Redefining Children and Women as Heroes in the Children Books about War

Erni Suparti

Abstract


When children in the 20th century were enlightened by books that were vividly portraying the violence of the Holocaust and the Miserable life of Asians who were interned in North America, the realm of children's literature undoubtedly enriched the awareness of the meaning of certain concepts such as freedom and safety in  different cultures. in the 21st century, again, children's books have become the primary medium for most children to understand the unsafe world we live in. after the 9/11 tragedy, children were drawn by books into confronting the war against terrorism, yet instead of being subjected to political preferences or bias, they were offered several outstanding works that reveal the multicultural awareness, which has potential to eradicate the erroneous prejudices and stereotypes towards other cultures. Remarkably, the books under consideration were written by authors who come from quite distinct roots: Deborah Ellis and Rukhsana Khan.

This study will focus on three books: Ellis' The Breadwinner and Parvana's Journey and Khan's Wanting Mor. These books help their readers to embark on a journey which reveals the impressive nature of the lives of those children in Afganistan who do not want to become involved in the war. Both writers in this study have chosen young girls as the heroines of the stories. This choice of protagonists, which is unlikely in today's culture in Afganistan, constructs an unusual perspective for the novels. By deconstructing the creation of these characters, this study will also try to point out discrepancies between these constructs and probable reality, in the attempt to show how these books offer the child reader an alternative understanding of what is meant by 'the war against terrorism'.


Keywords


feminine, child hero, maturity, authenticity, insider-ousider, first person narration

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References


WORKS CITED

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