English, Department of


Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College in the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of English, Under the Supervision of Professor Bernice Slote. Lincoln, Nebraska: June, 1968

Copyright 1968 Ned Samuel Hedges


I believe that there are features common to both children is and adult literature, and that those similarities are much more important to a proper understanding of children's literature than are the differences that exist. This study. will carry the burden of proof for that belief. If goad children's literature is susceptible to serious interpretive criticism, and I believe that it is, it is so primarily because of what it contains in common with general. literary tradition rather than because of what it contains different from general. literary tradition. The complexity of the children's books that I will analyze in this study results from the use of traditional. conventions in quite involved, but systematic, combinations. I will seek answers to the following questions: What conventional devices do good writers of children's literature employ'? In what combinations? For what purposes?