Orphans in Literature

1 02 2012

For some reason, the world of literature is obsessed with orphans.  What’s their deal?

We read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer earlier in the year.  In that book Tom Sawyer’s parents are gone, and his best friend, Huck Finn, is growing up with no mom and a dad that’s never around.  Written just a few years earlier on the other side of the world, Oliver Twist is about an English boy growing up with no parents, and ever since, it seems like authors are a little obsessed  with orphans.

The Ousiders, set about 100 years after Tom Sawyer’s adventures, three brothers take care of one another after their parents die.  Another 50 years later, Harry Potter’s parents are dead before the story begins.  The list goes on – The Baudelaire children from A Series of Unfortunate Events, Leisel from The Book Thief, Heidi, Hugo Cabret, Peter Pan, Lyra from The Golden Compass, Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings books, even Hansel and Gretel.

And the kids in books that do have parents, they always seem to have only one – Percy Jackson, Anand from The Conch Bearer, Katniss from The Hunger Games, Jeremy Fink, Oscar from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Prince Hamlet, Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island, the kids from the Narnia books, and Opal from Because of Winn-Dixie.  

It even extends into movies and comics.  Luke Skywalker is an orphan, so are Batman, Superman, Spider-man, and Little Orphan Annie.  Then you have more of the one parent kids – Cinderella, Snow White, Nemo from Finding Nemo, Simba from The Lion King, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and even Andy from the Toy Story films.

I’m sure we could come up with a million more answers, but first I have a question.  What is the deal with all the orphans?  Why are books and movies obsessed with them?

Answer in the comments section below.  Your answer should be at least a full paragraph, but maybe two or three.  You should then wait for other students to answer and come back and reply to what they’ve said.  You are required to reply to at least two other kids.  

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119 responses

1 02 2012
gianna k.

I think they won’t stop talking about them because they’re crazy. They could think about other things to read or watch. I really have always wondered why there are a ton of movies with a child with no parents. Or with some parents. And now that I think about it, they really need to come up with better ideas. The only reason why people won’t write about anything else, is because movie makers and book writers are smart, but to stupid to think of any other ideas.

1 02 2012
Hailey

I some what agree with you Gianna. The moviemakers are pretty smart. They make movies with kids with one parent or orphans because it’s a good heart warming story about how they get on with things.

1 02 2012
atotaro14

Gianna no offence, but I don’t really agree with you much at all. I don’t think the directors are stupid, I think they like to keep it on orphans because the orphan-based books and movies are so popular. Take the movie Annie. It is from a while back, but it’s still popular today. Heidi is a perfect example of this too. 🙂

2 02 2012
kaferguson14

That is a weird thought. I thought that the people are really obsessed with orphans is because they are really easy to work with. But, everyone has their own thoughts. i think that I am going to think about this for a while.

2 02 2012
Hannah Midlock

I could argue with this because i really don’t think that movie directors sort of have to be smart.

3 02 2012
Kpiszczek14

I really like that thought kaden. They are praboly writers that think it would be easy to write like that style. Good answer.

2 02 2012
gianna

I think that you are right because there are 1000000000000 things to write and act out. I don’t think that they are stupid but they don’t look at the 1000000000000 things that there are in the world. Also i think that they need to do reasearch to find more things to write about or act out.

2 02 2012
Jmyers14

There is nothing to really to talk about in your Gianna you need more detail on your answer but i guess since people like them so much that they keep writing them and now its come down to all orphan story’s but they do need more ideas on writing.

3 02 2012
Kpiszczek14

I don’t really agree cuz the authors aren’t really crazy. They just like to write about the orphans and how their like goes on.

5 02 2012
Drew

I somewhat agree with you Gianna, but not completly. Yes their are a lot of movies about orphans, but I guess it could make for an interesting story on how they survive without any parents.

1 02 2012
kaferguson14

I think that the deal with all of the orphans is that you have a lot of things to elaborate on with them. For example, the depression of not having any parents could really tie the story together. Like in the story of Oliver twist, he is always being treated badly, and finally attacks Noah Claypole when he was making fun of his mother. it was no coincidence that he finally attacked someone when they were talking about his mother.

Movies could also be attracted to this because there is always adventure in an orphan. A great example of this is Tin-Tin. The reason they have adventure built inside of them is because they were never treated the right way. All they want to do is find their missing parent, or avenge their parents by catching the bad guy that killed them. Another good example of this would be Batman. He wants to avenge his parents death, but then gets into fighting crime. Overall, the main reason that people are so attracted to orphans is because they are easy to work with.

1 02 2012
Hannah T.

Yeah Kaden. Sometimes, movies and books only make orphans because they want more adventure and suspense. People who were treated badly usually tend to be the more interesting characters.

1 02 2012
hunter lisula

Like you said when Oliver attacked Noah Clayupole because he wanted to let all that anger out because Noah made fun of his Mom. I know if I were Oliver I would tons of anger built up inside of me just for being a orphan and getting yelled at all the time. In a lot of movies like Tin-Tin or Finding Nemo where there is a orphan he gets so confident from living on his own he is not afraid to run away on his own and go on a adventure.

1 02 2012
Hailey

I agree with with you. Orphans have that kind of sob story adventurest life stile, which would turn otu to be a great book.

1 02 2012
atotaro14

I agree with you completely about orphans being adventurous, but I think you need to add to the elaboration part. 🙂

2 02 2012
CCypranowski

I agree with you because its true that you do elaborate with them!

2 02 2012
Rylee R.

I really couldn’t of said it better. Do yu think tht the writers do this because there are so many different ways to take orphans?

2 02 2012
Seth Gutknecht

Very great job with sentence fluency. Also Nice use of word’s and language! Nice example’s of movies. Great job with movies that we would never expect. Great job with the very little details.

2 02 2012
Dylan Felgenhauer

I like the part in your paragraph where you were talking about Batman it was a good part were it has something to do with orphans. Very good wording!

