2015 Undergraduate Awards

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Drawing primarily on the theoretical works of Sara Ahmed and Robin Bernstein, this paper explores how children’s complicity and victimhood in the wars within Caryl Churchill’s Far Away and Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children become symbolic of humanity’s demise. The essay uses Far Away and Mother Courage as case studies to examine broader social scripts on childhood. The paper argues that the children in each play are characterized by social expectations that children are meant to be ignorant to the worlds around them, as well as embodiments of the hope that the future will be better than the present. Finally, this paper argues that social scripts of childhood ignorance and innocence place unrealistic expectations onto children that ultimately limit their agential choices.


Image "Childhood" by Moyan Brenn. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.