Thursday, January 27, 2011

Children's Book & Wit

After the discussion in class about the children’s books The Flopsy Bunny and The Runaway Bunny and comparing it to Edison’s play Wit showed me that children’s are truly not meant for children. Anything that says “viewable for all ages” in most cases is fallacy. I believe that Disney movies are prime examples of children films that are not made for children. The Flopsy Bunny and The Runaway Bunny are examples of children’s books that are completely different from one another. Some books in my opinion are not made for a young child’s mind because many children can’t comprehend bad situations occurring around them.

The Flopsy Bunny and The Runaway Bunny are children’s books that Vivian became very close to in the play Wit. The two books gave Vivian different views on life; I think children’s books should truly be comprehensive to children not adults. In The Flopsy Bunny the family had to deal with hardships that many people overlook. Everyone knows that there are people in the world that are starving and someone’s child being murdered. Yet many people do not care about these topics unless they have a personal connection. The young bunnies starving and having to eat out of the trash is sad but what made the story even worse was the fact that they were going to be killed for their fur. This so far had to be the worst children’s book I’ve read. I wouldn’t want my child to understand the horrible things that were truly happening in the book. Many children probably wouldn’t care about the storyline; they would look for the pictures. When I read the book I thought this book didn’t think it would belong in the children section. It has the usual storyline of the good cute little bunnies and the typical bad guys, where the story ends as good prevails evil. Since I read deeper into the book then most people would; I would hate to read a child a book about poverty and murder.

The Runaway Bunny is the complete opposite of The Flopsy Bunny because The Flopsy Bunny was depressing compared to The Runaway Bunny. The Runaway Bunny in my opinion was sincere and sweet. The storyline of a mother always being there for their child, this type of story fits children’s books. If someone wanted to read into the book they could find a reference to God. The pictures inside of the book one in particular portrays an image of God watching over his children. The reference of this book in the play Wit, I believe fits perfectly. Nothing but a breath-a comma-separates life everlasting (p. 14). A significant difference between life and death is only a breath and for everlasting life you need God. In the bible there are many spots that talk about everlasting life. In John 5:24 it says: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall bit come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. This book is perfect for those who want a spiritual reference to a children’s book.

Everyone has different outlooks on life and interpret life based on their own experiences. It’s the same as films and books. I can interpret the play Wit, to be foolish and people can either agree or disagree with my opinion. Disney films such as The Lion King and Aladdin are categorized as children movies but if you really watch them, you can see that many of the topics they discuss are subjects that fit in adult atmospheres. The Lion King has jealousy, murder, lies, and deceit but children can’t comprehend those concepts they can only see the friendships and loyalty towards the other characters. The same could be said about the film Aladdin; it has the same points as The Lion King with the exception of theft. Some topics such as lying, cheating, and stealing are subjects that adults or parents tell children not to do in the future. As a parent myself, I always tell my son that lying, stealing, and cheating are morally wrong but it makes it harder to get your point across when you have movies and books that undermine what you are trying to teach children. Murder on the other hand is something that I never want my son to know about until he is older. If I could shield him from comprehending and understanding why people commit this crime I would.

Children are not born with morals they learn them either from their family or friends. Children are very good observers and will repeat what others do around them. My son is good example of such when my brother says anything around him that he has never heard before, he will instantly repeat it. I feel that the same can be said about morals and views. My son is always around me and my family so the way we view a certain situation is probably how he will feel until, he finds his own voice on the subject. Some of my views I hope will stick with him such as my spiritual beliefs.


  1. In the prompt, I asked you to do one of two things:

    1) Extend something I had to say about the relationship among texts; that is, make my argument your own, and expand on it.

    2) Offer an alternative interpretation of the role played by one or more of these children's books within Edson's work.

    My biggest challenge here is that I wasn't even sure what you were trying to do. It turned into what was mostly an essay about what is appropriate and inappropriate reading for children. This is an interesting topic to me, as a parent of two myself, but it doesn't address the prompt. You shouldn't be writing strictly about your views of the two books (although those could play a role); you should be writing about how you understand their view *within the play*.

    Very possibly, Edson is making the text of the Runaway Bunny prominent, and omitting the text of The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, because she agrees with you at some level. But if she agrees with you, especially that The Flopsy Bunnies isn't suitable for children, why integrate it at all? What is she *doing* with the book, in other words.

    Sticking to a prompt can be challenging, but you need to learn to focus on a single topic. Even when you invent your own topics (which you'll have a chance to do at some point), it's not productive to simply offer opinion, which is what you do here. I dont' agree, for instance, that children can't understand the darker side of, say, The Lion King. Maybe we wish they couldn't - but I thoroughly believe that the movie's darkness is central to its appeal. That's just my opinion, of course -my point is that in order to be convincing to a reader like me, you need to move beyond opinion and on to some form of evidence.

  2. I think that one possible starting point you could make for your essay which will not entirely change your point of view or the idea which you are trying to ge across to the reader is the connection between the two childrens books and Vivian's life timeline. She introduces both books at very specific times throughout the play. I think that she uses them to describe the feelings that she is having dealing with her illness. By interpreting why Vivian is using these books to explain her situation you may be able to determine each of their purposes dealing with the play. Try to use the themes present in both stories in order to attribute them to Vivian's life timeline.