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Little Brothe Logic and Emotions Appeals Discussion


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“Little Brother” demonstrates important trends about realistic fiction for younger children in the 1700’s.

First, the subject matter is the arrival of a baby in the family, as real and common a domestic event as one can find. The mother in this story gave birth at home the night before the story takes so place. Little Brother is 12 hour newborn when Fanny meets him. Second, the narrator immediately indicates that Fanny asked a thousand questions, confirming John Locke’s point about the value of a child’s curiosity. And finally, the story will unfold how Fanny comes to understand what a baby is like and what to expect from a little brother. This is clearly a didactic (teaching) story meant to reduce potential sibling rivalry.

Write two paragraphs about the ways that Mother and Father educate Fanny, both by appeals to her logic and appeals to her emotions. Write one paragraph on each and be specific about the information conveyed and the emotions touched upon.

In a final paragraph, discuss the dialogue form of the story. No doubt it was written this way to encourage a family reading together aloud (i.e., each person taking a part) in addition to individual silent reading. But a dialogue must sacrifice some advantages of narrative (i.e., storytelling) to create a little play in dialogue. How well do you think the story is written?


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