Gifted Children

  • Karen J. Renner


Early narratives about psychically gifted children examine theories of child development and childrearing principles as well as the effects of abuse. Ray Bradbury’s “The Small Assassin” (1946) and “The Veldt” (1950) imagine the dangers children would pose if they had power before they learned moral restraint whereas Jerome Bixby’s “It’s a Good Life” (1953) investigates the dangers of permissive parenting. Later texts, like the multiple versions of Carrie (1974, 1976, 2013) and the films Chronicle (2012) and Dark Touch (2013), trace the effects of abuse, with the children symbolizing school shooters and their “gifts” standing in for guns. Another branch of gifted child narratives, which include Firestarter (1980, 1984) and a series of video games by M83 (2011–2012), is also interested in the effects of abuse but of the kind inflicted by institutions rather than parents or schoolmates.


Short Story Permissive Parenting School Violence Music Video Moral Panic 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen J. Renner
    • 1
  1. 1.Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

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