Paola Lagunas Spindler English 101 Essay 3 November 2 0, 2012 The Peter Pan Generation is Growing Up There are no longer any adventures in library wonderlands in literature today, kids are forced to experience hard reality at a much younger age. Maria Tartar author of “No More Adventures In Wonderland” asserts the evolution of children’s and young adult villains in stories. Peter Pan, the lost boy, who never grew up, is one of her examples, giving Captain Cook a childish effect, J. M.
Barrie (author of Peter Pan), gives the child the security that the good guys win the battle between the silly and playful adventure stories. Alice in Wonderland, a book about a girl losing herself down a rabbit hole and then battling the red queen,and her card soldiers, also give this story a secure and childish effect. Tartar believes authors have helped villains evolve from whimsically devilish to brutal and dark. The children books, intended before for a fun time are now becoming suspenseful sit down novels. According to Tartar, authors “have crossed.
Creating a perverse twist on such stories as Clifford the big red dog, The Graveyard book, a picture book about a serial killer hand who holds a knife and kills his four family member is a perfect example of authors new twist on entertainment. Harry Potter, a national best seller, is about a child’s parents dying at the start of the story, the protagonist fighting death, and loosing family and friends until the end where a well planned murder with the entire character base give a grand final to this seven book series. However, Tartar gives the prize of absolute horrific monsters to Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games.
Collins has turned the child reading the book into the villain. Katniss Everdeen (protagonist) fights against 12-18 year old children, in a brutal battle for living. Opening her reader’s eyes into seeing children’s exposure to books about death, and stories about despair and devastation, Tartar declares that books are evolving to fast for the chilren of today, with this, tartar proves how the Peter Pan generation is growing up. The villains in children’s books are changing; they are evolving, becoming more complex, growing, but, the children too are getting older. Once bedtime characters, villains are now becoming nightmare enhancers.
Children that at the age of 4 were reading Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Cinderella are now the 16 year old’s reading Hunger Games. The stories now being published differentiate from the previous stories but the readers do too. Providing that four year old’s are still reading classics such as Peter Pan; young adults expanded their interest to good but devastating stories. The main reason why these stories are reaching such exposure is due to advertisement. Althought Tartar assures the stories for children are growing up, the reader has also matured, and the aurhots have started to developed a more consuming story.
Using logos, Tartar points to the dilemma of the ‘expanding children story’ and it serves as slate for her reader’s minds. This will help her prove the evolution of the story. If any one person compares Alice in Wonderland to The Hunger Games, the evolution of the ‘narratives about loss, suffering, and redemption’ the reader will be persuaded into Tartar’s point of view. Once Tartar sets up the juxtaposition for these two movies, she is able to effectively point out the difference between the stories, however, she takes a different approach and traces the origins of the books to issues with the authors.
In past times, Tartar explains, there was such a thing as “Author’s Sunday afternoons”, authors enjoyed a nice picnic, took their Saint Bernard for a walk and breathed in pure air and ideas. Authors are a now more complex. J. K Rowling, author of best seller Harry Potter, writing her first book under candle, and coffee shop light because she had no way to pay for electricity in her apartment, she experianced poverty. Suzanne Collins, as a child had anxieties about the possibility of her father’s death as a Vietnam veteran, was able to use this to her advantage in books about death.
Authors have clearly evolved with their stories, and expanded their relationship to many more readers. This new diversity of authors is allowing them to write deeper stories with darker backgrounds and meanings for matured readers. Even though Tartar points out the complexity of the authors and stories, she fails to point out that these both lead to the maturing of the children. Capturing a balance of danger and enchantment, the stories of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland provide the audience with an idea for the possibilities of adventure quest in childhood.
The traditional villains frighten the readers, but their “juvenile antics strip them from any real authority. ” Books such as these are written for children under the age of twelve because of the foolish way the characters portray evil. Books such as the hunger games are written for teenagers, knowing this helps the author write appropriate topics of more complex aspects. However, Tartar has a fault in her argument by comparing a bedtime story to a story such as The Hunger Games. When an author compares two stories, one being The Hunger Games and one being Alice in wonderland, the author has one point; there is a difference.
There is of course a difference, an evil wich who only dresses in red and black and hearts is no comparison to a child aspiring to manage the kiling of 23 children in order to obtain glory. Almost as different as the villains are, so are the protagonist, a young girl falling into a rabit hole to apear in a world in which she deals with silly magic tricks, is definetly not the same as a young girl coming from poverty going into an arena to try to survive natural disasters, and run away from 23 people who are out to kill her.
This is where the fault in Tartars argument it, she manages to point the difference, but fails to admit that 4 year olds are not reading The Hunger Games, just like 16 year olds are not reading Alice in Wonderland. Part of why the authors are crossing over into more evolved stories is because the children’s and young adult category dominate the Best sellers charts. These devastating stories about depresion, war and death are being asked for not just by children, but adults too are picking up the copies. Helping a story achieve better success in the charts, the books attract a broader audience.
The reason why Suzanne Collins and J. K Rowling talk so freely about death compared to J. M. Barrie is because these books are directed towards different audiences. Audiences that clearly ask for this type of story, if these stories weren’t being successful with all ages, they would not have been so successfully sold after being published. These books are helping a the young adult genre, they are a perfect conection of safe and suspense, they connect the topics for childre and adults. It is important to realize that they are different books, by different authors, that are intended for different audiences.
Today’s authors did not think about targeting the same audience that Peter Pan was written for because it is absurd to believe that these books are intended for the same age, but they are intended however, the same reader. The reader of Peter pan, is now the reader of The Hunger games because the 10 years difference between the publishing of the two is also a 10 year difference in the reader. This time period of difference allows the authors to publish books about death, depression and horrible traumas because it is becoming more socially acceptable by matured readers.
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