[LMB] Betan control of pregnancy, moving OT:

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 10 03:32:01 GMT 2015


> From: Jim Parish jparish at siue.edu

> Sylvia McIvers wrote:
> > Many women don't want to raise someone else's child - hence the wicked 
> > step-mother trope. Sadly, 'the boyfriend beat up/killed the kid' is a 
> > truism, but did not become a literary trope. How did that happen?
 
> You do get the "evil uncle (who killed the kid)" trope; Shakespeare used 
> it in more than one of his historicals ("Richard III", "King John"), and 
> "Hamlet" has the evil uncle-cum-stepdad trying to kill the "kid". But I 
> agree, even that is not very common.
> Jim Parish

In Dickens we see children sent off to pretty horrible schools, or turned out
to work early by stepfathers. 

Also, in 'the good old days' back in the mists of time, stepfathers could
send stepsons out to work, and marry stepdaughters off - the children 
were still a useful resource. Stepmothers were in the home dealing with
children on a more personal level. 

But the biggest factor, I think, is that stepchildren are a threat to the 
stepmother's brood - her stepchildren would be ahead of hers in inheritance,
so needed to be disposed of. Stepchildren wouldn't be supplanting a
stepfather's own children in the line to be his heirs (and this was the days when
women usually were the losers, economically, so the fathers/stepfathers were
the ones with the money. Mothers and stepmothers were scrabbling to 
get the best deal for their children. 

Gwynne
 		 	   		  


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list