International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Shaping the father figure in post-war society through children’s literature in translation



Adult ideology has always tried to shape children’s literature in translation according to its inherent main goals, as showed in the didactic and moralistic role attributed to children’s literature. Thus, in order to provide books for children which could fit the established canon in those terms of morality and didacticism, texts were subjected to manipulations, which resulted, in the end, in a different text from the original. Indeed, the canon of children’s literature provides that a book for children must be didactic and moralistic and teach the children to stay at their place. As far as adaptation is concerned, children’s literature has been for long affected by changes that have determined new messages and ideas to be conveyed in the Target Text. Domestication is thus part of translation and not a parallel process. Moreover, domesticating cultural references as much as possible is carried out in order to help the children identify with the characters and better understand the story. In a country like Italy, recovering from war, where foreign cultures were not well known, such a norm was reasonable. This present work intends to focus on the role of children’s literature in translation in Italy during 1950s, particularly focusing on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie as case-study, to point out a way of shaping the cultural and social order of the after-war and reconstruction, in order to identify the dominant ideology and its constraints imposed on children and their literature.