Big nose, New Emile, and China's revolutionary children's literature

Lijun Bi, Xiangshu Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper examines Mao Dun’s “The Story of Big Nose” and Lao She’s “The New Emile”. The paper first explores briefly the intellectual context of the flourishing school of revolutionary children’s literature in China in the 1930s, and then analyzes the two examples. It argues that Mao Dun’s story strongly advocates the participation of youngsters in revolutionary activities and this process is supposed to toughen the characteristics of the future generation. It also argues that the purpose of Lao She’s story, which traces the stern experimental revolutionary methodology of upbringing the future generation, is to magnify the tragic consequences of the artificial educational environment that frustrates natural development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalBookbird: a journal of international children's literature
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019


  • Chinese children’s literature
  • Political Education in China
  • Chinese Intellectual History

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