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Literature and Aging

Orphans And Substitute Parents

Although occasional orphans, such as detective Nancy Drew, seem untroubled by the death of a parent, others struggle to come to terms with their loss. For instance, L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Anne of Green Gables (1908) is desperate to be accepted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, an elderly brother and sister, who need help on their farm. J. K. Rowling also shows great sensitivity to Harry Potter's feelings of bereavement in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998), a most unusual boarding school novel. Not only does his school train aspiring witches and wizards, but its headmaster plays a positive role rather than merely being a disciplinarian. The elderly head assists the boy unobtrusively, while teaching him to accept death as "the next great adventure" (p.297). Evil older characters abound, but with the assistance of the headmaster and other friendly helpers, the boy hero and his friends prevail.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 3Literature and Aging - Redemptive Grandchildren, Animal Family Life, Orphans And Substitute Parents, Epic Adventures And Magical Transformations