Perils of ProtectionShipwrecks, Orphans, and Children's Rights

Perils of ProtectionShipwrecks, Orphans, and Children's Rights

Susan Honeyman

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781496819895

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


When we generalize about children, we are often also implicitly generalizing about their care, from within a "middle-class" view of "nuclear" family. These as sumptions rely on anorm that few of us actually fit. Yet it is very difficult to talk about children from completely outside of such an assumed model of support in the private or "islanded" sphere. In contrast, children in literature are just as often disconnected from family in order to have greater adventures in more public spaces. They must leave the confines of the private family to for gean other sphere in which to grow. But the real experiences of children at tempting public connection or freedom to roam are farmore complicated, ranging from captivity and containment to escape and self-reliance. Utilizing both fictions of child adventure and accounts of experiences by actual children, Honey mandemonstrates that childwelfare depends upon not just protection, but also participation. How can protection, which sounds so comforting, do harm? Perils of Protection will trace how the best of intentions to protect children can none the lesshurt them if leaving them unprepared to acton the irown behalf. Each chapter will center on this perilous pattern in a different context: "women and children first" rescue hierarchies, geographic restriction, abandonment, censorship, and illness. Analysis from adventures real and fictionalized will offer the reader high jinx and heroism at sea, the rush of risk, finding new families, resisting censorship through discovering shared political identity, and breaking the pretences of sentimentality.