The Display of Culture in Fairy Tales Essay

The Display of Culture in Fairy Tales Essay

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Fairy tales are children’s first introduction to different cultures of the world. A click of heels or sprinkling of magic dust can transport children into the jungles of Africa or the countryside of England. Amongst the magical wands, princesses and frogs are the beliefs and customs of the tales’ origin. This is evident in two variations of the fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs”. For example, Andrew Lang’s English version “The Three Little Pigs” represents the culture of England. Likewise, Joel Harris’ African version “The Story of the Pigs” represents the culture of Ethiopia. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term fairy tales as “a story in which improbable events lead to a happy ending”. Life is similar to fairy tales. Throughout life there are new beginnings and if we’re lucky happy endings. Culture is defined as “everything that makes up a person’s entire way of life”. Both the English and African versions of “The Three Little Pigs” affirm how fairy tales imitates culture. Fairy tales offer a glimpse into parts of a culture such as traditions, languages and beliefs.
The England tradition of home rental, small families and entertaining at home are found in the English version of the fairy tale. For example, “this dear old sty in which we have lived so happily will be given to a new family of pigs, and you will have to turn out” (Lang). The mother and children had rented the home for a long time. However, upon her death the home will be rented out to someone else. Furthermore, in England families are usually small. The mother pig had only three children. Entertaining of friends in the home is a way of life. The fox provided an excellent example of this custom. “The next day the fox started off for Black...


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...e should not be difficult to understand. Fairy tales are simple stories packed with cultural lessons. For hundreds of years, parents have been using the story of the fox and pigs or the wolf and pigs to entertain and teach their children about the world.












Works Cited

frican Fathers’ Initiative. African Baby Naming Ceremonies, Sweet Mother International.org, Web 01 Mar 2014.
Duncan, Alexandra, and Molly Hayden. Ethiopia. ethnomed.org, 2008. Web 01 Mar 2014.
Harris, Joel C. Nights with Uncle Remus: Myths and Legends of the Old Plantation, Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1883, no. 8, pp. 38-43. Web 28 Feb. 2014.
Johnson, Ben. Fox Hunting in Britain. Historic UK. historic-uk.com. 2000. Web 03 Mar 2014.
Lang, Andrew. The Green Fairy Book, 7th impression London: Longmans, Green, and
Company, 1906, pp. 100-105. Web 28 Feb 2014.

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