2 02 2012
Jmyers14

I agree the depression on kids life has authors excited because it not that difficult to write any boy/girl (S) Life if it has lots of problems in it. Also tin-tin is a great comparison to the orphan life it builds up to a adventure.

2 02 2012
Hannah H.

I agree with you, they can make up different ideas of how they became an orphan. You can write in the begining how they became an orphan or have only one parent. In “Finding Nemo” the begining it shows how Nemo loses his mom and only has his dad to look after him.

2 02 2012
gianna

I think that the topic of orphans is easy to work with because there are so many things about them to say. But I also think that there are 1000 things to write about and act out so i think the authors are kind of stupid because they didnt think about the 1000 things out there.

5 02 2012
Jessica K.

I agree with you how authors and directors include orphans to add more adventure.

5 02 2012
Drew

I mostly agree with what you say Kaden. Even though the orphans are alone and afraid inside, they are still pretty tough. After all, they did live a life without any parents or at least one parent. The orphans want revenge on what happened to their family, but the reason why is because they are scared to move on with their lives and forgive whoever or whatever made their parents not be with them throughout their life.

1 02 2012
kpiszczek14

I think people do this to get the story better, and for you to wonder more about the character’s life. Like in Finding Nemo and Toy Story, both of the characters don’t have a mom or dad, just to get you to want to what happened to them or were they went. It could also be to show you how the character’s life goes. Like in Oliver Twist, it shows his mom die after he was born, and how people make fun of him for it. This is also in batman, how his parents get shot. I just think it wants to show that people actually live like this and you should be lucky to have a house, three good meals a day, and two parents that care about you and wouldn’t throw you in a orphanage because they didn’t want you or couldn’t take care of you because they are poor.

1 02 2012
Hannah T.

I totally agree because they want a better story and get more people to want to read more because of hooks and stuff like that.

1 02 2012
hunter lisula

Kyle I forgot to mention that you are exactly write it makes people want to see it because they are wondering where did the mother go where is the father. They want to know so they watch or read more of it because think the writer is going to reveal where the mother or father went.

1 02 2012
Blake Munch

Kyle i think your right because they just want to find their parents. like you said in finding Nemo he doesn’t have a mom or dad and in Toy Story he doesn’t have a mom. I agree that they just want you to find out what happened to the parents. I’m with you that they just want you to know how the parents died and then they make fun of him

1 02 2012
BSherwin

I agree with how it makes you wonder, because every time I always end up wondering, “So what happened to the mom? (or dad)”. In Nemo they tell you what happened to the mom, but they never said in Toy Story what happened to Andy’s dad.

1 02 2012
atotaro14

I think you are totally right about how you wonder about the character’s life. You really want to know what has happened to the mom and dad, and if you don’t find out, it’s hard to stop thinking about it.

2 02 2012
kaferguson14

I agree with you that it builds suspense and it keeps you wondering. But I think that the reason they are obsessed with orphans is because there are a lot to elaborate on with them. Though, I like your thoughts and I think that you are right.

2 02 2012
acarroll14

I agree.Also because I would think people would think the story is boring.another reason is that the author wont have enough lines for the next parent.This is what i think of your comment

2 02 2012
CCypranowski

i agree with you too because the story is a lot better .

2 02 2012
Rylee R.

I agrue totally. Do you think that having one parent is also mysterious?

2 02 2012
Hannah H.

Maybe the author wants kids with a mom and a dad to be thankful that they have both parents to take care of them and have a house. They can be thankful that both parents raise enough money for you to get fed three meals a day, some kids may have only one meal a day or maybe nothing at all. The authors probably want us to think about what we have.

2 02 2012
Seth Gutknecht

Your right Kyle! About the character’s life. Good example’s for orphan’s, or one parent. Nice job talking about the Oliver Twist, nice details. Great example’s!!!!!

2 02 2012
Dylan Felgenhauer

I agree i like the part where you said they would be lucky to have a house if they where an orphan. Your paragraph has good detail and words.

2 02 2012
Jmyers14

Although most of your ideas are right. Why do not like it or like it positive feed-back to the authors makes them write more about a certain topic like discussing orphans. * You might wanna include more reasons why they do it not other text or movies to support your 1 sentence answer.

2 02 2012
Logan M.

I agree because it pulls them in and makes them not want to stop reading.

1 02 2012
Skylar Duensing

Orphans are in most stories because children are the main audience for an author. So, while children are reading about the orphans being mistreated they become hooked in the story and wait for them to escape or rescued by a hero. For example take superman. He new what it was like to be mistreated. Eventually he got older and became stronger and could fly. With his powers he saved people in harm. In this case superman is the hero that children are looking for.

1 02 2012
blanzisero14

I think that literature is obsessed with orphans because it makes the story and the characters a little more mysterious. Usually it’s either all the characters are orphans, or the main character. When it’s the main character is best. It makes you wonder about their life and what happened before they were and orphans and who their parents were. Most of all, it makes you wonder about HOW they became an orphan. It makes you ask questions like, ”Did their parents die?, Were they abandoned?, and authors crave that. They want their readers to know the answer to their question that they just have to keep on reading. And when you get that excited from a book, you want more from that author. This tactic is even better for a good author who likes to write in a series. That’s why I think that literature is obsessed.

3 02 2012
Kpiszczek14

I totally agree with you Brie. I think they are liking to write about orphans to get the story better

1 02 2012
hunter ilsula

I think the movie makers or authors of books are so obsessed with orphans because it is sort of catchy. people like seeing how a hard life can be for a outsider or waif. Like Oliver Twist he was sort of a trouble maker to the workers or people like Mr. Bumble. In all the movies or books I have seen or read with a orphan as the main character he/she always gets in trouble some time in the story or movie. That’s what I think people like about it because it is entertaining. Authors know that so they put stuff l9ike that in there writing. Also when there is a orphan in the story you usually feel really sorry for him/her then something funny might happen and you might laugh but then you feel sad again when the authors do that it changes your emotions and then it is a lot more exiting/.

1 02 2012
Hannah T.

