Words of Wisdom:

"Sometimes I wonder, then I stop 'cause it scares me" - Philipk31

Essay

  • Date Submitted: 11/13/2013 02:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.2 
  • Words: 285
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“Childhood is a problematic category in the modern world
because so many social values are founded on it”.

Consider the filmic strategies used to probe the social contexts within
which childhood is embedded, with examples from more than one film.
Throughout history there have been questions about childhood, its role in society,
and the consequential implications for the adult world. Childhood provides the
foundation for adulthood, it is a period of growth, learning, and integration into the
experienced, working world. Moreover, childhood lays the groundwork for future
generations; good morals and skills must be passed down descendants, to
ensure smooth running of the world when the present rulers and workers pass
away.

Two films that portray a specific role for society in the nurturing of childhood are
Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid and Nicholas Philebert’s Etre et Avoir. Combined,
these two films investigate the extent to which children have a voice of their own,
and the relationship between an adult’s view of a child’s needs in preparation for
a successful future in contrast to a child’s desires in the present. In The Kid, the
orphaned boy Jackie has different wants and needs to those deemed necessary
by the adult or authoritative world’s view. Similarly, Jojo in Etre et Avoir
expresses his reason for being at school in response to teacher Lopez’s
question, “why do you come to school?” with a simple answer, “because my
mummy makes me”. Education, then, both from the curriculum of government
schooling and from a parents’ attempt to socialise their children, plays largely the
biggest factor in the role of childhood in society – and conflict arises when there
is disagreement about the importance of, and the methods of implementing,
education.

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