FrankRichard Stockton is a popular American writer of children`s shortstories and also a novelist. Despite his parents’ advice to pursuemedicine, he decided to follow his dream of being a writer, and thushe published several of his works in magazines. He used plain andsimple humor as well as realistic stories that are true to life toenhance easy understanding of the children. His pattern of writingwas influenced by different factors including personal perspectives,social and professional experiences. His writings played asignificant role in the literary world and the writings of others byproviding the best technique for writing children’s stories. Thispaper seeks to discuss Frank Richard Stockton and explain how hislife correlates with the patterns and events that he writes in hisessays, novels, poems, and short stories. The paper will discuss thesocial, professional, and personal perspectives and influences on hispatterns of writings.
FrankRichard Stockton was born in 1834 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Heis the author of children’s books that have been published inchildren’s magazines as well as humor magazines. He spent his lateryears in New York, West Virginia, and New Jersey. He obtained hiseducation from Philadelphia Public School System. In 1852, he wentagainst his parents’ advice of pursuing medicine and instead hechose art and became a wood engraver (Stockton,2011).He continued to pursue his dream until he obtained recognition andtwo of his works were honored with the award from Lewis CarrollShelf. Moreover, he obtained admittance to the Authors Club andCentury Club. The works of Stockton include the Ruder Grange,Ting-a-Ling, A storyteller’s Pack, the Lady, or the Tiger and TheBee-Man of Orn and other Fanciful Tales. Stockton died in WashingtonD.C in 1902 from a cerebral hemorrhage and was buried in WoodlandsCemetery in Philadelphia (Stockton,2011).
SocialInfluences to Stockton Patterns of Writings
FrankRichard Stockton was influenced by various social factors such asevents and education that helped to shape his writings in specificpatterns of fairly comic style for children. His educationcontributed significantly to his patterns of writings. While inCentral High School, he participated in contests and he achieved hisfirst success as a writer when his short story was selected as thetop by the ‘Boys and Girls Journal.’ He continued to pursue hiswriting interests, and most of his stories were published indifferent literary magazines including the Southern Literacy Magazineand the American Courier. He later started to write stories for thenewspapers in Philadelphia such as the Philadelphia Morning Post andthe Philadelphia Press (Stockton,2011).
ProfessionalInfluences to Stockton Patterns of Writings
Stockton`sprofessional life helped to shape his patterns of writings in variousways. His profession was a short-story writer, and humorous fictionmainly characterized a novelist and his writings. His training andthe continuous practice in writing made him become a professionalstoryteller in his short-story writings. His professional enabled himto acquire excellent styles that allowed him to reach therequirements of successful short-story writing. It provided him withthe ability to understand how to best contain stories in the textthat are suitable for children. For instance, he avoided usingcritical moralizing to the stories of children during that time.However, he adopted the use of clever humor to address various issuesaffecting the people in the society such as abuse of power, violence,and greed among others. The aim of using humor was to promote easyunderstanding for children as they read the stories. Moreover,Stockton described his characters in the short stories in anappealing and a matter of fact way in order to make it interestingfor the children as they read through the stories (Hanley,2012).
Stockmanprofessional skills enabled him to become more popular and acquirethe title as the best author of children’s stories at that time andalso earned himself a reputation as the greatest humorist amongothers. He acquired his reputation through the publication of theshort story, “RudderGrange,”in 1879, which was his major achievement as a writer. Also, anotherstory that earned Stockton a great reputation was the publication ofa short story, “TheLady, or the Tiger?”by the Century magazine in 1882. This story generated a lot ofacclaim for Stockton thus increasing his popularity as the greatestwriter of children’s stories and ranked among the best humorists inAmerica during his time (Hanley,2012).
