Early American: Little Runaways

I read “Little Runaways” which is found on pages 35-44. In the story, Child talks about various children she knew that ran away from home for a temporary time. The first few paragraphs are about girls that were following a distraction, like a dog, and accidentally wandered a little too far to the point that they could not get back. The last story, which I found the most interesting, is about two brothers from Boston that ran away from home just for the fun of it.

Child, Lydia Maria, Joseph H. Francis, B. George Ulizio, and Lydia Maria Child. “Little Runaways.” Flowers for Children. New-York: C.S. Francis &, 252 Broadway, 1844. N. pag. Print.

This story really reminded me of the Pixar’s movie “Inside Out.” (If you haven’t seen it, there will be some spoilers within this post.) I wanted to compare these two stories of children running away because of how differently they are portrayed. In “Little Runaways,” the omniscient narrator emphasizes how much the two little boys were in the wrong for running away: “But these little naughty runaways had no nest, and their good mother was far away from them” (Child 42). The narrator also immensely emphasized the thoughts of the unhappy mother for an entire paragraph: “She cried all night because she had lost her children… She cried as if her heart would break.. How naughty it was in these little boys to disobey their mother, and make her so unhappy” (Child 42). There is a clear binary here of right and wrong when correlating mother and child. However, in the movie “Inside Out,” the entire movie is portrayed entirely from the view of our adolescent protagonist, Riley. During the scene where she runs away, we are able to see the thoughts she forms and how much pain and stress she was feeling at that time, completely dissimilar to the two Boston boys who left their mother for no apparent reason. Running away should not seem like something a child decides, for there has to be a cause. Finally, all Riley needed to do was talk to her parents about what exactly she was feeling and they were able to help.

In the end, both pieces concluded similarly: “(They) never wanted to run away again as long as they lived” (Child 44).


Adult Desire: Barbie Girls

Just like thousands of little girls across the United States, I had my very own Barbie Doll. She was beautiful with big, bright blue eyes and blonde hair. I loved her. However, after getting older I realized that these overly stylistic dolls can have a traumatic effect on young girls mainly because of body image. These dolls are supposed to represent the “perfect” woman’s body in the 1950’s consisting of long legs, small arms, a tiny waist, and a high, postured chest. Her face also consisted of just the correct amount of make-up. The company’s aim (which I think is also the adult’s desire) was to give little girls a representation of an ideal adult woman’s body. They also advertised her in an array of ways: from slumber parties to cleaning the house. Barbie was also supposed to represent the idea of “the good wife,” which is the reason for advertising her along with house cleanliness in the 1950’s.

Although the company has now evolved the Barbie Doll into more than just a house wife, the body image and feminine household role are still problems that this toy includes. It may seem that it is a harmless toy, but psychologically, it can have a huge role in a little girl’s future.

Wolf, Erica. “Barbie: The Early History.” Barbie: The Early History. N.p., 2000. Web. Oct. 2015.


Binary Post: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The binary that I identified as the most appealing in the first chapter of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is mentally strong/weak. Alice is consistently found talking herself as if she had dual personalities.

Although she is not given a distinct age in the text, Alice seems to have the naivety and innocence of a young child while still having a slight sense of reason and maturity. Many times throughout the story, she is found in tears because of a situation she could not immediately get out of. It seems that in those moments, she did not think of how to fix the problems but only quickly resorted to crying. Following her very child-like behaviour, Alice tries to remedy her own sadness by scolding herself as if to snap herself out of being so immature.

Come, there’s no use in crying like that!’ said Alice to herself, rather sharply; I advise you to leave off this minute!’ She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people. But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice, to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!’ (Carroll, Ch. 1)

I believe that Carroll wanted to analyze the severe differences of being mentally strong or weak. He associates irrational distress as weakness and strict reasoning as strength. Although these aspects don’t necessarily apply directly to reality, they still reveal a sort of confusion between how one feels and how one should feel.

Carroll, Lewis. The Annotated Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. New York: C.N. Potter, 1960. Guttenberg.org. 19 May 2009. Web.


How To Read “Teddy Bear” By A.A. Milne

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.

Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,

Which is not to be wondered at;

He gets what exercise he can

By falling off the ottoman,

But generally seems to lack

The energy to clamber back.”
What the reader is asked to know:
About Life
·         What is the significance of a teddy bear
·         The difference between what it means to be “stout” and “slim”
About Language
·         To recognize the importance of repetition and rhyme schemes
·         The playfulness of dialogue
o   For example: “Well, well!”  “Tut-tut!”
About Literature
·         The use of personification and rhetorical questions
·         The underlying theme of the poem regarding self-esteem and body image
What the reader is asked to do:
·         Enjoy the rhythm and rhyme of the poem
·         Understand the deeper meaning that the poem holds
Who is the Implied Reader?
                Although the rhymes and silliness of the poem make it clearly intended for children, there is no doubt the adults can also find the deeper meaning. As a society, there are expectations and principles that can affect our own self-worth. Even though this particular poem was published in 1924, it can still be relevant for many older people today. Lack of self-esteem due to physical appearance is an issue that children learn quickly and adults struggle with.




By Shel Silverstein
Bouncin’ upon the trampoline
So high above the ground,
Just as I was goin’ up
I saw her-comin’ down.
She had a daisy in her hair,
She wore a silken gown.
But when she started goin’ up,
I was comin’ down.
I tried to say, “Hello-nice day.”
She smiled and spun around.
“Come up awhile with me,” yelled she,
But I was goin’ down.
And so, as yet, we’ve never met
Because we’ve sadly found
That one is always goin’ up
While one is comin’ down.

Silverstein, Shel. “Trampoline.” Every Thing On It: Poems and Drawings. New York: HarperCollins Children’s, 2011. N. pag. Print.