Summary of Teaching Children to Discriminate paper

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Erin Gray ENGL 1310-Section 10 Teaching children how to discriminate Children learn from what they are exposed to; surrounding children with ideals of good triumphing over evil and romantic themes in television, books, and movies contribute greatly to the people they will become as adults in our society. However, children do not only see the good themes we want them to learn. They pick up the underlying messages that the media may or may not realize are prevalent in children’s entertainment. These messages are subtle; adults may think children would not understand or pick up on the differences between the “good guys” dialects, stations in life, or romantic capabilities and those of the “bad guys” and lesser characters. The villains in classic Disney movies usually speak without a British or American accent; they are also above working-class stations, and are usually unattractive and therefore would not succeed in romance. An example of this is seen with
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Unformatted text preview: Cinderella ’s ugly stepsisters, The Little Mermaid ’s Ursula, and Alice in Wonderland ’s Queen of Hearts. Messages based on anti-Semitism were seen in Disney’s 1948 reanimation of The Three Little Pigs , anti-Arabian themes appear in Aladdin , and anti-French messages come up in Beauty and the Beast . These messages seem to come about with religions, regions or countries that the United States is not understanding of or friendly with at the time of the film’s release. The main characters in these films all speak with American accents. However, the villain the wolf in The Three Little Pigs speaks with a Yiddish accent, and the lesser characters and servants in Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast speak with Arabian accents and French accents. I believe that children exposed to these films are strongly influenced by them, and therefore they learn to fear those different from them....
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