Pennypacker's Clementine Essay

2140 words - 9 pages

In Pennypacker’s book Clementine, there are many adult-centered moments. One particular scene is when Clementine goes to Margaret’s house to visit her. As Clementine knocks on the door, Margaret’s mother answers and tells Clementine, “You can’t play with Margaret today, Clementine. She’s spending the afternoon in her room, thinking about the consequences of her actions. Which is what you should be doing too,” (Pennypacker 33). When Clementine saw Margaret’s brother in the background, she laughed because he was being a silly distraction. Margaret’s mother thought Margaret was laughing about what she was saying about consequences so she said “Clementine, there’s nothing funny about this (Pennypacker 34).” This shows that Margaret’s mother is serious about the mess Clementine and Margaret got into.
The illustration of Margaret’s mother standing in the doorway looking down on Clementine shows there is a direct didactic lesson taking place. This picture reinforces the adult-centeredness that is being portrayed because her mother is an obvious authority figure and therefore knows what is right. Margaret’s mothers concern of Clementine’s and Margaret’s behavior shows that she is caring and giving the children knowledge that they should be taking to heart. She is teaching them a direct lesson. Margaret’s mother standing in the doorway, hovering over Clementine, shows that she is the center of authority and gives her power. When she tells Clementine that she should be in her room thinking about the consequences of her actions it shows that Clementine and Margaret need to be thinking about their actions and learning a lesson. Punishment weakens a behavior because a negative condition is introduced or experienced as a consequence of the behavior. This is an example of a quality that makes books adult centered. Punishment is used to reinforce a lesson that is to be learned.

City of Ember has several “child-centered” scenes. A “Child-centered” scene is when a child in a book takes on the “parent role” as being smart, caring, self-reliant, and being able to give knowledge to others. Two important characters in the book are Lina and Doon. Lina is a kind, polite and helping person. On the other hand, Doon is outgoing, serious, and seems to be curious about a lot of things. One trait that Lina and Doon have in common is their bravery. When Lina and Doon combine their agencies together they are able to figure out a way to get out of Ember.
“Where the River Goes” on page 238 is an example of a child centered moment. The line from this page that states “They plunged into it and left the light of the Pipeworks behind” shows that out of everyone in Ember, Lina and Doon along with Poppy are the ones that are able to find a way out of Ember on their own. The adults in this city do not guide them where to go, and do not grant them their agency. They inhibit them by keeping secrets and following the same blind obedience that keeps them in the dark. People are...

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