A Picture vs. A Thousand Words: How Authored Children's Classics Retain Cultural Relevancy Through British Television Adaptations

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Crotzer, Sarah
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Middle Tennessee State University
Certain classic children's stories have transcended the generations to become cultural icons over a century after their publication. The endless adaptation and reinvention that creates iconography can be both assistance and obstruction to the preservation of authored stories which, unlike classic oral folk tales, were originally composed to a specific and unchanging design. This thesis examines how certain classic stories - Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - have been transmuted from set, authored texts to collections of representative elements with wide cultural applications. In addition to examining the broader progression of adaptation for these stories, this thesis offers support through analysis of two relevant British television adaptations for each tale. These adaptations reflect not only the cultural view of these stories within Britain but how that nationalized view itself must evolve to fit the wider commercialized television landscape of the early 21st century.
Adaptation, Alice in Wonderland, BBC, ITV, The Snow Queen, The Wind in the Willows