Angoel (angoel) wrote,
Angoel
angoel

Thinking Aloud[1] - Innocence of children

I encountered an interesting thread of thought at Eastercon[2], last year. One which I resolved to think about more fully and which I nonetheless haven't. If you haven't found time to think about something in a year, you probably never will, so I'll take the opportunity of sleeplessness to preserve at least the beginnings of the idea.

The thought is around the problems society currently has with children, particularly with the expectations they have of them. Adults living materially rich but spiritually unfulfilling lives seek to better themselves through their children. They place them on a pedestal of innocence and punish them with their expectations of remaining upon them. This attempt to cocoon children away from the mundanity of the everyday world inevitably fails when the child finds the world a greyer version of the reality that was promised, but adults nonetheless persist out of guilt that they are unable to make the world reflect the reality they would like.

Because Eastercon was about fiction, the specific examples discussed surrounded the rewriting of childrens stories. Fairy stories, for example, being neutered to appease the cult of innocence, whilst adult entertainment remaining relentlessly bloody. The bit which I thought interesting was wondering where the 'shamefulness' of page 3 girls stood. Wasn't the notion that they were shameful equally to do with an attempt to preserve innocence of some sort. A year on, I'm still not sure what I should think about that.


[1] Musings which are not fully formed and thus probably not correct - but which I'm inflicting on the world incomplete anyway. Feel free to attempt to realign my thoughts.
[2] The page that prompted me to remember this had the phrase "Critics - panthers of the book herd" noted upon it.[3] Not relevant, but kind of cute.
[3] And "Time changes books - filters of perspective". Which I suspect meant more to me when I wrote it there than it does now.
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