I think that the reason that literature and books are so attracted to orphans is because they want the characters to have more interesting lives and go on more fun, exhilarating adventures. Without having their parents there to control everything that they do, they are free. The author probably wants to create characters that are affectionate and self-conscious.

Without having parents, it makes the character have a more bigger problem in the story and details that blow your mind. At the same time, parents could be a good thing or a bad thing to characters. They could be explained in different ways. Also, authors use orphans a lot because the relationship between families in books and movies can become complicated and not make anything very interesting.

That’s just my opinion.

2 02 2012
Kira S.

I agree with you because it could be a good thing and a bad thing to have your parents around, but if your parents died then you might want them around. But if it was the other way around, people who have their parents might not want them around all the time because they make them feel embarresed.

2 02 2012
Sofia B.

I agree with your thoughts because orphans are very interesting to read about. They have such different lives than many people. Also, orphans add much more adventure to the book. For example, in Oliver Twist, when he decides to run away you can already tell there is going to be many exciting adventures he will take.

1 02 2012
Blake Munch

I think the deal with orphanages is that there are so many orphans and people just keep writing about them. For example it’s depressing that someone doesn’t have any parents so people write about how its depressing Like in finding Nemo Nemo doesn’t have a mom or dad so the author wants you to know what happened to their parents and why they’ve never met before. Like in Oliver’s twist the mom dies after she has him she dies and in star wars Luke Skywalker’s mom dies right after.

Movies are so obsessed with them because this character just keeps getting more energy to hurt someone because they don’t feed them and they get wiped all Oliver wants to do in the story is to know how his mom dies and where his dad is because he’s never seen his mom. Like in Star wars the same thing happens Luke Skywalker’s mom dies and he wants to know how his mom died and where his dad is.

1 02 2012
lpetersen144

I think writers are so obsessed with orphans because a lot of stories can go a long with them. Like in Finding Nemo, Nemo goes on this big adventure and his dad has to go on a BIGGER adventure to find his son. But there can be so many different stories to tell. A totally different story is Spider man. He is an orphan but he becomes a super hero. A lot of the books or movies that deal with orphans end up happy. The story doesn’t go… John was born. Then when he was three his mom dies, leaving him to go live for the orphanage. After four years a family comes and adopts his best friend. He is there without any friends. Then he lives there for ten more years living a horrible life. He doesn’t get fed very much and sleeps on the floor. When he gets sick from sleeping on the cold floor he doesn’t get the right medication. Soon because of the bad treatment he dies. THE END.

If books about orphans went like that then nobody would read them. Orphans’ life doesn’t have anywhere to go but up. Think about it. They don’t have parents, they don’t get treated very well. They have to work really hard. What more could go wrong. If all books where about people with prefect lives they would be boring. They would pretty much go like this. Jill was born. Her parents love each other very much. She has 5 ponies. She gets another one. She lives in a big mansion. She has everything she wants. THE END. That wasn’t very exciting. When the characters life becomes better it makes people want to watch the movie more. Like in the movie Annie. (Which is my favorite movie ever!) She has a crummy life. If she acted like a big jerk she would never be picked. But she always is happy and tries to cheer everyone else up. She tries to sneak in a dog to make everyone happy. She signs and has a good time. Well as good as time as she could. After a while a rich man comes and adopts her. They don’t start out liking each other but then they bond and have a great time together. Her life goes from really bad and sad to great and exciting. Annie is liked a lot among most people.

People like when good things happen. When things stay the same people lose interest and quit reading or watching. Orphans are probably written a lot about because a lot of things can happen to their lives.

1 02 2012
malexa14

i think that having the orphans in a book, can make it dramatic and tie the whole book together. Also, it could make the story better and have more action. For example, if the person is living on the street, they will most likely run into a ton of problems. Also, an orphan has a lot of adventure in there live’s and with a lot of adventure, there is a lot of excitment in the book, and a lot of people will like to read it.

IN movies there is a lot of orphan and one parent thing going on. I think they do that because, you can have a lot more to do with just one parent or no parent. For example, in Hannah Montanna, she only has a dad and in most of the episodes, she and her brother do a lot of sneaking around because her dad is sometimes with his girlfriend or out of the house. And with an orphan, you obviously do a lot of sneaking to try and get food or money.

1 02 2012
ghajduk14

I believe that authors and movie writers make stories about orphans because there is so much suspense about them. There isn’t a way to tell who they are and where they come from, and what they have in common with their parents because they aren’t there. There is so many creative things you could put in their storyline, like different affects on their parents not there or how bad and how they deal with their situation. You can’t possibly limit the different feeling they have and how they take action with those feelings. Another reason could be a personal experience, meaning they could be an orphan or know someone who is an orphan. Maybe not all writers but a bet there are some and that is way they think of those ideas.
For example, Tom and Huck in Tom Sawyer don’t show a lot of depression about their parents, but Huck does more than Tom because they are different people that have so many different wasy of expressing what they feel. In Finding Nemo, Nemo shows fear and depression in his dad not being with him, but doesn’t express what happened to his mother. There tens of ways they could have changed how Nemo deals with the loss of his mother and not seeing his father for awhile. So many more movies and books have orphan main characters, because of suspense, curiosity, and so many ways to change their storyline.

2 02 2012
Sofia B.

I agree with you because putting orphans in movies and novels really adds suspense and curiosity. When authors put orphans in their novels, they are usually the main and most important characters. Also, in Toy Story, they never even mention the dad, which makes you curious about where he is or what happened to him.

1 02 2012
Hailey

The Deal with them is that it’s a good sob story. It gets peoples atention. What I mean about that is, That nobody wants to be an Orphan, it’s just a really said life to live. From what I’ve learned so far abbout Orphans’ is that everybody feels sorry for them.

2 02 2012
Kira S.

I agree with you because no one can imagine losing their parents. Sometimes to understand the story better I think about what I would do if I was the character. For example, if I put myself as Nemo, I would most likely be sad. I would wonder about my mom, but at the same time not want to ask my dad in case he got upset about it.

