[DWJ] corporal punishment

Deborah Meghnagi Bailey deborah at brightweavings.com
Thu Mar 10 04:32:43 EST 2011


>They did have to go outside every day, despite the weather and their
>inadequate clothing, which certainly *seems* punishment enough and then
>some!

Indeed!

>And now I think I'm remembering the film scene too!

Glad I'm not crazy - it's one of those memories that is so dim I'm not sure
it's real... :-)


On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 9:20 AM, Deborah Meghnagi Bailey <
deborah at brightweavings.com> wrote:

> I have a feeling that my mental image of a girl standing out in the rain
> from Jane Eyre is from an old film of the book, rather than the book
> itself.
> I vaguely remember reading Jane Eyre and being surprised that scene wasn't
> actually there. Thanks for clarifying!
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf
> Of
> Gili Bar-Hillel
> Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:18 AM
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] corporal punishment
>
> Thanks for the clarification on Jane Eyre, and the rest. The rocking scene
> is in the same book in which Willie Oleson is caned. Tom Sawyer is also
> punished by being made to sit with the girls, which is supposed to be far
> worse than a mere whipping. He takes advantage of this to flirt with
Becky.
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Hallie O'Donovan
> <hallieod at gmail.com>wrote:
>
> > Gili's question sent me into a frenzy - which I passed on to Becca - as
I
> > was *sure* I remember the same scene.
> >
> > But it was kind of interesting how many books I checked for it had
> extreme
> > humiliation of the schoolgirl rather than corporal punishment, somewhat
> to
> > my surprise!  FWIW, Gili, Helen in _Jane Eyre_ doesn't die because of
> being
> > punished by being made to stand out in the rain.  Helen is made to stand
> > with the 'slattern' board on her, but the typhus infection which tears
> > through the school later is because of the situation, "a cradle of fog
> and
> > fog-bred pestilence", and "semi-starvation and neglected colds".
> >
> > In _Anne of Green Gables_, Anne is first made to stand in front of the
> > blackboard where the teacher has written "Ann Shirley has a very bad
> > temper.
> > Ann Shirley must learn to control her temper," and Anne says she'd have
> > "infinitely preferred a whipping".  Later he makes he sit with the boys,
> > which is so humiliating that Anne refuses to go back to school.  But the
> > stupid teacher soon leaves and then there's the lovely teacher.
> >
> > Katy - before the accident, obviously - goes to a school run by a
lovely,
> > gentle woman, who goes no further than a severe scolding, even when Katy
> > incites the others to riotous games.  When they go off to school in the
> > next
> > one, I think the limits of the head-teacher's cruelty is to change their
> > rooms, punishing Katy for something she hasn't done (writing letters to
a
> > BOY).
> >
> > And the worst that happens to Laura is in - _Little Town on the Prairie_
> (I
> > think!) where Almonzo's horrible sister is teaching school and punishes
> > poor
> > Carrie, who is small and not terribly strong (she's already fainted in
> > school) by making her rock the heavy desk because she did it
accidentally
> > while studying.  She pushes too far and then Laura takes over and rocks
> it
> > with a vengeance, after which they're both sent home from school.  An
> > almost
> > mythological punishment in their minds.
> >
> > More recent and horrifying is in Rachel Manija Brown's _All the Fishes
> Come
> > Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India_, where one child is nearly
> > killed, and it's a minor miracle many don't.
> >
> >
> > Hallie
> >
> > On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 6:33 AM, Gili Bar-Hillel <hptranslator at gmail.com
> > >wrote:
> >
> > > Thanks a bunch to all of you! Many of the books you mentioned are on
> > > project
> > > Gutenberg, so I imagine I'll easily find the quotes by running a
> search.
> > > Problem is I then have to look them up in Hebrew translation for my
> > > class...
> > > or maybe I'll just make them suck it up and listen to English.
(Reading
> > > level English is a university requirement and we are assigned many
> > readings
> > > in English, but the students do grumble about it). I think I have
> plenty
> > of
> > > examples, and the more I think about this topic, the more fascinating
I
> > > find
> > > it. I'm beginning to think there might be an MA thesis in this...
> > >
> > > One lister raised the hypothesis, and I'm thinking she may be
> absolutely
> > > right, that I mixed up the punishment of Amy March with the punishment
> of
> > > Danny in "Danny the Champion of the World". Interesting also that some
> of
> > > you mentioned scenes in books I know I've read, such as Jane Eyre, but
> I
> > > had
> > > absolutely no recollection of these scenes.
> > >
> > > In the Narnia books, C. S. Lewis sneaks in a couple of words in favor
> of
> > > corporal punishment. He states quite clearly in Dawn Treader that one
> of
> > > the
> > > elements lacking in Eustace's education was corporal punishment; in
the
> > > conclusion of "The Silver Chair" Eustace and Jill and Caspian give the
> > > bullies at Experimental School a whacking which we are lead to read as
> > long
> > > overdue.
> > >
