The Water Babies Book Theme

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Charles Kingsley created the novel under the influence of the social disturbance in the Victorian Britain. Although intended for children, the novel was coming out periodically in the Macmillan’s Magazine for adults and deeply affected many public matters, left the readers contemplative and become the base for social changes (Uffeleman & Scott, 1986). There is an evidence of Alexander Macmillan’s words “from your description of the story I think it will suit us admirably and form a new and interesting feature in our Magazine” (BL Macmillan Archive 55380, Uffelman & Scott, kako citirati arhivsku građu?). The Water Babies is an evolutionary fantasy novel and fairy tale in one. It reflects Kingsley’s restless spirit and interest in different topics …show more content…
Despite the fact The Water Babies is a fantasy novel, it begins like a classical fairy tale with “Once upon a time, there was a little chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom” (WBs, 1%) what can create an impression of something familiar to the reader. Kingsley immediately forms a tight relationship with the reader saying that he or she would not have trouble remembering protagonist’s name because it is short and very common. All the essential information about Tom are presented in the first paragraph where the narrator introduces his poor life, relationship with his master, and his aspirations for the future. Kingsley might have wanted to face the reader, both child an adult, with the horrible destinies of the chimney sweepers and to influence readers’ attitudes at the very beginning. Tom is just a representative of “his kind”, a sweeper’s model who does not how to read, write or say his prayers.”The other picture was that of a man nailed to a cross, which surprised Tom much. He fancied that he had seen something like it in a shop-window. But why was it there? “Poor man,” thought Tom, “and he looks so …show more content…
Tom is still marginalized and searching his place but the difference considering terrestrial life is definitely the possibility to develop, both in knowledge and in skills (Padley, 2009). Moreover, while running down the hill toward Vendale he heard loud “church bells” which where invoking him to enter the imaginary church. Those bells repeatedly appeared in his head, the later louder than the previous, until he found the stream where he could wash himself and eventually enter the imaginary church as a clean man, as he is supposed to be. The church bells and the stream could be understood as a very important moment of Tom’s “baptism and regeneration” (Klaver, 2006, p. 535), the new beginning of his life which is, on the secondary level, related to Kingsley’s overall motivation for the novel - improvement of sanitation and conditions related to public health. The author nowhere states that Tom drowned but he addresses to the reader and explains what have “actually” happened. “ he tumbled himself as quick as he could into the clear cool stream. And he had not been in it two minutes before he fell fast asleep, into the quietest, sunniest, cosiest sleep that ever he had in his life...The reason of his falling into such a delightful sleep is very simple; and yet hardly any one has found it out. It was merely that the fairies took him.” (WBs 16%). Latter, Kingsley explains the

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