1 02 2012
BSherwin

Well maybe it’s because they would like you to feel bad for that character. Like in A Series of Unfortunate Events, you may feel bad for those 3 children. Or it’s because they want to make that character ‘stand out’. But too many people did that, and now they all fit in. Or possibly authors or directors do this to make it easier to explain the life of the main character, while it could also be to have something huge in the child’s life. I actually just read a manga where a girl is an orphan. My guess for why everyone always has their main character as an orphan is just to have readers feel bad for the poor child.

7 02 2012
aewing14

I agree with you Bri. Feeling bad for people makes you want to know what happens to them. I think that feeling bad will propell you to keep reading. You want to see if they are okay, if someone takes them in, or anything else.

1 02 2012
atotaro14

What is the deal with orphans? In my opinion, I think that author’s make their characters orphans so you feel bad for them. For example, when Oliver Twist’s mother died when we were reading it this morning, almost everyone said something like- “Awww…”, or “I feel so bad for him!”. This is exactly what the authors want, because no one likes a perfect character with a perfect life. They are more interested in kids who struggle in life, because you can better relate to him/ her. No one is going to say-“Oh I’m perfect, just like him!” because that’s boring, and no one can be as perfect as a made up character. Perfect kids don’t have exciting adventures.The worst they get is a B on an assignment. Oh my goodness that’s terrible! But it not exciting. It’s not something you’d want to read about. Like Kaden says, orphans always have some sort of adventure built up inside them, and that’s what makes a story exciting.
Sometimes, the characters not having parents affects the story a lot. For example, if Percy Jackson had a dad, then how would his dad be Poseidon? It messes with the whole story. If Batman’s parents hadn’t died, then he wouldn’t have needed to avenge them. Without Batman trying to avenge his parents, there wouldn’t be a Batman. Even in Finding Nemo the mother being gone has an affect on the movie. If Nemo’s mom wouldn’t have died, Nemo’s dad wouldn’t have been so strict and scared to let Nemo to anything that could in any possible way, have an outcome of dangerous. Then Nemo wouldn’t have touched the boat (I think it was a boat) and gotten captured by the dentist.

2 02 2012
Drew

The deal with orphans is very simple. Since they don’t have any parents, most people don’t care for them and they have to fend for themselves. Plus, in the future they usually grow up and don’t know what to do in their life when they grow up because hey were never cared for or they didn’t know what it was like to have a family.

Movies and books are obsessed with orphans. They make for a very interesting story. Most stories with orphans have someone trying to chase after them. That’s what makes the story interesting. Everyone wants to see the hero beat the villan.

2 02 2012
lhammond14

I think we are supposed to feel bad for them. Who wouldn’t be sad if a mom died and you never knew who your dad was. I sure would be. Like in Batman, he only has one parent. Tom Sawyer doesn’t have any parents, he only has his aunt. In almost all of the sad movies or stories there is always an orphan.

2 02 2012
Hannah Midlock

I thought kind of the same reason why because the author may want us to be emotionally attached to the main character.

2 02 2012
erik

I think people like orphan characters because it gives people less time to work on the parents. The more they focus on the parents the less time they have to work on the real story. Sometimes when they have one parent it’s because they need to drive the character somewhere. For example A Toy Story. There is a mom in the story because to get buzz and woody lost they drove to a pizza place. You never see the mom’s face because that is the most detailed part. I think most people in stories have one or no parents because the are to much time and detail to contribute.

2 02 2012
cgedwill14

Why do you think the authors do not include parents in the story, Would you include parents in your stories if you were an author?Why wouldn’t authors include it, I think that they just are to lazy.

2 02 2012
Ryan Whitney

Before I read your article I didn’t think of introducing parents and what there doing. Which brings me to my next question in the book Savvy the book is about her trying to get to her dad so in the book her dad is unconscious and her mom is still there so I’m not sure about that book and her being an orphan

2 02 2012
nmurphy14

I think that orphans or kids without parents, are so popular in the world of literature because it gives a dramatic side story line. Like in Harry Potter, why Voldemort wants to kill Harry. In Oliver Twist, why he ended up at the orphanage. Usually, orphans and people without parents get an adventure or a problem. Sometimes, it even gives the antagonist in a story.

2 02 2012
aewing14

I think it is easy to write about kids with one or no parent. No one is there to stop their adventure. It is also hard. They have to find jobs or steal things. Even worse they might be caught and put to hard labor. It is easy because they do not get in trouble much

7 02 2012
aewing14

Continued….. You might feel bad for those characters like Mr. Brownlow in Oliver Twist. He feels so bad that he decided to take care of Oliver. I think kids with one parent makes the story more interesting. You want to know what is going to happen. Is the character going to be okay? You might ask questions like that one as you are reading.

2 02 2012
Justin Conant

I think that there are orphans in movies, books, and cartoons is because if you are an orphan, then they will watch the show or read the book then it will make them feel better when a family takes them. My friend has an adopted sister because the girl that had her was to young to have a baby. I think that she was in High School when she had her. The baby is 3 years old, but she turns 4 on February 18th. These are all of the reasons why I think there is orphans in movies, books and even in T.V. shows.

2 02 2012
Sean Grant

I think that people are always growing up as an orphan. My Aunt just adopted a boy named Chris in which his mom is in jail and his dad died. I think that authors think that if there are orphans involved it will make it so that you feel bad for them and wish that they shall make it throughout a story unharmed. The authors make it so that you root for them to make it out alive. For example a book called Freak the Mighty. Freak the Mighty is about 2 boys in which are in 8th grade and one of them looks like a toddler and the other looks like Godzilla. They both unite to help each other improve on getting picked on. The toddler has only his mom but nobody knows where the father is. The Godzilla kid only lives with his Aunt and Uncle.

2 02 2012
erik L.

That sounds like a good book. I like your idea too. I guess it works because when I read books about orphans I want to see if they come out alive. For example I wonder what will happen to Oliver Twist.

