History and Critique of Fairy Tales

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Marie-Catherine D’Aulnoy a French writer coined the term French term “Conte de Fée”, during the 17th century, which translates to fairytale in English. She was one of “the most prolific and influential author [of the genre]… She published four volumes of fairy tales [which] were translated into English in 1699. Her most famous tale today is The White Cat”(Heiner). There were plenty other authors who’s work is still praised today like Charles Perrault and the Grimm Brothers; between the three they composed Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Snow White. The most widely accepted definition of a fairytale is, a short story within the broader genre, folktale, that features fantasy characters such as fairies, dwarfs, mermaids and giants who often use magic and more often than not ends with the stories protagonist living happily ever after. These stories have been around as long as humanity and are a significant part of every culture all around the world having been passed down orally from generation to generation. Many kids grew up with Princesses Cinderella and mystical fun loving teenager Peter Pan; in return they have been taught many underlining themes that can be found in nearly all fairytales the most common being sexism and false sense of hope but also one that is somewhat ambiguous and isn’t always so easy to spot but just a significant: racism. “One of the most basic goals of literature written for children is to impart moral lessons and encourage moral behavior”(Kim). Fairytales are a product of the time in which they were written, where extreme sexism rampant. Now in modern time young girls are still being taught, in a way trained, by men on gender roles and what’s womanly and... ... middle of paper ... ...//www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/are-these-disney-movies-racist>. Nelson, Alyssa. "5 Dumbo." Disney Movies and Racism /. PBworks, 11 May 2009. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. . Schwartz, Daylle Deanna. "Marriage Is Not a Fairy Tale." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. . Temple, Emily. "The Disturbing Origins of 10 Famous Fairy Tales." Flavorwire. Flavorpill Productions, LLC, 8 Nov. 2012. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. . Triska, Zoë. "The REAL Stories Behind These Disney Movies Will Ruin Your Childhood." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. .

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