Idealism, was Sexism in Harry Potter, plus Cynthia Voigt, DWJ & other rambles

Margaret E Parks meparks at mtholyoke.edu
Wed Oct 4 16:47:00 EDT 2000


Hallie wrote:  And Lizzie, FWIW, Cara
(aged 10), Becca (aged 14) and I (aged 42) all agree with you 100%, so if
it is late adolescent idealism, we may all be in trouble

Actually, it's worth a lot.  I guess I was defensive about that because
I've heard so many times the prediction that by the time I'm thirty I'll
have all of my idealism pushed out of me.  Knowing that you, at forty,
haven't met that dire fate yet cheers me considerably.  In a way, this
goes back to what I was writing about Susan in the Narnia books a while
back; people, the generalized other of society, seem to me to be saying
that children are magical, and that as you stop being a child you will
automatically lose all your idealism and imagination and so on and so
forth.  I recently read something that Madeleine L'Engle said in this
vein, but I can't seen to find it again online, and I know that many
others have said this or some variant.  Well, I hate it.  When I was
younger, it made me desperately opposed to growing up, and I think it's a
reason for problems I've had accepting things like Christmases not being
quite the same anymore, or childhood friends growing apart.  I don't deny
that children are different from adults, with less set preconceptions and
so on.  But I refuse to believe that just because I have to grow up I have
to become blase and unmagical.

lizzie

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