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On the Motives of the Heroes'"Going Home" in Homecoming by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Author LinWeiTao
Tutor YangJie
School Northeast Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Homecoming Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs Motives Home Responsibility
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 141
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Cynthia Voigt was an American writer of Young Adult Literature, and the themes of her works were various including adventure, mystery, racialism and the abuse of children, etc. Her best known works were the Tillerman series. The first book of the Tillerman series was Homecoming' dissertation">Homecoming, which was a 1981 Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies and an American Book Award nominee, and which was also filmed into a movie in 1996. The second book of this series was Dicey’s Song which won the 1983 Newbery Award and the National Book Award. The third one was A Solitary Blue which became a 1984 Newbery Honor Book. The fourth book was The Runner, which won the 1988 (Dutch) Silver Pencil Award. The Callender Papers earned the Mystery Writers of American Edgar Award. In 1989, Voigt won the Juvenile Literature Award.In Homecoming, the four children tried their best to go through all kinds of hardships in order to seek their true home. They had thought that Momma was waiting for them at Aunt Cilla’s house, but when they arrived there they found that Momma was not there. Also, Aunt Cilla had died and her daughter Cousin Eunice became the owner of her house. Living with Cousin Eunice, the four children could have enough food and have a place to sleep in and they could go to school, but they left Cousin Eunice without her permission for their Gram whom they had never seen before. However, their Gram had no incomes and what was more important was that they could not be sure that this Gram would be willing to adopt them. At Gram’s, they might be threatened with coldness and starvation but they made the decision, which turned out that they were right. Why? This question can be answered by using American famous psychologist Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs has five levels and can be represented by a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid is the psychological need which is the largest and most basic. The second level is safety need; the third level is love and belongings; the fourth level is esteem and the top level is self—actualization.This paper includes three parts: introduction, main body and conclusion.The first part is introduction. The introduction is divided into three sections: the first section is the introduction of Cynthia Voigt’s life and experience and also a summary of Homecoming; the second section is the review of Homecoming in domestic and abroad; the third section is the introduction of Maslow and his Theory of Hierarchy of Needs.The second part is the main body of the paper. It includes five chapters. These five chapters are correlated with Maslow’s five levels of human needs. Chapter One is life sustaining necessities including money, food and shelter. Chapter Two is the need for safety especially the need for the protection of adult care takers. Chapter Three is the need for love and belongings. Chapter Four is the need for respect including respect from peers and respect from adults. Chapter Five is self—actualization including taking responsibility and pursuing of freedom. The children’s these five needs are interspersed during their journey without a clear order of which is first and which is last.The third part is conclusion. The conclusion is Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs is one of the reasons why the four children tried desperately to seek their true home.

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