I was browsing through a mental list of movies recently and it’s amazing how many of them feature orphaned children or young adults. Among the ones that sprang to mind: Harry Potter, Dorothy Gale (The Wizard of Oz), Snow White, Heidi, David Copperfield, Cinderella, Bilbo Baggins, Little Orphan Annie.
Why do you think this is the case? What is it about an orphaned character that makes them appealing to write about? What particular psychological and story elements are unique to orphaned characters?
I have my own theories on the matter, but I’m curious to see what your thoughts are on the matter.
Some similar questions arose in my mind recently and I will post those over the next few days. From time to time, I think it’s helpful to step back and take a macro view of narrative elements. Perhaps some of you are writing stories featuring these dynamics. Maybe you can use them to brainstorm new story ideas. In any event, I look forward to reading your thoughts re orphans in Comments today and some of these other story areas the next few days.