There are almost innumerable ways to examine culture and cultural change. Perhaps one of the most interesting of these studies is determining the cultural influence on literature. This specific type of study can be valuable when looking at all types of literature, but a specific branch of literature, fairy tales, offers an intriguing outlook. Fairy tales are some of the oldest stories in literary text; in this scenario the question becomes the following: How and to what extent does the given cultural situation affect the status of fairy tales in that time? Fairy tales are the center of constant analysis by literary scholars and psychoanalytic experts alike. The stories are probed, analyzed and examined time and time again for they offer themes and ideals that provide realistic application of and interpretation on society and the way people think and act. It is engrossing to contemplate the differentiation of a fairy tale story among dissimilar societies.
Modern day scholars such as Maria Tatar and Bruno Bettelheim claim that fairy tales explain the complexities of reality as a subconscious level and provide comfort and lessons that are of upmost value to impressionable minds. But it is interesting to see that over time and across culture the actual provisions of fairy tales vary significantly in nature.
It is most beneficial to first look at fairy tales from the modern perspective. In his article “Fairy Tales and Modern Stories,” psychologist and author Bruno Bettelheim analyzes the importance of fairy tales and how they have such a universal and powerful effect on youth. Bettelheim believes that children use fairy tales as a vehicle in which to offer an escape or distraction from their real world problems. Bettelheim shows ...
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...ning Solutions, 2013. 303-306. Print.
Breaking Away, Dir. Peter Yates. Perf. Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley. Twentieth Century Fox. 1979. DVD.
Gaylord, Chris. "Brothers Grimm saved classic fairy tales by changing them forever." The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Dec. 2012. Web. 15 May 2014.
Gibson, Lydialyle. "The University of Chicago." How fairy tales lost their magic. University of Chicago, 11 June 2012. Web. 15 May 2014.
Tatar, Maria. “An Introduction to Fairy Tales.” Writing and Reading for ACP Composition. Ed. Christine R. Farris and Deanna M Jessup. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. 306-313. Print.
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