Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 132

Full Length Research Paper

How Green are our Stories? Explorations of ecological subjectivities in Ethiopian children’s literature

Ashenafi Belay Adugna
  • Ashenafi Belay Adugna
  • Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 16 January 2015
  •  Accepted: 12 March 2015
  •  Published: 30 June 2015


This study explores the place given to ecological crises in Ethiopian children’s literature. Through examining ecological subject positions in the works, it attempts to investigate values ascribed to nature. More than fifty narratives in fifteen children’s literature books published in Amharic have been considered for the investigation. An Ecocritical approach has been used as a framework to analyze the works. The analysis reveals that stories considered place a limited emphasis on ecological concerns. The unit of image analyses conducted indicates the predominance of anthropocentric concerns. Most of the stories give little emphasis to the idea of essential unity of life, and to the ethical responsibilities of children towards care of the environment. The propinquity they embed is also infested with gender ideology. Some of the stories, however, present ambivalent subject positions with regard to the model of relationships between humankind and nature they offer to the children. This is observed in the stories which give an undecided viewpoint as to which standpoint the reader should hold at last. Based on the findings, it appears that less emphasis has been placed on the greening of children’s literature published in Amharic. In line with this, it is recommended that attention needs to be paid to environmental issues if there is a need to shape minds that are conscious of the problems.

Key words: Children’s literature, greening, Ecocriticism, ecological crisis, ecological subjectivity, Ethiopia.