2 02 2012
Emma Hoelscher

I think they are like this because it makes you like the characters and wants you to read more to find out what happens to them. So for example one we are reading now because Oliver has been beaten and very mistreated. And rarely gets anything to eat. Another one is the Children of the Holocaust it is a book about the kids that have survived the Holocaust. So they go through a lot of the same thing Oliver goes through in the book but some how worse. Some worked to death some starved to death those same things happened to Oliver but he hasn’t died. When the people in the Holocaust tried to escape they would just kill them but in the book they would probably just lock them in a room with no food. So that’s why I think they have all these books about orphans so they make you feel bad for them and cheer them on and make sure they end up okay in the book.

2 02 2012
ghajduk14

I agree because the authors can twist up the storyline and make you interested. The characters can seem suspicious like Oliver. Also they want you to have sympathy because no one wants to be an orphan. I feel bad for orphans because they don’t have parents to be with. I think we take things for granted so put yourself in their shoes

2 02 2012
acarroll14

I think people are obsessed with orphans it a couple of ways. One way they are obsessed is because most kids grow up with no parents or one. This means to me that the more they talk about orphans the more the kids with no parents think that they can do something in their life. Also another reason is that authors think that if that they have two parents they wont let the kid go almost anywhere they want. To me that if they wont let them go anywhere it wont be no story to tell. Another reason is that people can understand better because if they have a mother and father they will be more polite and not sneak away. So mothers and fathers can keep an eye on them and make sure they cant sneak away Also they will not add another parent because they will have to write up another part for them. They might think it takes to long to write a dads part of moms part. Last reason is that people wont get as excited. I would think this because when it is two parents it sort of stops all the fun. This is what I think why all the authors are obsessed with the orphan kids.

2 02 2012
Hannah Midlock

I agree with the last reason, and the first one. It feels like their is no fun in a book with two parents.

2 02 2012
Ryan Whitney

I agree with every thing that you said. I put the same basics as you only in a different way. I’m petty sure that is whateverybody has on the one they made because that is why they are obsessed

2 02 2012
CCypranowski

I think they talk about orphans so much because there are a lot of bad things that can happen to them. Also they are really interesting , and it makes a book a lot more interesting. Also you start to feel bad for the character and really start to understand what she is going through, and that makes a book good. Like in the movie “Lemony Snicet the series of unfortunate events you start to feel for the character and understand what they are going through and also you sometimes feel that your there friend.

Even in the book Oliver Twist you really are sad for Oliver because his mom dies and then he has to go to a work house and get treated awful! So i think that authors write more about orphans because you really feel for the character and you really start to like the book a lot.

2 02 2012
cgedwill14

I agree, if there is something in the book interesting, people are going to be interested.

2 02 2012
Rylee R.

I agrue somewhat. I think that writers have so many different routes to take with orphans because they don’t have parents. So that’s what is up with them

2 02 2012
Hannah H.

I think they write about orphans or kids with one parent because the author may have been an orphan or had only one parent growing up. Or they could have known someone who didn’t have a mom and a dad. In “Nory Ryan’s Song” there are four kids their mom died after the youngest kid was born. Their dad is gone trying to make money for their family. You can see how hard it is for some kids without both parents. The authors could have lived during a time when there was a lot of orphans. Charles Dickens lived during the Waif Crisis in London. Maybe he thought that some kids who had both parents could be thankful that they have two parents.

2 02 2012
bdailey14

I do agree with you because in The Series of Unfortanate events there is three kids and BOTH of the parents died and they need to live with one of their mean parents.

2 02 2012
Seth Gutknecht

I think the world is obsessed with orphans, since there are less and less orphans roaming the street. Also there aren’t much “slave’s” now a day’s. You feel much sadder for the main character. You get more interested and want to read more! You also feel mad that their getting treated like that. And also you feel sad for their lives. An example of an orphan story is the book I’m reading. Storm breaker, it is about a boy (14) Who’s last relative died in a car accident without his seat belt. So he he has to find out why his seat belt wasn’t on.

2 02 2012
Dylan Felgenhauer

I think they do that because it makes the kids more interesting, gives them more detail about there life. The other reason that i think it helps with is it gives the character something more to there life it gives them an oter thing to think about or it is another problem.

I think that it will atrack more people to read or watch something because it is a poor person going on a adventure. Some people like me just want to see if the person lives and what they do in order to suvive their adventure.

2 02 2012
erik L.

I like to see how they survive too. An example would be Oliver Twist. I can’t wait to read more about him to find out he survives in London. I wonder if he becomes a thief or try to find things to eat.

2 02 2012
erin roberts

I think it is because orphans a lonely life. They want to know how they feel everyday they get up without a mom or a dad. It must be hard living on your own without parents. Authors want people to know how they feel every single day. Saying that the little kid or kids are orpahns makes the story more interesting. It makes you worry and feel bad for the character. Thats what the authors of books and movies are trying to make you do. They want to trick you to believe in the character and make read more of the book instead of putting it down.

2 02 2012
bdailey14

I kind of agree. Because Charles Dickens was alone when he turned twelve so he was writing about his real life and he wants to tell about what he had to go through to make you feel bad and be grateful. It’s just like how Mark Twain wrote Tom Sawyer and he wrote about his childhood.

2 02 2012
Sarah

I think that authors like putting orphans in thier books because they’re interesting. Orphans have a lot of interesting things that happen in thier life. Like in the movie Annie she was an orphan and by the end of the movie she was the 2nd richest person in all of new york. In Oliver Twist he was beaten and treated cruely but he escaped and had an interesting life with a disease going around London. Plus most orphan stories are off the author’s real life.

Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist on his real life. He lived with 7 other siblings and had a tough life. His parents decided to send him to a workhouse where he had to work. He did a lot of things that Oliver Twist did in the book. Lots of authors do that because they want to write an interesting story that involves thier life. That’s why authors write so much about orphans.

