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Hey Diddle Diddle Chestertons got a Riddle Nursery rhymes and society what do they have in common Many societies in history have generally considered children to be miniature adults who were often times treated as such including societies of recent history In our Eurocentric western world in a supposedly more enlightened era society has begun to view children as children and not small adults Many have taken to exploring the minds of the young only to find themselves struggling to understand through their own eyes instead of those of a childs G K Chesterton in light of new understandings by these psychologists and child-lovers has denounced the nonsense marketed as childrens art and literature for being directed at and produced for every person not a child in his essay Child Psychology and Nonsense Chesterton draws a distinct and rather colorful line between childrens poetry that is and is not appropriate for a developing youth Chesterton armed with a seemingly ample understanding of child psychology has tackled the hypocrisy of those claiming to be aware of the amusements of children He states the seemingly obvious when he says that the purpose of composing for children is to give them pleasure but insists that instead society is simply amusing itself with children He said of certain childrens poems that while they may be enjoyed by the child-lover and grown-up people the point of many of them is not only such that a child should not see it it is such that a child ought not be allowed to see it By this Chesterton refers to poetry that while simplistic and with rhyme and rhythm a child could enjoy alone the context of intended meaning is not appropriate Such is the case in the following passage Chesterton quoted from Stevensons Childs Garden of Verses The child that is not clean and neat With lots of toys and things to eat He is a naughty child Im
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