Child Stars: From Mozart To Gary Coleman



Few things in life are as frustrating as being constantly reminded of your past glories and current inability to reproduce those successes. Yet this is what Mozart had to endure for much of his adult life, mainly from his father but also from those around him. Indeed, much of Mozart's early adult life can be seen as a struggle to break free from the expectations and limitations imposed on him after his prodigious childhood. It is unclear when or where the "Myth of the Eternal Child" first originated, but it is safe to say never before Mozart had a person expanded so spectacularly on his or her early accomplishments. To this day the legend lives on, albeit in a more twisted, cynical form. ...

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with the complications of adult life. A baby is pure and untouched by the vulgarity and coarseness of everyday life. Sexual naivete, especially, is looked upon as endearing since sex is one of the great complications of life. A young child is removed from most aspects of providing, so he can usually concentrate completely on his art, something older artists cannot afford to do. This belief, "that there only doing it for the love of…" remains on of the most important tenets of the eternal child myth. Ostensibly freed from the constraints that money imposes (despite what parents, such as Leopold Mozart, might be doing behind the scenes), the child is raised to the level of creative integrity, untouched and untroubled by the tensions of everyday life.
The second aspect of the myth is more insidious and relates directly to the title: eternal. This choice of words by Solomon is apt because it describes perfectly the fact that no one wants the ideal child to grow up. To mature is in ...

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much of its income. Leopold gave up his time and income as deputy Kapellmeister to travel with his son, meaning that Mozart was the sole provider. This pattern would continue throughout much of his early life and was undoubtedly a strain on his relationship with his father, especially when Mozart attempted to break free from his family's (which usually meant Leopold's) grip. With the livelihood of the entire family at stake it is no wonder that Leopold wanted Mozart to remain, as long as possible, the precocious child that captivated monarchs and kept the family coffers full. It is obvious that this approach was going to cause conflict once the boy grew up a bit.
The desire to provide ...

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Added: 1/27/2006 12:41:41 AM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1470
Pages: 6

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