The fairy tales that we have become so familiar with are embedded with love, imagination and enchantment. In truth, these are just common archetypes; originally fairy tales had a much darker backdrop. They were once symbols of sexualisation and brutality as not everything ended happily ever after. Deriving from promiscuous and overlooked on goings from the 19th century (such as molestation), these ideas were later suppressed when they became children’s tales. John Updike described traditional fairy tales as ‘The pornography of their day’, hence they contained elements of wish-fulfilment and gratification such as rape, pleasure and attainment. This is true to a certain extent but they also consisted of violence, mutiny and injustice. An exploration
A fairy tale is seemingly a moral fiction, intended mainly for children. A lesson in critical analysis, however, strips this guise and reveals the naked truth beneath; fairy tales are actually vicious, logical and sexual stories wearing a mask of deceptively easy language and an apparent moral. Two 19th Century writers, the Grimm brothers, were masters at writing these exaggerated stories, bewitching young readers with their prose while padding their stories with allusion and reference: an example of which is "Rapunzel." Grimm's "Rapunzel" is packed with religious symbolism, which lends a new insight to the meaning of this classic story.
For centuries, fairytales have been used for instruction; to teach children what is expected of them as they age and what terrors behold them if they do not comply with the guidelines laid out for them by their culture/society. Many of the tales were purposely frightful in order to scare children away from strangers, dark corners, and traveling off the beaten path into the dark thicket. Charles Perrault first began writing fairy tales in the late 17th century to educate his children. The morals of those tales often center on what is expected of young women; that they should remain ‘pure’ and ‘docile’. He wrote the tales in a time period when fairytales or ‘jack’ tales were looked at as instructional lessons. They were also widely told around the fire, as entertainment, for adults. Angela Carter adapted Perrault’s classic tales in the 1970’s; changing the victim...
When anyone thinks about a children’s fairy tale the most common ones that can come to mind is “Little Red Riding Hood”. Fairy tales convey a hidden message to children. Like how in “Little Red Riding Hood” the message is to not talk to strangers. Fairy tales have been created to help children understand things in a fun and enjoying way. Not every kid can learn and understand things the same way; it all depends on what they have been taught and exposed to in their life. There is controversy between the way these messages are conveyed to young children, like how in “Little Red Riding Hood” the story ends with Riding Hood and her grandmother being eaten by the wolf which can be frightening to children but it explains to you the bad things
Fairytales, many written by The Brothers Grimm Jacob and Wilhelm, has been told to children the world over for hundreds of years, in the 1800’s they were used to teach children the roles boys and girls should play, as well as what it means to be good or evil. Fantastical stories told by the Brothers Grimm of princesses, princes, Kings, Queens, and valiant knights, retold and molded into the medium of the time. But what does it do to your child’s psyche? Can fairytales do more harm than good? What underlying message is your child receiving from such fantastical stories?
Fairy tales portray wonderful, elaborate, and colorful worlds as well as chilling, frightening, dark worlds in which ugly beasts are transformed into princes and evil persons are turned to stones and good persons back to flesh (Guroian). Fairytales have long been a part of our world and have taken several forms ranging from simple bedtime stories to intricate plays, musicals, and movies. However, these seemingly simple stories are about much more than pixie dust and poisoned apples. One could compare fairytales to the new Chef Boyardee; Chef Boyardee hides vegetables in its ravioli while fairytales hide society’s morals and many life lessons in these outwardly simple children stories. Because of this fairytales have long been instruments used to instruct children on the morals of their culture. They use stories to teach children that the rude and cruel do not succeed in life in the long run. They teach children that they should strive to be kind, caring, and giving like the longsuffering protagonists of the fairytale stories. Also, they teach that good does ultimately defeat evil. Fairy tales are not just simple bedtime stories; they have long been introducing cultural moral values into young children.
‘Once upon a time...’ a staple of the fairy tale. They take place in the next kingdom over (usually one comparable to Europe) and in the past, normally when there was still a monarchy and the majority of citizens were peasants, perhaps because it was in this age when folk stories really began to grow in popularity. It’s obvious why these stories were so common in the 17th century - tales of princes and princesses, life and morals, good defeating evil were exactly the thing to entertain at night while doing your chores. One would have thought these stories would have died out with the invention of the television, but their popularity merely increased. There are many popular films and TV shows which have been greatly inspired by fairy tales; Pretty Women starring Julia Roberts is a clear modern day Cinderella, and almost every bad-boy-changes-for-a-girl and makeover-for-love plotline is based to a large degree on Beauty and the Beast.
At first glance, what makes a fairy tale a fairy tale may seem obvious—some kind of magic, hidden symbols, repetition, and of course it’s evident it’s fiction—but fables are more than that. As Arthur Schelesinger puts it, it’s about “[expanding] imagination” and gaining understanding of mysterious places (618). While doing this, it also helps children to escape this world, yet teach a lesson that the reader may not be conscious of. A wonderful story that achieves all of this is Cinderella, but not the traditional tale many American’s have heard. Oochigeaskw, or The Rough-Faced Girl, and Ashputtle would be fitting for a seven-year-old because they get the gears of the mind turning, allowing for an escape on the surface, with an underlying enlightenment for children of the ways of the world.
During the 19th century, Grimm’s fairytales were strongly disapproved of due to harsh, gruesome details and plots. One American educator from 1885 stated, “The folktales mirror all too loyally the entire medieval worldview and culture with all its stark prejudice, its crudeness and barbarities.” As childre...