By Nivedita Sen
This seminal paintings examines the concurrence of formative years uprising and conformity in Bengali literary texts (including grownup texts), a pertinent but unexplored sector, making it a primary of its style. it's a learn of the voice of kid protagonists throughout children’s and grownup literature in Bengali vis-à-vis the associations of relations, the schooling procedure, and the nationalist stream within the ninenteenth and 20th centuries.
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Extra info for Family, School and Nation: The Child and Literary Constructions in 20th-Century Bengal
The examination system with all its documentary techniques, extant then as now, was a contrivance which underlined each individual as a particular ‘case’ where generality was the norm. Under a particular school regime or class, too, the members were all supposed to belong to a group that demanded synchronization according to broad parameters. A class, by definition, however, did not acknowledge and probe into the minutiae that make each child an individual human being who responds to the world on her/his own terms.
Some of the nostalgia and the yearnings of Romanticism, for instance, are clearly discernible in the themes of children’s poems and stories in Bengali that sympathetically treat the child protagonist’s desire to break free of the establishment and sometimes escape to natural surroundings. With an upbringing that not only conformed to Western codes of etiquette but encouraged the reading of English literature, these Bengali writers responded empathetically with the similar denunciation of formal schooling in nineteenth-century English literature.
Tagore, Rabindranath. ‘Shiksha Sanskar’ (‘Reforming Education’), Shiksha (Education) (1908) in Rabindra Rachanabali XI. Kolkata: Viswabharati, 1961, p. 5571 1 In the backdrop of the changing perspective on child-rearing in the West, it would be appropriate to note some predominant attitudes to childhood as expressed in Bengali literary and nonliterary writing for and about children during the nineteenth century, though it is difficult and perhaps ultimately unviable to sum up entire cross-currents of viewpoints spanning a hundred years.