PersonalPerspectives and Influences to Stockton Patterns of Writings
Stocktonwriting patterns were also influenced by his personal perspectivessuch as his passion for writing. He did not follow his parent’sadvice of pursuing medicine career but rather worked towardsfulfilling his dream of being a writer. He believed writing was hisright career to pursue and meet his goals. Hispersonality as a being perfect naturally also shaped his pattern ofwriting. This allowed him to usually use a sense of humor in hiswriting without forcing thus impacted positively on his quality ofwriting. Additionally, his attitude towards himself was also markedwith humor whereby he had knowledge on how to create and writestories easily and in a pleasant way making it appealing,understandable and humorous to children. He is able to offersuggestions that would otherwise be considered impossible withperfect gravity. Therefore, his writings is a perfect representationof Stockton himself where he allied his personal experiences andperspectives in his writings (Colijn,2014).
Heperceived the use of comic humor as the best style of writing hisshort stories to children. He believed humor has an intensifiedrealistic effect on children because he himself is original andinventive. He derives his stories from imagination and from storiesthat interest him. He never used vulgar of cynic phases of life inorder to offer humor. He was always restrained since he knew he wasdealing with children and it was important for him to calculate thetype of humor to use keenly. The aim of using stories that are trueto life enhances the easy understanding of the stories by children.His writings were filled with humorous events, and therefore, heensured each page of his short stories writings had some amusement inorder to keep the story interesting. He creates stories by liftingthem from thoughts of children in an excellent manner ensuring thehumor is cool, plain and simple for children’s easy understanding(Colijn,2014).
Moreover,Stockman pursued writing because he believed he could make a livingthrough art. Similarly, Stockman perceived writing as an importantway of sharing his ideas and amusement and reaches many people acrossAmerica through publications of short stories in magazines. Inaddition, through his personal experience, he knew the use of comicstyle in his writing would attract the attention of many people(Colijn,2014).
Significanceof Stockton’s writing to the Literacy World and His Influence onothers Writing and Lives
Stockton`swritings impacted enormously on the literary world by providingeffective writing styles and patterns for other writers. Moreover, heprovided writers with knowledge on how to write age-appropriatestories, especially for children. Furthermore, he provided writerswith knowledge of how to use humor in the content of the story inorder to make it attractive for children to read and understand.Consequently, he enhances the understanding of how to use humor toeducate the members of the society on various issues such as greed,violence, and abuse of power. These aspects have made literacy worldto be fun, educative and interesting (Lansiquot& Cabo, 2016).
Also,Stockton`s writings have influenced the writing and lives of othersin major ways. Being a prolific popular writer, he created a path forother writers in different areas. Stockton`s writing technique hasinfluenced most writers of children`s stories. His techniques ofusing humor as well as originality in writing children`s stories haveinspired many writers and also act as precursors for the stories thatwere invented by other writers in the later years (Lansiquot& Cabo, 2016).
FrankRichard Stockton published many of his works in magazines and thuswas able to share his ideas and amusements to a large population ofpeople across America. He focused on using humor in his stories topromote amusement and make it appealing to children. His writingpattern was influenced by social, professional and personalperspectives and experiences. Stockton`s pattern of writing hasimpacted significantly on the literary world and also on the writingsand lives of others. His stories act as a precursor to other inventedstories thus he paved the way for the literary writing on children`sstories for other writers. Therefore, it is evident that Stockton’swork serves as a great inspiration to other literacy writer’sdealing with children’s stories.
Colijn,G. J. (2014). Of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. TheHolocaust: Memories, Research, Reference,41.
Hanley,T.E. (2012).Tellers of Weird Tales. Frank R. Stockton (1834-1902).Retrieved on 24thMarch 2016 from:http://tellersofweirdtales.blogspot.co.ke/2012/10/frank-r-stockton-1834-1902.html
Lansiquot,R. D., & Cabo, C. (2016). Making Connections: Writing Stories andWriting Code. In InterdisciplinaryPedagogy for STEM (pp.85-103). Palgrave Macmillan US.
Stockton,F. R. (2011). TheGale Literary Database: Contemporary Authors Online.5 Sept. 2003.