The Theme Of Integrity In Children’S Literature: An Analysis Of Select Children’s Books
Nyambura, Muguro, Helen
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This study examines how writers of selected children's story books use characters and setting in order to present the theme of integrity. The research examines children’s texts co-authored by P.L.O. Lumumba, Rebecca Nandwa, Pius Kidombo, and Vicki Okumu under the ‘Integrity Series’ by Longhorn Publishers. Through juxtaposing characters who have good and bad character traits, the authors are able to present their views about integrity. The settings also are a means of exploration of the institutions that the characters operate in, so as to establish what moral and immoral behaviour is within the given spaces. This study uses the sociological theory, as proposed by theorist Peter Burke as well as the writer Okot P’Bitek, to analyze, interpret and evaluate the primary texts. Both of these scholars posit that sociological literary criticism helps a reader understand literature in its social context; it analyses social reality. Using the sociological theoretical framework, literature is interpreted from its social function of storing, interpreting and transmitting the values of a given society. Thus this theory helps unearth the writers’ views concerning behaviour that represents integrity and the character that does not. The study also relies on the formalist critical approach, as advanced by Vladmir Prop, to analyze, interpret and evaluate the texts. This theory focuses on structural elements of the text, and in the case of this study, elements relating to setting and how it is used to present content. I argue that character traits such as nepotism, hypocrisy, theft, greed, and corruption are vices that are condemned in the texts under study while generosity, honest, kindness; indulging others in good ways are applauded. Both adult and children characters are reprimanded for having negative character traits but are lauded for having positive ones. The institutions that these characters populate have also been analysed so as to determine the manner in which the settings have been used by the characters. The wrong use of the spaces by the characters to engage in vices has been condemned while the good use of these spaces has been extolled.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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