Synopsis on Toys by Roland Barthes

Topic: BusinessConstruction
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Last updated: February 16, 2019

These toys are miniature versions of the adult world because sadly the child is considered to be a smaller adult and not a younger adult. The ability to think, imagine and create is killed by these toys because of their complex nature. This results in the child inadvertently accepting its social environment without any questions or objections.The author believes that enforcing these concepts of the “adult world” on a child corrupts his/her mind and creates in the mind of the child an attitude that he/she has to fit into their social setup and cannot have an individualistic approach/ability. He also considers such an attempt as an assault on the creative and inventive quality that is inherent in every human being. The child becomes a mere owner or user and not a creator or an inventor. He/She remains oblivious to the joy of discovery, imagination and creation.

Building blocks are examples of toys that encourage and stimulate a child’s mind. Using these toys the child makes things that may/may not be functional but they are something that he/she has created and are specific to his/her thought process and hence represent his individual sense of understanding his/her environment and using it to his/her best advantage. Playing with building blocks, the child explores the different structures that he/she can create with the very same blocks, only by changing its position or integrating it with other blocks.Slowly and progressively the child will create structures that not only have form but are also functional. Such stimulation is essential to developing minds that think individually. Another aspect that he points out is the material that is used to make toys.

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He condemns the use of the extremely impersonal plastic as a material and the complex construction of toys. Toys of this generation are merely chemical objects with no kind of connection to the pioneer conception of toys, which is, to think, create and explore.These toys are vulnerable to the breaking of one little spring which leads to a total collapse. They do not have any post-expiry importance to offer and are absolutely useless once broken. It is also pointed out that gradually the toys made of wood are becoming extinct in spite of its ideality as a material used for making toys. It is obtained from a living source and this itself forges a bond between the child and the toy. Wooden oys never break they only wear out progressively owing to the interactions between the hand and the toy. They are timeless and everlasting.

The most cherished quality of wood is its human, almost life-like touch. Such materials represent the untiring efforts that the human race has made to evolve from the very basic and humble beginnings. They represent the growth of man in terms of his role as an inventor and the growth of technology in terms of the progress in materials. Most importantly they keep us rooted to our source.


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