In certain animal species where the father typically abandons the mother and young at or prior to birth, the young will be called orphans when the mother dies regardless of the condition of the father.
Orphans and spankingEdit
Human orphans are usually given in the custody of a relative or other careperson, and/or are adopted by these. If this is not possible, or until such a placement is found, they are typically put by the authorities in a special charity institution run for this purpose, called an orphanage.
Children in such institutions are not only clad and fed, but also educated. They are given schooling and are trained in everything a child is believed to need to learn, such as cleanliness, diligence and good manners. To this end, they will receive praise and reproof, rewards and punishments from their caretakers, who act in loco parentis to replace the role that otherwise a parent would fulfil. Stereotypically, orphans are raised under stricter rules and discipline than other children. In extreme cases this can reach the point where such strictness becomes abuse, or abuse in the eyes of outsiders.
In the days when corporal punishment of children was the norm at home and school, orphanages naturally used the same methods, including spanking in cases of severe misbehaviour. Today the situation is diverse. In some countries, CP is illegal and no longer used, in others it is legal but no longer used used in orphanages, and in others CP is legal and used. In the latter case, the institution will typically set up CP policies to ensure that the child thus punished is not subjected to abuse.
Orphans in literatureEdit
Because the theme of not belonging or being destined for something greater is something most people can identify with, orphans, orphanages and, by extension, boarding schools, are commonly seen in literature, particularly in bildungsroman. Examples include Oliver Twist, Annie, Disney's Aladin, and The X-Men.
- Little Orphan Annie (comic strip)
- The Milky Waif (animated cartoon)
- Un bon petit diable (novel and movie)
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