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The representation of disability in children's literature: 19th and 20th centuries

This article examines the treatment of disabled characters in British and North-American children's classics and in books that are out-of-print or less available to children from the 19th century to early 20th century. One of the main findings of this article is that the treatment of disabled characters is often more complex and varied in the latter than in the former. Moreover, the prevailing view of many 19th century and some early 20th century authors was that one should submit to misfortunes, both as a form of obedience to God's will, and because these seeming misfortunes are ultimately intended for one's own good. Therefore, in many books, disability, where it occurs, and its cure are associated with character.

Children's Literature; Disabled Characters; School of Pain

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - Faculdade de Educação Avenida Paulo Gama, s/n, Faculdade de Educação - Prédio 12201 - Sala 914, 90046-900 Porto Alegre/RS – Brasil, Tel.: (55 51) 3308-3268, Fax: (55 51) 3308-3985 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil