I’ve been thinking of starting an a organisation to promote the death of dead mother books. You know the kind I mean.
The ‘why’ of dead mother books has long been debated and there are many theories on the subject of their creation.
The most absurd one I’ve ever read goes along the lines of "Disney hated powerful, independent women."
Whether or not that is true, lets just dump that theory on the garbage heap and set fire to it now because Disney didn’t write the stories for the animated movies his studio produced in such prolific quantities.
They were all old fairy tales… many of which were already in the public domain, which meant no royalties to pay and no relatives to seek script approval from and no authors to nag them if they took liberties with the plot or the characters.
The other theory, which may or may not be more credible is the theory that the protagonist would not have gone off on his or her own and done such great and wondrous things if their mother (or parents) were still alive.
The people who thought that one up never had a nosy grandmother or an irritating monster-in-law.
Then again, maybe they did.
‘Hey kid! Run for your life.’
Getting eaten by a dragon is a far better fate than gaining an evil queen with a penchant for poisoning relatives as a mother-in-law.
Seriously though, there is something to the theory, but it’s really about self-empowerment, about taking charge of your own life and making, rightfully or wrongly, your own decisions.
The problem occurs when the ‘adult’ authors motivation is to work off their own angst about a dead or missing parent (or parents). The result is six to sixteen year old child protagonists suddenly expressing adult angst and portraying adult emotions and neuroses.
Hey world! Get with it. People like librarians and even the author-perpetrator are busy trying to make kids read this stuff. They’re dumping their angst/guilt onto younger generations as a form of psychotherapy… and getting paid to do it.
V.C. Andrews wrote about the obsessions of her time (rape, child abuse, incest). Today its cancer, drugs, and not being able to deal with adult issues, like death, as an adult because they were never prepared for it or refused to accept it.
… but by the gods they’re going to make their children and everyone else’s children neurotic as well, even if it kills them.
Children are becoming increasingly neurotic at an ever decreasing age. Psychologists and psychiatrists have never had it so good, and the pharmaceutical industry is making a fortune on children.
It’s time to End-The-Trend.