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Parenthood as a Theme in English Literature

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  1. The Greek hangover and the Catholic influence in the English literature of the 16th and 17th centuries
  2. The 18th and 19th century were the Reason age
  3. The 20th century saw a number of literary developments and experiments

"Parenthood" has been defined as a process of bearing or adoption, and rearing of children. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the concept as "the state of one that begets or brings forth children". According to contemporary standards, "parenthood" involves a number of daily responsibilities, and financial and affective obligations such as the education and instruction of one's children. The notion of "parenthood" also presupposes an active concern for a child's welfare, physical and intellectual development. Initially, parenthood was concerned with teaching the taboo, or what was forbidden, and with inculcating the basic rules and restrictions to the young. As time passed, parenthood began to be seen as a longer process of nurturing. It was increasingly centered on the concept of caring. Such was the case of certain Utopian societies founded in America, such as the Owenite societies of the 19th century, which developed some of the first kindergartens. Here, children were raised and educated together and society itself was engaged in a collective effort of parenting. The same concept was developed in Europe almost at the same time in Germany. In fact, defining "parenthood" is a recent preoccupation but the concerns and worries of parenthood are as old as the world.

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