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).