Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is Goldilocks a juvenile delinquent?

Sorry there's been no news for a while! I did have something typed up and ready to post but the school have made it nearly impossible to get on here and write because they've imposed a quota time.

All is well down under though; mostly the usual day to day thing whilst trying to get ready to come home.

Until I get chance to sort something out and type something properly, here is a little something I had a bit of fun with the other day in class. One of the boys I help is in Year 8 and as such learning to write essays properly. So, Mr. Hopewell set them this as their question given that they all know the story.
I hope you like it!

"Is Goldilocks a juvenile delinquent?

The age old fable “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” has long been regaled to youngsters but it does raise questions of morality. As such, its relevance and benefit as a fable are thrown into question. On the one hand, Goldilocks is a simply an innocent young girl who stumbled across an empty house with some delicious porridge on the table and a comfy bed in the bedroom. However, on the other hand, her actions show an inexcusable disregard for the law and set her, like many of today’s youth, on a slippery slope towards more serious crime.

The beginning of the story sees Goldilocks come across the Bears’ unlocked front door and curiosity get the better of her, which culminates in her trying all three of the bear’s porridges. Many have argued that this constitutes “breaking and entering” and therefore she is in clear breach of the law. Whilst her actions are probably questionable, it is an over-exaggeration to label them as illegal. The door was unlocked and being a curious young girl, her intrigued mind simply got the better of her. On the contrary, Goldilocks has undoubtedly trespassed on another’s property. What possessed her to do this we are not told, however, the fact she was left to her own devices in a forest first thing in the morning highlights an abject failure on behalf of her parents. This therefore gives some credence to Goldilocks’ case: how can she be expected to know the moral repercussions of this when she is quite clearly a product of what David Cameron, the British Prime Minister calls “a broken society”? Surely Goldilocks is not at fault for simply being a product of her society?

Goldilocks’ subsequent actions; breaking Baby Bear’s chair and falling asleep in his bed – the two that were “just right” – do seem to show a lack of respect for other people’s property, something society dictates as wrong. However, as we have seen, Goldilocks, being a young girl is unlikely to have much of an understanding as to the demands of society, she was simply interested in finding the bed that was most comfortable. As such, it is fair to argue that Goldilocks’ actions are not those of a juvenile delinquent, simply those of an innocent and curious young girl. Moreover, who can blame Goldilocks for falling temptation to what is obviously the house of a loving and caring family? The comfort of her surroundings is indicated by the fact she actually fell asleep in Baby Bear’s bed. Can we honestly assume a juvenile delinquent would be relaxed enough to do this? I would attest that this behaviour would be highly unlikely from someone who had broken and entered and whose actions were calculated. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that a juvenile delinquent’s actions, and reasons for entering, would be somewhat more malicious. The naivety of Goldilocks’ actions highlight they are simply those of an intrigued and curious young girl.

However we look at this story, whether with harsh cynical eyes, or with a liberal forgiving outlook, there is undoubtedly evidence that Goldilocks was in the wrong. Where the disagreement lies is in the extent of this wrong doing. We have seen the arguments that defend her actions as those of a na├»ve youngster with a curious mind on the one hand and the accusations that that argue she is a delinquent with serious issues that will continue to be a burden to society on the other, despite the timeless nature of this story. When we look at this in the context of Goldilocks’ family, who have clearly abandoned her and left her to fend for herself in the forest; her actions are hardly surprising. With such a blatant parenting failure, is it any wonder Goldilocks’ moral compass is somewhat skewed? Many would counter this with the argument that we have an intrinsic sense of right and wrong and Goldilocks’ actions clearly contravened this. Our sympathies, however, must lie with the protagonist. We must allow her the benefit of the doubt; all youngsters make mistakes and Goldilocks is no exception. Wild accusations of “evil” and juvenile delinquency are misplaced and a gross over exaggeration. Whilst she is undoubtedly troubled and needs professional help, her actions were by no means calculated and pre-meditated; they were simply those of a curious and innocent youngster crying, perhaps, for help."

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