Plot Motif's In Childrens Literature

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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A plot motif is a recurring action or situation in literature. While plot motifs are generally the same throughout stories, they may be used in certain and perhaps different ways, in different stories and at different times. The motif of love, whether it be falling in love or acts relating to love can be found in nearly all of children's literature. However, the use of it varies from story to story. In some stories such as The Tinderbox, we see love as unattainable, while in others such as The Frog Prince and The Little Mermaid the love is unattainable until a transformation occurs in at least one of the characters. And in others still, we see love as true though sometimes unrealistic, in stories such as The Owl and the Pussy-Cat.

In The Tinderbox, we find a classic example of love in children's literature; that is a love that is unattainable because of social class.

In this story, the soldier uses his magical tinderbox to meet with the princess. "There she was, fast asleep on the dog's back, and she was so lovely that anybody could see that she must be a real princess. The soldier could not help it, but he was obliged to kiss her, for he was a true soldier." (127) As we can see here, the soldier almost immediately falls for the princess. Meanwhile, the princess has a "dream" about the soldier. "The princess said that she had such a wonderful dream about a dog and a soldier. She had ridden on the dog's back and the soldier had kissed her." (127) The princess too, almost immediately falls in love with the soldier. Even although the two only meet on occasion, with the help of the magic tinderbox and dog, their love becomes...