> > > Asides from corporal punishment, there are many examples of more
> > > "educational" forms of punishment in literature - giving the child a
> > "taste
> > > of their own medicine" or having their lies come true on them -
> sometimes
> > > framed as quite entertaining: Nurse Matilda (aka Nanny McFee) and Mrs.
> > > Piggle-Wiggle come to mind.
> > >
> > > It is a gruesome topic and one about which there is a frightening
> wealth
> > of
> > > material. I've just read four different memoirs of Jewish authors who
> > > studied in "Heder" (a word meaning "room", because usually this would
> be
> > > one
> > > room in the house of a private teacher) in 18th, 19th and even early
> 20th
> > > century Europe, where teachers mercilessly flogged children as young
as
> > > three and as old as twenty. Students would leave injured, sometimes
> > > crippled
> > > for life, one of the stories is about a boy who died at the hands of
> his
> > > teacher - and this was socially accepted, even expected. Beatings were
> > > considered an inseparable part of education. Perhaps, indeed, the only
> > way
> > > to get a group of children to learn to read a foreign language at
three
> > was
> > > to make it essential to their survival that they do so. I'm getting
> > carried
> > > away, but the topic has hit a sensitive spot with me and one which is
> > > unfortunately on my mind in recent days.
> > >
> > > ObDWJ: in "Time of the Ghost", the fact that the girls are NOT
punished
> > by
> > > their parents for various misdeeds is a sign of their neglect. If they
> > are
> > > punished, it is randomly, not immediately connected to what they did
or
> > did
> > > not do, making their entire interaction with their father an extended
> > > blanket punishment for being bad girls and unworthy of his attention.
> > >
> > > I'll leave you with this thought from Astrid Lindgren, author of the
> > Pippi
> > > Longstocking books. This is from a controversial speech she gave in
> 1978
> > in
> > > Germany; one year later, Sweden passed a law forbidding parents to
beat
> > > their children:
> > >
> > > "When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me
> > that
> > > when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in
> > striking
> > > children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was
> > > standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or
> > five,
> > > he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his
> > > life.
> > > And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch
for
> > her
> > > to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back
> in,
> > he
> > > was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but
here's
> a
> > > rock that you can throw at me."
> > >
> > > "All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the
> > > child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it
> makes
> > no
> > > difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a
stone.
> > And
> > > the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she
laid
> > the
> > > rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never
> violence.
> > > And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because
> > > violence
> > > begins in the nursery- one can raise children into violence."
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 5:46 AM, Gin <kalaidiscope at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hi,
> > > >
> > > > There is definately caning in Tom Brown's schooldays, and there is
> also
> > > > caning in Rudyard Kiplings'  " Stalky and Co" . Would you like me to
> > find
> > > > the quotes for you?
> > > >
> > > > Gin
> > > >
> > > > On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 1:10 PM, Roslyn Gross <
> rosgross at bigpond.net.au
> > > > >wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > In _Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix_, Harry is
physically
> > > > > punished in a particularly sadistic way by Professor Umbridge.
> > > > >
> > > > > Ros
> > > > >
> > > > > On 10/03/11 4:25 AM, "Gili Bar-Hillel" <hptranslator at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > >Dear DWJers,
> > > > > >
> > > > > >I'm straying off topic, but this list is so wonderful for
> > identifying
> > > > > >books
> > > > > >that I can't help myself.
> > > > > >I'm trying to remember a book in which a schoolgirl gets caned
> > across
> > > > the
> > > > > >palms of the hands. It's something like "What Katy Did" or "Anne
> of
> > > > Green
> > > > > >Gables"... Her hands hurt so badly she can hardly hold a pencil
> > > > > >afterwards.
> > > > > >Does anyone remember such a scene?
> > > > > >And in general, I'm looking for references in works of fiction to
> > > > children
> > > > > >being punished by adults, in particular memoirs and fiction from
> the
> > > > 19th
> > > > > >century, punishment at school, and corporal punishment. I've come
> up
> > > so
> > > > > >far
> > > > > >with the paddling in "The Great Brain", Silas Marner sticking
> Eppie
> > > the
> > > > > >coal
> > > > > >shed... I'm sure there are tons more that I can't recall right
> now.
> > > Help
> > > > > >appreciated!
> > > > > >
> > > > > >Gili
> > > > > >_______________________________________________
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> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
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