelling stories, framing culture: traditional story and metanarratives in children's literature. Routledge, 2013.

Triandis, Harry C. "Generic individualism and collectivism." The Blackwell handbook of cross?cultural management(2017): 16-45.

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