2 02 2012
Jmyers14

Well i think that the people that write the story’s have a lot to talk and write about . Such as how the Orphan faces difficulties there’s also an adventure to an orphans life. They may feel depressed or lonely without the person they love most. It definitively gives attention to the story. Since they have a lot to elaborate on authors will keep using them.I believe it is also sending us a message like to be grateful for our houses, food , parents, and people we can trust. The orphan life has more to it than a regular persons life. And since u sally the kids are in at an early age they have no one whom to go to for comfort or protection. Most big incidents happen with orphans because they don’t know any better they were raised basically as slaves there whole childhood. If most of there childhood wasn’t this there life would be typical. Also most orphans seem to have anger issues from being yelled at and being made fun of. Just in comparison to Oliver Twist ,Oliver is so mad he attacks Noah Claypole because he was making fun of Oliver’s mom who passed away minutes after Oliver’s arrival.

2 02 2012
JSandei14

I also wonder why a lot of stories are using orphans. I think they are because we start to want that orphan to acomplish his/her goal. For example, in Oliver Twist, he is a miserable orphan that gets beaten and you start to want to Oliver to just be able to have a normal life. You feel like you start to acculaly know feel like you know the poor character. Just for fun, try to name as many stories, movies, etc. use orphans.

2 02 2012
gianna

Authors write about orphans because the reader wants the orphan, who is the hero in the story to have a happy ending like in Little Orphan Annie. And/ or, readers can sometimes identify with the orphan character because of the challenges he faces.
For example, Annie syarts out in a horriable orphanage, but is adopted by a wealthy man who eventually loves her and gives her the life she could never imagine. That was a perfect happy ending.
Also, authors know that young readers can identify the orphan characters in some way. The reader does not have to be an orphan but be dealing with one of the isues of the orphan characters.
Harry Potter, for example is an orphan, but he also deals with being different than other wizard kids. He deals with scial isues like friendships, school, and fitting in, ect. These are all the challenges teenagers face or go though sometime in their life.

2 02 2012
Logan M.

I agree with gianna because they want you to kind of see a little bit of you in the main character.

2 02 2012
Sydney Palacios

What about characters with only one parent. I agree with what you’re saying. But not all stories have happy endings. Some endings are very depressing. I find that Little Orphan Annie seems to be a very happy book. Unlike some books.

2 02 2012
ALLISON P

my answer is that i think authors are oppsed with orphans or kids with on parent is because they know people will read the book and feel sorry for that character in the story. The reader will really care for the character in the story. The reader will be drawn to the book because they know that the kid is poor and they didnt have the life or family that most people should be happy to have. There is an old quote that says, “it tugs at your heartstrings,” wich means that the reader will be touched and want to help thoes kids that dont have a family or just not a full one. In the story “Oliver Twist”, Oliver is a poor boy and doesnt have a family and barly gets any food. And we who do have families,food,and warmth should be grateful and happy that we have all that. And the thing that is surprising to me is that we dont think to our selves, “Will we have food,warmth,even families today.” Well unfortanly all around the world there are still kids and adults who have nothing. So that is why i think authors are oppsed with orphans.

2 02 2012
Sydney Palacios

I like your idea about having the reader feel bad for the character. It seems very true. The author wants you to get attatched to the book to see if they will every have a real family. That is probably one of the reasons why authors do that. But yet there has to be other reasons because unlike Oliver Twist, other characters have other problems that don’t involve the charcter’s parent.

2 02 2012
Collin Reilly

I think they have characteer that are orphans because it is a good problem for them. It makes it difficult for them and hard to grow up. Many of them are about my age and i know that it would be hard for me, I couldnt go anywhere unless I walked. Also I would have to pay for my own food and shelter. This makes stories intresting and it usuallly leaves you wanting to keep reading more. Most of the storiies the kids start with parents then don’t have them which is a major problem for the protagonist. I think that is why they have orphans as main characters, because it is interesting and you want to see how they fight through it and try to figure out the conflict they are facing.

2 02 2012
Collin Reilly

I agree with you Jake because it makes the reader want to see if they will survive or fight through it. Also a good story has a good conflict and being an orphan is. Mostly every kid doesn’t last on their own ever. Jake you are right when you said that you feel sorry or bad for the character, like the book is your life.

2 02 2012
Logan M.

I think they are so obsessed by this because they feel saddened inside by the way that kids are treated back in oldern days like reffering to “Oliver Twist” as a good example because they want to to show the world that these kind of things are terrible and we should never make children have to live like they are slaves for grown ups just to minipulate for their fun and games. So I think that they just care for the children and remind us of this with writing stories about them.

2 02 2012
Collin Reilly

Blake your right that lots of kids don’t have parents and have to be adopted. Also how Nemo has a dad but he gets lost because he didn’t listen. Many kids that have at least one parent usually have moms not a dad. Which is very interesting and weird that they never have a dad, but the story/now movie “Extremely Load and Incredible Close”. I think your are right Blake.

2 02 2012
Kira S.

I think orphans are used alot in literature because it might be used as a cliff hanger, or a part in the book you have to find, but isn’t there. What I mean is people might read through a book or watch a movie if nothing was said about their parents. But if they don’t find anything about the parents it would be a cliff hanger or something you want to find out. It makes the reader want more from the author.

But, if it’s a situation where the author says one sentence about the parents, people might still go looking for more information. It’s something the author can do to get you sucked inside their thoughts to read/watch the book or movie. Also, by now so many people have done it that it’s something the customer is used to, or enjoys enough to read or watch over and over. It might be their comfort zone in a book or movie they think they would enjoy the most.

2 02 2012
Alyles

I think because they think that orpens because. They know that the reader will be atarcted to the book because. You will want the chacter to make it thorgh and read there outer series. Like the adventures of tom soayer and hukkle burry finn. And because the storys are such a hit for exsample lion king pouplur movie. Those are some resons i think arouters go crazey over orpens.

