What Courage Brings In Modern Children’s Fiction

1110 words - 4 pages

Cheung 1Cheung Ka Weng 14102524Dr Coralline DupuyENG 31065th October, 2014What courage brings in modern children's fictionThe word "courage" in French and Latin words means "heart". The heart is the organ that pumps blood to our arms and legs and other organs, courage is the virtue that vitalizes all other virtues. For a hero to win a battle against villains, he always needs courage. The typical prizes for him is marrying the princess and ascending the throne. However, in the two fiction The Witches and Holes, the qualities incarnated by the protagonists (heroes) is more than just courage, and what they gain is no longer a princess or the throne, but something more valuable to oneself.The Witches reinforces the long-lived notion that as long as a child holds righteous beliefs and has courage with him, he can beat down devils and villains. Courage comes from the ones who love you and you love. The story further redefines a happy ending - to live with your beloved ones instead of traditional happy wedding or ascending the throne.If the protagonist (The Boy) is regarded as the hero of the story, his achievement of killing the witches is a much more difficult one for traditional heroes. The protagonist does not gain strength from the transformation; instead, he becomes physically weaker as a mouse. The boy and the witches are on complete binaries in terms of physical size (The Grand High Witch to The Boy as a mouse), amount (84 witches to The Boy and Grandmother), abilities (magical power to a normal mouse). Yet, with perseverance and faith, The Boy and Grandmother eventually kill all witches in England to prevent the children from being killed by adults. Despite The Boy and Grandma do no possess any super power, they have what a hero commonly has, intelligence, discreetness and a righteous mind.The Boy differs from a usual hero in the perspectives that he does not gain public recognition and he returns back his normal life, remains as a mouse, with his beloved grandmother after the battle. Still, he is contented with his situation and all he wants is to live with his grandmother for 8-9 years, being looked after by her. After he goes through the hero-in-the-making adventures, he remains characteristics of a child like at the beginning of story. Child readers may be confused here: why the hero does not receive recognitions, but remains in the treatment of the villain (the Grand High Witch).Here, it is asserted Roald gives a new definition of happily-ever-after. The happy ending for heroes is no longer getting married or ascending the throne, it is spending time with your beloved ones. For The Boy as a mouse, according to his grandma, he can only live for 8 or 9 more years. Yet, to him, it is "the best news I've (he's) ever had!" The prefect thing for the two is "be a old mouse and be a old grandmother". The child readers will learn that you gain courage from your beloved ones, and what you earn is living with your beloved ones.If The Witches is about...

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