Little Women

Emerging Trends in 19th Century Children’s Literature: Exploring Didactic, Entertaining and Adventurous Plot Lines 11th Grade

As the eighteenth century came to a close, there was a rise of children literature because the way society viewed children changed from children being seen as small adults to them being creative individuals that are easily influenced by everything around them. As a result, children’s books became a way to teach children how to act correctly in society. (Grenby.2014) Although some stories are overtly didactic, both The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott exemplify children’s novels that have a didactic plot line woven in with the emerging trends of adventure and entertainment.

Alexandre Dumas, the author of The Three Musketeers, is famous for writing strong morality into many of his works. He preached strong ethics throughout The Three Musketeers, shown through the main characters: D'Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos, each one exemplifying correct morals. D’Artagnan is portrayed as the poor nobleman who goes off to become a musketeer to help his family. Throughout the novel, he’s distinguished by his ambition. Kitty, his love interest, describes his personality as having “the principal features of... ambition and pride”. (Dumas.514) Athos is seen as the wisest in the group. He is shown as...

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