I: THE HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN
For the public at large, this distance cast a haze of unreality upon the orphan. Contemporary authors transformed the tragedy of a life without family to represent for the reader the promise of fantastic opportunity and more authentic existence. Through literature, the mythologizing of the orphan’s life was reified, and the plight of the orphan gained symbolic proportions.
It is at this liminal moment that our subject became thus. The character of the Orphan grew recognizable and familiar to readers. Emblazoned in people’s imaginations, the life of the orphan was understood more through fantasy than reality. Scores of narratives were spun, printed as both serial and novel, each penning an Orphan at its center. Thus the distinction between the orphan and the Orphan was born.