chapter  16
12 Pages

The Commercial Cultural Spirit and the Contemporary Image of Children: A Discussion of the Artistic Innovation of China’s Contemporary Children’s Literature

The contemporary commercial environment serves as one of the basic cultural contexts on which the development of China’s children’s literature depends today. It not only provides an important realistic background for contemporary children’s literature, but also exerts intrinsic and profound influence on the shaping of a particular image of and mental outlook for children. In the last twenty years, Chinese children’s literature has furnished numerous images of children closely related to the commercial economy and the spirit of commercial culture, mainly in works set in the city or the city-to-be. Compared with earlier images of children, these child characters show distinctive identity awareness and comparatively strong social abilities. Such children, who have a strong sense of the times, are nourished by the modern commercial cultural spirit and demonstrate the artistic direction of children’s literature in the period after the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76.