Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
English: English Studies: M.A.
College of Liberal Arts
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” - G.K. Chesterton
There has been a longstanding notion that childhood equates to innocence. The cliche that adults are the force of molding, protection, and education so as to maintain a child’s virtue perpetuates the dangerous precedent that without them, children are frail, dependent beings who are vulnerable to the threats of the world. These said adults either provide at the expense of a child’s overall well-being, or neglect their needs entirely. The children of the fairy tale universe know only too well what it means to make their own way, holding their own amidst great adversity in the process. What I seek to expose throughout my collection of stories and narrative poetry was the cruel, selfish nature of those in authority who are often found in positions of trust - more specifically, those in authority who represent particular institutions where children should have found safety. The idea of an institution was birthed so as to establish a social order intended to meet the needs of its people, but particularly children. When a particular institution does not do this, the child is forced into an ethos where the idea of a need must be redefined so that they can attempt to meet it themselves. Children will either prosper in such a quest, or lack severely the ability to function healthily as an adult.
When you meet the children of my work, I hope you see that through their resistance to submit themselves to those who don’t have their best interests at heart, they are thriving all on their own.
Steinfeldt, Sarah Jasmine, "Breadcrumbs and the Children Who Left Them" (2020). Culminating Projects in English. 160.