Fear In Folk And Fairy Tales: The Dark Face Of Fear

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Fear is a powerful motivator and ruthless governor of thought and emotion; it is used as a tool by society in order to control behavior, and often times, paves a path towards vulnerable and thoughtless conduct. Much to the regret of society, the dark face of fear is an unavoidable phenomenon, which can be found in all of life’s domains. For instance, politicians run campaigns where fears are created in order to manipulate the masses to believe that they are the solution. By the same token, companies abuse society’s insecurities and create fear through advertising campaigns, while, journalists illustrate fear and wrongfully form and influence public opinion. Moreover, religions pressure their followers to fear a ‘supreme being’ and the awesome…show more content…
Tales that have been passed on for centuries have changed over time, in order to express solutions and explanations to the troubles faced by society throughout the years (Boudinot). Fairy and folk tales have provided directives of value and caution and their use of fear led certain educators to believe that in addition to being enjoyable forms of entertainment, fairy tales contributed to the safety and education of society (Boudinot). For example, the story of Little Red Riding Hood discusses the sexual awakening of a young girl, the danger of intercourse and the sin of being pregnant out of wedlock (Heuscher). The use of symbolism throughout the story reveals the values that society possessed with regard to virginity and pregnancy. The mother’s warning makes an immediate connection to parental caution, while deviating from the accepted path is an indication of loss of virginity. The wolf representing male sexuality later surrenders masculinity to represent the “sin” of pregnancy by carrying two living people in his stomach. His loss of masculinity is further intensified when the hunter appears and kills him for the transgressions of straying from the path and getting pregnant (Heuscher). By using fear and violence, the story of Little Red Riding Hood may have discouraged young girls from disobeying their parents and straying from the path. However, it…show more content…
Today’s society is focused on pushing fear away by telling itself “remain clam” and “it’ll be okay”. Childhood is scary and adulthood is intimidating, however, rather than blame fear, it is best to acknowledge its potential as a motivator. To teach we must scare, and in order to do that, it is important to know how to deal with fear in a positive way (Boudinot). For instance, rather than view a certain situation one way, take a closer look and adjust the perspective. To conclude, fear should be used as a tool for instruction, as it helps guide society and keeps individuals from entering hurtful situations. Moreover, its use in fairy tales has proven to be a fundamental tool in educating society and increasing its level of judgment. And lastly, through a simple modification in perception, fear can help lead a more productive and meaningful

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