Fairytales and folktales have been told around the campfire, in the living room, the class room, and before bedtime for centuries. First told orally, the “… stories had to have remarkable features in order to remain memorable (Nodelman 246).” These stories were passed down from storyteller to audience until they were eventually written down and collected for consumption by the public. Due to the passing of time and fallibility the stories have changed throughout the years and slightly differ from culture to culture, however, “Stories similar to “Cinderella” can be found in historical records from as far back as the seventh century, and from a variety of places around the world (Nodelman 246).” Although the classic tales differ in various ways from their modern counterparts (such as Disney films, etc.), the characters and their journeys are still very much identifiable.
Fairytales: Children’s Greatest Companion Throughout my childhood, my sister loved to write unique fairytales for me that would make my little mind soar. Although I didn’t read modern fairytales, fairytales played an important role in my childhood as they first helped me to read, gain knowledge about the world and understand myself. According to Bruno Bettelheim’s book, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairytales, fairy tales give children much knowledge about their identity, others emotions and their environment. Children gain knowledge by reading about life experiences similar to their own and use this knowledge they gain through out their development, just as I did.
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
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?
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
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.
Up until the 1950’s, books were considered for leisure and family time but not for marketing (Zipes, 2009). High-tech and mass media has brought about a culture that surrounds us by residues of the fairy tale by Disney’s marketing marvels ranging from motion picture revisions and music to toys and fast food enticements (Parsons, 2004). Jack Zipes claims that we “live in a world that causes our lives to be mediated and determined by illusionary images,” and in the last several decades, Disney does that best (2009, p. 127). Disney’s revisions of fairy tales seem centered upon the assumption of “childhood as a time of innocence with maturation into adulthood involving a loss of this innocence [and that innocence] involves a high level of magic” (Booker, 2010, p. 6). Disney uses the act of imagination and fantasy to show the audience new ways of seeing things and “to make sense of the world- not through reason” (Zipes, 2009, p. 51). This act, combined with their marketing skills, delivers the Disney message to the masses therefore putting a significant weight on their interpretation of the tale.
Fairy tales have been an essential part of history since the dawn of time. Many people remember reading them as a child, or hearing them told by a parent. They have been written as books and created as movies and tv shows for humanity to enjoy. What do we know about where fairy tales originate? In this essay, we will dig deep into the history of fairy tales, and see what we can discover. Fairy Tales written many years ago are still famous today. They create a world of imagination for children and gives them a brief break from day to day realities.
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.
‘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.