2 02 2012
Hannah Midlock

I think that authors use orphans in their literature because when something tragic happens (like in Oliver Twist how his mom dies a couple minutes after she has him) it ties the reader into the book. When things like this happen people feel so bad for the character they want to see how they will go along with their lifes. When we read the first page of the book Oliver Twist I felt sad for him to having right from the start have no parents.

2 02 2012
bdailey14

I thinkt that many authors and directors because it is intense. Or it could tell how people that didn’t get along in the beginning of the book, get along at the end of it. It’s intense because if kids are trying to find a house then you are wondering if they are going to survive. When they finally find a house that’s when you know that they are going to have either a good orn hopefully not a bad life with the new people. In The Series of Unfortanate Events is about three kids that need to live with their mean relative and also need to find out a way to survive under his harsh and cruel rules, duties and things he can do but just chooses not to do because he is lazy.

2 02 2012
cgedwill14

I think that the orphans are included in the story because they really want people to pay attention to that character, and most people will pay attention because they feel sorry for the orphans and want to help them and make sure they’re OK.For example, wherever the orphan is, people see that and can say oh that place is important. That leads to my second conclusion which is relating a place on how the main character, or how the orphan feels about the place. Say the place the character is at, they say that this place is cruel and evil the reader knows that that place is always going to be bad, or if the character is happy and healthy at the place the readers know that is going to be a safe place for the orphans.I think the orphans can also be in the story because the authors can make a good heart breaking story about an orphan to make it their genre.I think people mostly pay attention to orphans because the authors use the orphans in the way for the readers to look at the story. Authors are just smart that way!

2 02 2012
Nick Polizzi

I think authors of books and movies are so obsessed with orphans because of two main reasons. I think, firstly, because orphans are easy to make a story of. I mean, just think about it. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is about a kid who is continuously trying to deal with his father dying in The World Trade Center on September 11th, and at the same time trying to find the lock of a key he found on the highest shelf in his dad’s closet. Hugo Cabret is about a boy who is trying to survive without his father and mother in the clocks of a train station, and at the same time trying to put together an unfinished automaton that his dad started, but never finished, hoping to unlock a message from his dead father. And, you wouldn’t have a story without Oliver Twisst being an orphan!!!
The second reason I think that movie writers and authors are so obsessed with orphans or people with one parent is because most people can relate to them. Did you know that more than half of the parents in America are divorced? That leaves the kids to deal with that. And that’s what I think writers are trying to do with orphans and one parent people.

2 02 2012
Ryan Whitney

I’m pretty sure I know why authors make characters orphans. They do it because you feel bad. Kids will read the book and they have two parents they think how would would I live with out them or if they have one parent they would think the same only about their parent. This makes you hope for them more no matter what they’re doing because you feel bad. Oliver Twist is a great example because he doesn’t have parents and he’s starved,beat,and worked so hard. So that’s just one example.
You also wish the best for them . Like you have parents and a house and food so when your reading whatever they’re fighting for you want them to get it. For example in Finding Nemo you want Nemo to find his dad and live happily ever after. there are hundreds of books and movies like that but I can’t think of any. But take away from this that they don’t make up orphans they are real people so be grateful with what you have

2 02 2012
Sydney Palacios

I think that authors have characters that are either orphans or they have only one parent because it causes more problems for the character. For orphans, they have no support from their parents. The character could have a big problem and they wouldn’t be able to get advice from a parent. For example, Harry Potter has no parents. If he needed parental guidance, he couldn’t get a parent’s opinion. Things like that make it really hard for a character. But on the other hand, it helps him out because he becomes more mature having to make decisions all on his own.
But for characters with only one parent, it isn’t as hard but still hard for the character. If they want support from their mother and they only have a father, it’s kind of hard for that character to live a normal life. For example, in the Percy Jackson books, Percy only has a mom. This impacts him because he might not always have a close family. But yet again, this also makes him stronger. He might have problems that he has to face and he can chose if it’s a battle worth fighting for. That is why I think authors write with having their character being an orphan or only having one parent.

5 02 2012
Jessica K.

I like how you said kids that grow up with one parent or as an orphan have more problems in stories. I agree with you because they go through many struggles in life.

2 02 2012
Sofia

I think authors put orphans in their novels because it makes the book more adventurous. For example, in Finding Nemo, Nemo does many amazing things to try to escape from the fish tank to find his father. If he was with his father, there wouldn’t be as many amazing scenes. Also, if Nemo’s mother didn’t pass away, his father would be so worried about his son. Ever since Marlin saw the mother die, he has always been watching out for Nemo. Having just one parent pass away really shows the relationship between the other parent and the child.

Also, adding an orphan to the story really makes you feel connected with the child, making you want to read or watch more. For example, when I read about the life of Oliver Twist, it made me feel so sad and worried about him. Since I felt bad, I felt the urge to want to find out what is going to happen next in the novel.

2 02 2012
ghajduk14

I totally agree with you. I feel that there is so much to talk about with them and elaborate on with them! Like in nemo they don’t talk about his mom but they could’ve. Orpans are so curious and adventurous you cam change there whole storyline. Also in toy story they don’t speak about andys father at all so it makes me wonder why they make movie and books about orphans if they don’t explain what happened.

2 02 2012
ghajduk14

Mr. Curtis, that previous comment was supposed to go to natalie’s answer

2 02 2012
Sofia B.

I think authors put orphans in there stories because it adds adventure and curiosity. For example, in Finding Nemo, Nemo is trapped in a fish tank, away from his father. He tries many amazing ways to try to escape. If he didn’t get trapped, away from his father none of these events would have happened. Also, in Toy Story they never even mention Andy’s father. That makes many people curious as to what happened to him or why he left.

Another reason why authors might put orphans in their novels is because it makes you feel connected to the character, making you want to read more. For example, in Oliver Twist, Oliver is forced to do difficult work and has to eat just enough food to survive. In those scenes, I felt so sorry and sad for him. Once I found out he ran away, I always wondered if he would find a home with nice guardians, or will he get caught and have to work again. This made me want to read more of the book. This is why I think orphans are in many different books and movies.

