Deutschland, Österreich, Osteuropa, England, Belgien und Frankreich
Edited By Hans-Heino Ewers
The Great War and Gender in French and English Children’s Literature Today
In today’s French and British children’s novels, which deal with the First World War, the character’s point of view is generally male. But there are novelists who focus on a female point of view, which symbolizes the home front, a subject that interests increasingly cultural historians. Gender affects the relationship to war. Writing from a girl’s point of view means describing the social tasks expected of women and girls as their participation in the war effort and also examining the question of female emancipation. During the war, the figure of the nurse was particularly valued. In the novels many heroines are affected by the “White Angel” model, refusing to stick to the role of the “Angel in the House”. According to national traditions, some novelists focus on pioneering female figures who pushed the limits of gender roles even further (British FANY members, French-Polish scientist Marie Curie). But because of the readers’ age, some subjects relating to girls, women and gender during the First World War are avoided. Moreover in today’s children’s novels about the Great War and gender, some writing or editorial choices expose plainly that girls are the intended readership.
In today’s children’s books, which deal with The Great War, the character’s point of view is generally male. But many novelists choose to focus on a female point of view, which symbolizes the “home front”, a subject that interests increasingly cultural historians. The writers describe the tasks expected of women and girls as...
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