Stories of Childhood

Evolving Portrayals in Books and Films

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About the Book

This study questions the widely held perception that books, as an artistic medium, are superior to and more respectable than film or television, sometimes considered frivolous and pernicious. Criticism of both the big and small screens often obscures their signal accomplishments and the entertainment and insight they provide. The author analyzes our distaste for these media—and the romanticizing of the printed word that accompanies it—and argues that books and films are in fact quite complementary. A broad survey of film and TV offerings explores what enacted narratives have taught us about the nature of childhood.

About the Author(s)

Dean W. Duncan is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Bibliographic Details

Dean W. Duncan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7132-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2140-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Introduction—The Roots and Branches of Children’s Media 1

Part I: Books and Films

1. The Media: What Was I Scared Of? 11

2. From Confrontation to Conciliation: Not Worrying So Much and Learning to Love the Media 41

Part II: Defining Childhood—Evolving Representations and Realities

3. The Angel Child 77

4. Idealism, Sentimentality and the Advent of Film 100

5. The Problem with Perfection and Ways Forward 115

6. Bad Boys and Demon Seeds 143

7. Reconciling and Synthesizing Polar Positions 170

8. Adults and Children, Mutually Implicated 200

Chapter Notes 223

Bibliography 241

Filmography 261

Index 267

Book Reviews & Awards

“explores the perception that books outrank film or television as an artistic medium-and are more respected as well”—Communications Booknotes Quarterly.