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Postby Brightonian » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:39 am

Oliver Twist, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Frodo Baggins, Kal-El, Bruce Wayne, Harry Potter are just a handful of the orphans to be found in popular and speculative fiction, while other well known characters grow up in ignorance of their true parentage, from King Arthur to Philip Pulman's Lyra. Why is this trope so widely used? What's the appeal of orphans to child and adult readers?
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Re: Orphans

Postby admin » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:51 am

The first job of the writer is to hook the reader. Absent that, nothing else matters. Evidently "Please, Sir, may I have some more?" coming from a big-eyed little boy is a good hook.
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Re: Orphans

Postby slaven41 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:51 pm

Well, I suppose one reason for it is that a writer needs her protagonist to be oppressed and to overcome tremendous odds. And one way to help that along is to deprive him of parental love and guidance. (Or you can have him find out that his father is actually the bad dude with the black mask and black cape.)

"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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