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Emily of New Moon

Course Code
Robert Mc Gill

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October 21, 2010
Fairies cont
The bildungsroman and child development
Didactic literature
The Kunstlerromen
Patriarchy and Gender Relations
Taboo Subjects and Language
Are you there, God? Its me, Emily.
Childhood’s special sphere of innocence and imagination – allowed them to experience
magical realms
Adults wish to return to that place but cannot
Dean Priest – keen to talk fairies but also there is a border between them that cannot be
*Crisis of Borders: respected
adulthood and childhood; deceit, hypocrisy and death
sexual knowledge
betrayal: Rhoda Stewart throws her over for another girlthat phase was over” – Emily
Emilys belief in fairies;since she was eight she has not believed in present day fairies
Emilys relationship to the land pg. 6
Locality, white clover etc.
Romanticism – regional idyll, nationalismbig brown mushroom house”
Notion of Emily growing out of the land
Protagonists growth and development, usually from childhood sometimes in adulthood
Child going away from home
Dwells on sexual coming of age
Like childrens literature although it omits sexual relations and taboo adult-like knowledge
Emilys sexual knowledge such as she gains is very limited
Poison apple, the cliff and feverish at the end
a) Poison apple: look back on writing with new critic, perspective – throws out old letters to
Father—different points of maturity for her – critical distance
Less judgmental—critical distance – second judgments, revised view points
Starts to censor herself more – articulation, decorous
Respect for tradition, more than conformation, questions why people appreciate traditions
Candles in New Moon
What is means to be a child? – main question of novel
How Emily should develop, parenting techniques
Here is what it is like to be a child, material that is appropriate for children Ex. Sexual
education in elementary schools in Ont. Canceled
Two different children: Emily and applied reader
How is this novel attempting to relate to its applied readers
How might it even be protecting its implied readers
Aunt Elizabeth wants Emily to beeducated properly”
What is a proper education?

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What kind of justice should be offered to a child
How much privacy should a child have?
Miss teacher and Mr. Carpenter teacher – latter better
Aunt Nancy and Caroline speak frankly and Aunt Elizabeth frankly censors
Emily: Whats the earliest age at which a person can be called grown up?
Elizabeth: You neednt worry about that
Self conscious, self reflex
Didactic Literature
Literature that sets out to instruct its readers with regard to some doctrine, set of ideas, or are
of knowledge
Childrens lit: didactic by nature, reading is a good things
Emily of New Moon: literature hasnt always been seen as a good thing
Aunt Elizabeth is suspicious of made up stories
The novel is required to prove itself to be morally worthy, to restrict itself
Pg. 151 – Emily should have been punished if it were a proper yarn
Confessing that the novel is naughty too – does not punish her and she does not feel guilty
This is the first time we get the narrator’s eye
Narrator as a woman – can relate to Emily—they bond of transgression
The female characters who feel they need to be proper
Refusal by the author to be proper and didactic
Instead she is taking her stance with realism
Kids do things sometimes for no reason and do not get found out
Ambivalence: she will be punished by thinking she has eaten a poison apple
Novel where generally good people turn out good, bad to bad
Awful things too: orphaned from the start
Teddy Kent and his mother – mental illness and cruelly destroys animals
Burley’s father saying he will kill her if she tells a lie
Is God just to his creatures?
Is there justice of sense in it?
Puts the novel on the borders of childrens literature
A novel about the development, education of an artist
James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1917)
Development of Emily as a writer
Gaining literacy – Emily’s spelling is remarkably bad, then gets dictionary, then loses it and is
Emily is not local enough, does not write what she knows at the start
Moves into conventions – Mr. Carpenter realizes the ways in which she has drawn on other
Part of her progress is to move away from other peoples voices and genres and channel her
Connects as a reader, offers a kind of model for readers
Children reading the novel get qualities of themselves mirrored back to them
Emilys progress offers up benchmarks for children to judge their own literacy
List of beautiful words – childrens own appreciation for language
Consolation for readers; that Emily is not alone. Reading and writing re solitary things but
there are other people out there doing the same thing.
Relationships with Wind woman, reflection in the glass – Emily is a reflection of the reader
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