The Evolution of Fairy Tales

1298 Words6 Pages
Fairy Tales have enchanted people for generations. These stories have long been sources of entertainment and moral education, weaving together elements of fantasy with values. Today, fairy tales are often dismissed as children’s stories; however they have permeated popular culture. There are countless versions of these classic tales, with movies, books, and songs recounting the ever so familiar tales as well as colloquial phrases alluding to them. However, some critics argue that beneath the innocent and whimsical demeanor of fairy tales, lie the suppressive values of the dominant culture. These stories have many times been adapted to accommodate the needs of their audiences, and the modern fairy tale, although embedded with the ideas of countless storytellers, has been completely transformed from its original version. Over time, fairy tales have been infused with the different desires, struggles, and complaints of their storytellers and provide perfect snapshots of the societies that created them. Although these fairy tales were initially instilled with the values of the dominant culture, the

modern fairy tale has been simplified to promote universal values.

The modern fairy tale is deeply rooted in oral tradition. These tales, although attributed to authors such as the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson today, were communal property. Fairy tales originated from oral folk tales, promoting ideas of harmony and providing explanations for natural occurrences. “Originally, the folk tale was (and still is) an oral narrative form cultivated by non-literate and literate people to express the manner in which they perceived and perceive nature and their social order and their wish to satisfy their needs and wants” (Zipes 7)...

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...ment that teaches universal values to children.

Works Cited

Bell, Elizabeth, Lynda Haas, and Laura Sells. From Mouse to Mermaid: the Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1995. Print.

"Les Contes Des F." Endicott Studio of Mythic Arts and Journal of Mythic Arts. Web. 25 Mar. 2010. .

Zipes, Jack. Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 2002. Print.

Zipes, Jack. “Of Cats and Men: Framing the Civilizing Discourse of the Fairy Tale.” Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Web 24 Feb 2010.

Zipes, Jack. “Breaking the Magic Spells: Politics and Fairy Tales.” Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Web. 24 Feb 2010.

Zipes, Jack. “Breaking the Disney Spell.” The Classic Fairy Tales. New York. W.W. Norton & Company,1999
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