3 02 2012
Brad cermak

It show how they are treded. Another thing is that they were also orphan to. It also show how much food they get a day. Another thing it shows is how they live. And how many bad thing happened to kids.

They also talk about it because it is like a myster . They want to know what happened to mom and dad. And it show how they feel through the book. And people want to know where they came from. And if there is no mom or dad in the story they dont really have to expain that much.

3 02 2012
Brady wytrwal

I think the reason they put homeless kids or pore people in books is because they really don’t get to be talked about. Another reason is that it will makes the kids feel loved. I think this because there has been allot of books wrote on them. They write them just like when they do advertizements on them if they need money or food and this is just like this because they put them in books to tell people how their life is and for you to care about them. This is what i think they are doing this for. Another reason they do this is because they want them to feel cared again.

3 02 2012
Rylee R.

I think books were obsessed with orphans because there is so many different ways you can go with orphans. They can be sad, angry, depressed, mad,…. They’re so many different personalities you can have your character play. They can act like nothing is wrong or they could cry themselves to sleep every night. There are so many ways you can take your story. The story could be about a kid who is miserable but doesn’t know what happened or the kid could be very happy and know what happened in his childhood.
Some books that the character is unhappy is Hugo Cabret, Harry Potter, Oliver Twist, The Series of Unfortunate Events, and Peter Pan. Some movies were Annie, Cinderella, Orphan, and The Muppets. In Harry Potter, Harry is an orphan that lives with his aunt and uncle. His parents died when an evil wizard kills them both. Harry is very unhappy with his life until he goes to a magical school and meets real friends and people that are nice to him. But in Cinderella, no one knows what happened to her parents and she is unhappy with her step-mother and step-sisters. When she meets her fairy godmother everything gets better.
As you can see, there are different ways you can go with orphans. They can tell you about there parents or they could just be a mystery. The orphan can be happy or sad. I think that the reason why people are so obsessed with orphans is because you can make them have so many personalities and stories.

3 02 2012
Rylee R.

Like in fairytales there are even orphans. Like Cinderella is an orphan and she has her evil step mother taking care of her. It seems it is only in sad stories or movies that there are orphan(s) with no parents at all.

3 02 2012
Lauren H.

That was supposed to be Lauren!!

5 02 2012
Jessica K.

In my opinion I think there are many reasons why authors use orphans or kids with only one parent in their novels. First of all, orphans are an easy topic to start a story about. For example, you could simply write a book about a teenage boy who spent his whole life in an orphanage but the day he turns eighteen he sets out to find his real parents. Another reason orphans are frequently used in stories is because when reading about all the struggles the character has to go through, all you want is for them to have a happy ending. For example, when I was reading the Hunger Games I felt bad for Katniss and all I wanted her to live in the end. Also the author might write about orphans or kids with only one parent because maybe the author grew up as an orphan or with only one parent. All of the reasons above are possibly why many authors incorporate orphans in their stories.

5 02 2012
Delaney Dorich

I think books have a lot of orphans because it is more interesting. In fact over the weekend I read a book called”Emily’s Fortune” it was about a a eight year old trying to get to her aunt, the child catching service is trying to place her with her mean Uncle. Sometimes orphans set the in tire book, like in Oliver Twist if wasn’t a orphan then there wouldn’t be book. So it seems a lot more interesting about.

5 02 2012
Delaney Dorich

Sofia B. I think you are right because without someone to care for Oliver you find yourself caring for Oliver. Hoping that he finds his dad.Hoping he can find a place where he is taken care of nicely.

5 02 2012
Delaney Dorich

Blake you are right. In finding Nemo his dad misses his mother so he wants to take care of the last part of her, Nemo. When you think about it Orphans or one parent kids are never treated same a two parent kid. They always are different because some can’t show their kids grandparents, some can’t even say that they remember their parents.

29 02 2012
hunter lisula

I think the lamp lighter in reality could be a person who thinks his job is the most important thing in his life, and he won’t stop working because he says he has “orders”. He never does anything except light his lamp and then put out his lamp every minute. He never goes outside the box and does anything else. He only cares about one thing his orders and that’s not right you need to have other things to care about in your life, for instance what about a family to care about. He wants to go to sleep and just sleep for a while that is the lamp lighters dream to go to sleep.
But he seems like he is always depressed because he can’t go to sleep and he has to take orders. It’s alright to not follow orders once and I mean even where is the lamp lighter getting his orders from. He needs to get outside and play ball not just stand on first base try to get a home run. But the lesson the lamp lighter needs to learn is to care about something better and the only thing in your life there is to do is your job. That’s not true the lamp lighter needs to learn that and if he does he will have time to go to sleep.
The business man could resemble a principle. Who only cares about numbers, test scores, and money. The people like that get in never ending circles that do not help anything. A principles circle that he/she could get stuck in would be like this. They want you to get good scores on the tests to get ore money to buy more junk to and then hope the kids get good scores on the test and just keeps going on and on. You don’t want to be a grown up you want to be like a kid and think outside the box.

29 02 2012
kpiszczek14

I think the author is giving a big message. Don’t be like the adults. All they they think about are numbers, like the business man. All he does is count the stars. He is stuck in a big circle. He buys stars, owns stars, and then gets rich. He doesn’t care about anything else about the stars. He calls himself a serious man to the little prince. He is like my dad’s boss. He only likes numbers when he works and my dad does too.

The next person is the king. He is like an adult too. He thinks he owns everything and can boss people around when ever he wants to. Like when the prince came to his planet he got bossed around and told what and what not to do on the kings planet. When I see the king I think about my neighbor. He is always bossing me and my friend what to do when I’m over.

The last person is the geographer. He has a good job but there is something wrong with him, he doesn’t see the beauty in things. When he met the prince and the prince told him about the volcanoes he was amazed. But when the prince told him about the flower he said he didn’t like it because it would probably die off some day and not be there. The geographer is like my friends dad. He never sees the nice things in life just the things that matter to him.

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