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young fishing girl

Young Fishing Girl

Mary Cassatt painted many famous Impressionist works that idealize the innocence of girls and the mother-daughter bond, for example her 1884 work Children on the Beach During the same era, Whistler's Harmony in Gray and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander and The White Girl depict girls in the same light.
The European children's literature canon includes many notable works with young female protagonists. Traditional fairy tales have preserved memorable stories about girls. Among these are Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rapunzel, The Princess and the Pea and the Brothers Grimm's Little Red Riding Hood. Well-known children's books about girls include Alice in Wonderland, Heidi, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Nancy Drew series, Little House on the Prairie, Madeline, Pippi Longstocking, A Wrinkle in Time, Dragonsong, and Little Women.
Beginning in the late Victorian era, more nuanced depictions of girl protagonists became popular. Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid, and other tales featured themes that ventured into tragedy. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll featured a widely noted female protagonist confronting eccentric characters and intellectual puzzles in surreal settings. Moreover, Carroll's controversial photographs of girls are often cited in histories of photographic art. Literature followed different cultural currents, sometimes romanticizing and idealizing girlhood, and at other times developing under the influence of the growing literary realism movement. Many Victorian novels begin with the childhood of their heroine, such as Jane Eyre, an orphan who suffers ill treatment from her guardians and then at a girls' boarding school. The character Natasha in War and Peace, on the other hand, is sentimentalized.
By the 20th century, the portrayal of girls in fiction had for the most part abandoned idealized portrayals of girls. Popular literary novels include Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird in which a young girl, Scout, is faced with the awareness of the forces of bigotry in her community. Vladimir Nabokov's controversial book Lolita (1955) is about a doomed relationship between a 12 year old girl and an adult scholar as they travel across the United States. Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Metro) (1959) by Raymond Queneau is a popular French novel that humourously celebrates the innocence and precocity of Zazie, who ventures off on her own to explore Paris, escaping from her uncle (a professional female impersonator) and her mother (who is preoccupied by a meeting with her lover). Zazie was also made into a popular movie in 1960 (Zazie dans le métro) by French director Louis Malle.

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