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Free Children and Media Essay Sample

From the book “After the Death of Childhood:  Growing up in the Age of Electronic Media” the author explores different concepts relating to child upbringing, child behaviors, and mass media. The author shares the experiences of kids regarding the way in which they respond to the information on the mass media and the electronic media. Moreover, the book presents issues with clarity and makes conclusions that are important to the educators, parents and media owners. Additionally, raises the concern about the fate of the child in the 21st century. The book takes a closer look at the effects of the electronic media on children, the challenges that the proliferation of the new technologies has to the access of information as well as the dangers of privatizing the media. Therefore, the paper discusses the need for media literacy among children and the role of parents and educators in ensuring media literacy among children. The paper uses the children’s film, Cinderella.

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The film begins by ushering the viewers into understanding the family relationship of Ella who lives with her parents wealthy parents in one of the peaceful residents. Ella’s mommy teaches her to believe and practice magic. The act of Ella’s mother influencing her daughter to believe in magical effects children viewers to see magic as worthy practice. At that moment, there is intertextuality of the magic practices from other cultures into the film, Cinderella. Children who watch the film may grow up knowing that magic is allowed in the American society. However, the beginning of the movie serves to educate the children that they should obey what their parents teach them without questioning. Ella portrays a virtue of obedience of what parents teach their children. Therefore, parents and educators can use the scene Ella’s obedience to make their children media literate of the right part of the story of Ella.

According to the proliferation of the digital media in the world has led the children to access the information that previously regarded as “Adult content”.  Thus, there is a need for educators and parents to make sure that their children are media literate.  For instance, the film shows Ella’s mother on her deathbed and that may elicit feelings of fear and sorrow among the viewers. Therefore, the scene of Ella’s mom in her deathbed is an adult content that traditional media could not reveal to the children audience. Being media literate will enable the children to choose what to watch on the media depending on their goals and objectives in life.

The mistreatment of Ella by her stepmother, Lady Tremaine may bring sorrow to the children viewers who want to identify with Ella on the film Cinderella. Notably, Ella portrays maturity by not engaging in antisocial behaviors due to frustrations by her stepmother. For instance when Ella wakes up with her face full of cinders, her stepsisters nickname her Cinderella and she does not hate them for that but instead she even calls herself Cinderella. Additionally, Ella does not engage on confronting the stepmother and the stepsisters after they nickname her Cinderella.  Therefore, the behavior that Ella portrays is useful to children to learn good virtues such as tolerance. Thus, in this case, Ella does not revenge her mistreatment. The educators and parents can play to the emotions of the film to help their children to be media literate and grasp the message of tolerance that Ella portrays.

When Kit meets Ella, he is moved by her kindness and charm and eventually falls in love with her. However, the reactions of Ella portray kindness and not immorality. Similarly, Kit looks into the future with hope of marrying Ella. Although the two could have fallen in love at first sight, they both take time to understand each other. Consequently, Kit reveals to his father about the mystery girl who she met in the woods. In that scene of the meeting parents can help their children to understand that the meeting between Ella and Kit is only made to create friendship and not a romantic affair.

During the celebrations that happen in the palace, Kit and Ella dance together. At this scene, the film shows explicit content the dance takes place in full glare of people of different ages. However, Ella is conscious and before the time she runs away to hide in her room. It is this scene that shows the beautiful nature of culture. For instance, the running away of Ella as the mystery girl prompts a search of the girl within the kingdom who can fit in the shoe that Ella loses while running. The culture is that whoever fits in the shoe qualifies to marry the king. Ella is observant of the requirements of the celebrations “the ball” in that before midnight, all the maidens in the party should leave the palace. Therefore, to the children, Ella may serve as a model for obedience and good morals. Thus, parents can use the actions of Ella to help the children not to focus more on the on the moves of the dance but rather understand the moral lessons that the film teaches.

Notably, some content aired by the media suits well in when consumed other cultures far from the beliefs of the consumer. For instance, the film Cinderella builds on the elements of the animated film by Walt Disney that went by the same name. Therefore, the act of constructing a script to make another text or content leads to intertextuality. It is through intertextuality that content from one end of the world and a different time in history finds its way into the media of another country. Interestingly, in the original culture of the content, the implications of explicit content are different from the repercussions of the same material in the country where the content in aired after intertextuality.  To respond to intertextuality, parents and educators should educate the children on the importance of their culture and the applicability of the film in the culture and times where it produced. Such education will enable the children not to buy the ideas of the content that they see on the television.

In conclusion, it is noteworthy that digitization of the media has narrowed the gap between the information that adults and children can access. However, the film Cinderella should not have restrictions for children to watch. The narrowing of the gap in this case, means that children can access the information that traditionally meant for adults. Additionally, the digitization of the media makes it difficult for parents and educators to control what their children can watch and read. Notably the content in the film Cinderella is not much explicit and it is useful to parents to teach their children about the moral values that Ella portrays.. Moreover, the intertextuality of the media content makes it necessary for the parents to help the children understand  media content fits in different contexts and that some context in not fit for them. Therefore, the above arguments make it necessary to educate children to become media literate and responsible consumers of the media content.


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