Friday, 13 December 2013

ABC blog: U

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U is for underdog. Why do we always align with the weak, the oppressed, the underprivileged, the unjustly treated? Actually, we don't, but the texts make us to. It would be much easier to bet on the strong, rich and beautiful, but where would the story go from there? Only downhill, and we don't want that. Or if we do, we are aware that we are reading or watching a tragedy. Children's literature is seldom, if ever, a tragedy, even if it is dark and full of sorrow, because the child can recuperate by virtue of being a child. There may be setbacks, there may be hardships and suffering, but there will always be a promise.

A child is an underdog by definition, like the younger brother or sister in a folktale. The hero must start at a low point to climb. And while we always know that they will make it, the question is how, and will they have to sacrifice something, and will they keep their integrity, and will we still like them when they get there.

U is also for utopia, but I have already discussed it in other entries.

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