Fairy Tales Are An Essential Part Of Literature Essay

Fairy Tales Are An Essential Part Of Literature Essay

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Fairy tales are an essential part of literature. They play a significant role in children’s lives as they provide an understanding of the world, as well as the difference between good and evil. Fairy tales are introduced during a time when children soak up knowledge, therefore it is no surprise tales play a role in shaping youth (Nanda, 2014). Knowing this, it is important to be aware of the ways in which characters are portrayed within these tales. The “typical” stereotypes associated with male and female characters can be dangerous as it provides children with a simplified perception of gender roles and the way the world functions. Women are perceived as the beautiful princess who needs help and is “inferior,” while men are the strong and courageous prince who save the naive princess from “evil” (Patel, 2009). Since these portrayals can be found within most fairy tales it allows children to view them as “norms.” This can lead children to have an improper/sexist view of men and women. Due to how often these behaviours are seen, they become “typical.”
This essay will look at typical and biased portrayals of gender roles in fairy tales to find out if they have a positive or negative influence on young children and how this may play a role in creating and maintaining cultural standards for them - more specifically young females - as well as the connection between gender stereotypes and a child’s perception of reality.
Fairy tales started through oral tradition with females as the primary story tellers (Veselá, 2014). In a way, this gave women an outlet to express themselves without the fear of rejection (Veselá, 2014). When the very first fairy narratives were told the intended audience was not children, as they were often violent...

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...ather than ways that best suit their personalities” (Louie, 2012). Humans are not born with the notion of these stereotypes, they are socialized through the help of fairy tales and other forms of media.
The passivity and lack of voice female characters have is seen as a way to oppress women (Nanda, 2014). It is clear these ideologies are ingrained in the minds of children. These inequalities support a patriarchal society (Louie, 2012). In order to move passed these biased stereotypes perceived by society - most importantly by children because they are the future - it is important to recognize them and work towards portraying both males and females as equals. Though fairy tales reinforce gender inequality and promote gender stereotypes they are an important aspect to literature and should not be forgotten, however, modified in order to fairly represent individuals.

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