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The issue about child abuse has increased, in the last few years. This issue occurs all over the world. People ranging from stepparents, stepsiblings, real parents and siblings to employers abuse children. Child abuse happens in many ways. Child abuse happens because of several reasons. The law takes child abuse as a crime and calls for a certain penalty. This paper looks at child abuse from a literary point of view.
Child abuse refers to mistreatment of children that occur physically, mentally or sexually. Physical child abuse involves mistreating children physically, through hurting them, denying them food, beating them excessively or giving them hard labor. Mental child abuse happens when the abuse affects their emotions. This includes abusing them, saying words that hurt them and scolding them in public that lowers their self-esteem. Sexual child abuse involves harassing children sexually by forcing them to engage in sex, touching them inappropriately, exposing them to explicit sexual content or using sexually sensitive or sexual attracting words when talking to them (Wolf, Coats and Jenkins 213).
Literary works such as the story of Cinderella use the child abuse topic to show the failure of the society to live up to the standards and values expected. Literary works try to inform people of how people in the society have become malicious and evil to the extent that they abuse children. They try to bring out the forms of child abuse, the causes of child abuse and the effects that this abuse puts on children.
Child abuse has many causes. The first cause of child abuse involves low family income levels. This issue makes parents physically abuse children by forcing them to work in order to help the family acquire money for their basic needs. Because of this, children engage in hard labor so that they can get money. Literary works that originate from societies with poor backgrounds or backgrounds that face hunger and starvation report this cause of child abuse. They try to show how the society suffers trying to secure their basic needs, and by doing that children get involved.
The differences in cultures also cause child abuse. The way cultures discipline their children differ across the world. Certain cultures punish their children by beating them while other punishes their children by denying them certain things or activities, such as leisure. Therefore, a culture may abuse children thinking that that forms the best way of punishing children. Literary works that come from different cultures in the world express different ways of punishing children. Through these works of literature, people get to know different forms and causes of child abuse that come from how cultures handle children.
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The third cause of child abuse involves family problems. These may result from the death of one or both parents, parents who engage in drug abuse and cases of mental illnesses among other issues. This directly causes child abuse. For instance, in the story of Cinderella, the mother of Cinderella died. This made her father to remarry because he did not want Cinderella to live without a mother figure. However, he died after some time. The stepmother and stepsiblings abused Cinderella. Therefore, the story shoes that family problems and issues could lead to child abuse.
The literary point of view about child abuse tries to show people the actions that constitute child abuse, different causes of child abuse and the effects of child abuse to the individual child, the family of the child and society, at large. They try to bring a scene that shows that child abuse cause problems not only for the abused child but also for the entire society, and thus discourage it (Newton).
For example, the story of Cinderella shows her abuse by her stepmother and stepsiblings. These events show the failure of families to take the responsibility of caring for children. The father to Cinderella had married the second wife after her mother died, to take care of Cinderella. However, the stepmother does not fulfill her responsibility, when the father to Cinderella died. Instead of treating her with the love, she gave to her own children, she mistreats and abuses Cinderella, to the point of allowing her stepsisters mistreat her. This shows a failed family responsibility (Ulanov and Ulanov 14).
The literary point of view about child abuse tries to show the audience that child abuse does not help and has no good. For instance, the story of Cinderella shows that although the stepmother and stepsisters to Cinderella mistreated and abused her, she became the hero at last. The story shows that the prince married Cinderella, and she got many riches. This left her mother and her stepsisters angry and frustrated. Therefore, literary works try to show the audience that child abuse does not help, and child abusers end up with miserable lives. Therefore, they warn people against engaging, in child abuse
Child abuse has many effects. Most children who suffer child abuse experience emotional and psychological problems. The child may display the effects or not. However, the effects that arise because of child abuse may force these children to lose hope, lower their self-esteem and self worth and may commit suicide (Dubowitz 97).
The literary point of view about child abuse may happen indirectly, but they serve a significant purpose of enlightening the society of the disadvantages of child abuse also showing the society that people must avoid abusing children. Literary works help to address the issue because they reach many people around the world, in a short time.