The Faces of Evil in Fairy Tales


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As children, we hear many stories about the interactions between good and evil. Since each story or fable have different characters, the description of evil and good are different from one another. The good character will have different characteristic compared to evil one.
“There are relatively few ways to do good, but countless ways to do evil, which can therefore have a much greater impact on our lives, and the lives of others beings capable of suffering. “ written by Plato.
This saying could be the same for how the characteristics of good and evil effect how we see characters in fairy tales.
Good and evil are different entities, they are opposites and how they are depicted in children fables effect how people react to them.
In most fairy tales, the main character are children. Since these tales were originally created to teach children a lesson, they created characters that are close to themselves. In Little Red Riding Hood, Gustave Dore depicted Little Red as a normal young girl in the 17th century, she looks innocent, healthy, and most importantly she looks a human child. They represent life, youth, future, happiness, and unrelenting trust.

Consequently evil is portrayed differently compared to their counterparts. They are not seen as youthful, happiness, or life. They give off the feeling of sinful, foul, wickedness and villainy.
Like Plato’s quote, there are countless ways to do evil. There are countless ways to illustrate evil. In fable like Red Ridin Hood, the villain is the wolf. This was the age of when Christianity dominated faith and government in Europe, Christians believe that wolves were servents of Satan. Reasons to why they believe this is because wolves hunt the symbol of innocent christians, the lamb. Wolves are depicted as evil creatures that hunt the christian people. With wolves being represented this way, parents feared for the lives of their children. Since children are so easily trusting towards creatures and strangers.
Another reason why the wolf is considered evil is because people didn’t know much about them other than their own beliefs. They were not able to control them like dogs, and they were unpredictable creatures. People like the idea of control over their own lives and knowledge.
With people wanting understanding over their lives, they can be deceived easily, just like Eve from The Book of Genesis. This religious story of the first sin has given the snake as well known face of evil and a untrustworthy character.

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In popular mythical style video games, evil has a variety of shapes, forms, and looks. The general idea of how they look are different colored skin tone, different color scheme compared to the hero, beastly form, something representing evil, and outer worldly.
One of Nintendo’s popular games Zelda, have represented evil in many styles. A majority of them are grotesque, off putting, have similar characteristic to animals.
Many of the animals that helped create the concept for these characters are lizards, spiders, snakes, fly traps, toads, bat, and mythical creatures like kaiju. These animals represent death, poison, trickery and can be seen in many stories involving witches, the dark, werewolves, vampires.
In Zelda, some of the demonic species have a similar features to pigs, in western folklore pigs are seen as obnoxious, filthy, greedy, and dirty.
They are associated with greed from the way pig inhale any food placed in front of them. A majority of people are afraid of spiders for their strange appearances, they are venomous, small, and only a few spiders are dangerous to human.
Other forms of evil are diseases, illness, black fog, dark energy.
The didactic purposes-
The purposes of evil having these types of forms are that even if a person is human their true nature is not. The evil characteristics can change a person on the inside and fables bring those out. They illustrate these features to represent the true nature of these people. The wolf in Red Riding Hood is considered a pedophile or a kidnapper. To call a person a pig can represent their disgusting behavior and calling a person.


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