Deconstructing the Hero: Literary Theory and Children's Literature

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Psychology Press, 1997 - Education - 252 pages
This book sets out to explore the structure and meanings within the most popular of all literary genres - the adventure story. Deconstructing the Hero offers analytical readings of some of the most widely read adventure stories such as Treasure Island , the James Bond stories and Star Wars. The book describes how adventure stories are influential in shaping children's perception and establishing values.
When many of these stories define non-white, non-European people as inferior, and women as marginal or incapable, we should be worried about what they are teaching our children to think. Margery Hourihan shows how teaching children to read books critically can help to prevent the establishment of negative attitudes, discourage aggression and promote values of emotion and creativity.
 

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User Review  - LynleyS - LibraryThing

Outlines the exact reasons why I'm had it with traditional heroic tales of the kind that make lots at the box office. This should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in publishing and creating tales for children. Read full review

Contents

Dualism and binary oppositions
15
The heros point of view
38
Closure
51
Gender
68
Rationality
88
Action and violence
101
Wolves and other beasts
118
white savages
144
Mothers
161
Witches and bitches
174
Brides
193
REWRITING THE STORY
203
Bibliography
236
Index
246
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