DWJ resurgence

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon Aug 4 07:34:44 EDT 2003

In <20030803.225044.2596.2.lizcrowe at juno.com>, Elizabeth Crowe wrote:
>I was responding to DWJ's personal experience as a child who felt
>unwanted rather than nurtured by her parents.  I'm assuming that the
>numbers of children who are victims of neglect and abuse are on the rise.
> Maybe I'm wrong?

Ah, then I read what you said wrong and I apologise.

When you wrote
>> >It seems to me that Jones's common
>> >theme of children left to their own devices is 
>> >even more applicable to
>> >today's children than it was when the books were 
>> >originally published.>

that would be your saying that they *are* left to their own devices
more, and that this makes the books more relevant to their actual
experience? I read it as "they are so stifled in cottonwool that
escaping is even more important than it used to be back when they
weren't", which I think was what Ven too was saying.

I think it is probably impossible to say whether child-abuse of any kind
is rising or falling, because so much will depend on the definition of
"abuse", and of "child".  I think it likely that the instances of
*undetected* *actual* abuse may be falling, because shopping one's
neighbours to the police or social services or children's charities has
(praise the god of your choice!) become acceptable as behaviour, and
ordinary people who might in previous times have felt that it was "none
of their business" are now aware of possibilities for intervention in a
way they used not to be.  Whether or not effective action is then taken
by the various authorities or agencies in cases of genuine abuse seems
to be a grey area; some say yes, some say no, and some say that taking a
child into care in anything other than very extreme cases indeed
constitutes abuse in itself...

Mind you, I'd also suggest that if one were in care, a book in which the
children were not being constantly monitored by adults might appeal very
greatly, just as it would to the poor coddled children who are bought
bicycles for Christmas and then never allowed actually to ride them in
case they get stolen and because the child is never allowed outside
the house on its own anyhow, which makes me wonder what on earth the
point of the bicycle as a present was in the first place.  Either kid
might read a Famous Five book about a bicycle tour with a deep yearning,
I would have thought.

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