Although symbolically the child was considered sacred, in real terms children were often the principal victims of the injustice of all time. For example, Victorian literature is rich in reflections on the experiences and forms of childhood, and is extremely revealing about the contradictions inherent in Victorian attitudes towards children. On the one hand there is a kind of sentimental celebrations of the child, who for Dickens is often seen as a symbol of purity and innocence in a corrupting world. On the other hand, the terrible fate of children was an irritable subject for many middle-class Victorians.
We have many Victorian child abuse papers which tell us that poor children were in all time unprotected. The Victorian period was in many ways the golden age of children's literature, producing such classics as Lewis Carroll’s "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and its sequel "Through the Looking Glass.". There was a fundamental ambivalence regarding the child, whose imagination was seen as a rebellious force which needed to be trained and tamed.
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Also contemporary child abuse research paper shows that, after all, the world is not changed. More recently, the contemporary British author, Ian McEwan has explored the modern situation of the child abuse. McEwan's stories far from idealizing childhood, show its terrors and cruelties, and indicate the extent to which the world of the child is in a sense unknowable and alien to adults.
As resulted from several contemporary child abuse papers, many of the ambivalences and ambiguities of the Victorian attitudes about children have continued into the 20th century (and beyond). Vladimir Nabokov's scandalous 1950s novel "Lolita," about a cultured European's love for a 12 year old American girl caused a scandal when it was first published. Nabokov confronts the question of child sexuality, largely treated in various child abuse research papers, in a more direct way that Carroll, but once again the matter is transformed into a linguistic game.