Compare and contrast Peter Pan and Pinocchio
This essay should be 1000 words (4 pages) and turned in at the beginning of class Follow the citation system used for the first paper.
Choose one of the following topics:
1. Compare and contrast how the literary frame (as opposed to the larger religious frame) of the Pentamerone, Thousand and One Nights and the Canterbury Tales function. Questions to consider might include the following: What literary features do they have in common? What is different? What do the differences suggest about the goals of the compilers of the collections? What are the literary effects of the frames? What literary potential does the framing narrative offer the creator of the collections? How does the existence of story-tellers as distinct from the stories told affect interpretation of the narratives themselves? How do the frames support the “transformation,” “metamorphosis,” or “rite of passage” movement of the tales within the collections themselves?
2. In a famous essay entitled, “The Storyteller,” Walter Benjamin wrote, “When someone goes on a trip, he has something to tell about,” goes the German saying, and people imagine the storyteller as someone who has come from afar. But they enjoy no less listening to the man [sic] who has stayed home, making an honest living, and who knows the local tales and traditions.” Taking this as your starting point, compare and contrast how Pentamerone and Thousand and One Nights address the question of the knowledge acquired by those who stay home versus those who go on a journey. Think about the women who tell the stories in both collections and where they have or have not travelled.
3. Peter Pan and Pinocchio share with other fairy tales their function as “coming of age” narratives. However, Peter rejects adulthood, whereas Pinocchio, like Wendy and her brothers, adapt to the world of adulthood. Compare and contrast how these short novels deal with the “maturation” theme so common in fairy tales.
4. Besides being “coming of age” novels, Peter Pan and Pinocchio are also “national” allegories, so “coming of age” is as much about becoming a citizen of a nation as about individual development. Compare and contrast the worlds that these novels induct their main characters into. Do they present a dark side of maturation into the modern world that rather than affirming the endurance of the world as the traditional fairy tale suggests present a murky view of adult responsibility.
Finally, good luck on the project, try to enjoy doing it, and plan your time. Come and see your TA or me to discuss your ideas, your thesis statement, or your concerns about the paper.
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