Far from Harmless Childrens Stories Essay

Far from Harmless Childrens Stories Essay

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Passed down orally from generation to generation, fairy tales have been produced throughout history. They tell stories of witches, demons, creatures, dragons, and ultimately good vs. evil. Yet, delving into the real meaning behind fairy tales sheds light into motives of the lower class. For as long as there have been classes, the upper class has been taking advantage of the lower class. The lower class tries to earn freedom and equality throughout history. Fairy tales offered the lower class with a market for spreading these ideas. Rather than being a way for the upper class to spread the ideas of the elite, the fairy tale offered the lower class the opportunity to criticize the upper class while arguing for more independence and opportunities. Fairy tales drew on the political and historical events of the time period to discuss the grievances of the lower class. Fairy tales gave the lower class an opportunity to put forth their ideas about equality and freedom. Since fairy tales were not politically neutral they created overwhelming conflict between the lower and upper classes.
Fairy tales are far from bed-time stories, rather they stem from the political and social needs of the lower class over the course of history. History is always changing, whether it is the lower classes overthrowing the upper classes or the upper classes imposing their control on other cultures. Over the course of history the views of the upper class constantly clash with the lower class. A way for the lower class to respond to the upper class is through fairy tales and folk tales.
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As major historical events produced new eras, so did folk tales evolve with time. Jack Zipes in Breaking the Magic Spell believes that in order to fully understan...


... middle of paper ...


..., it is possible to discover a new meaning to the “harmless” children stories.






Works Cited

Baum, Frank. The Wizard of Oz. Chicago: 1900. Print.
Joosen, Vanessa. “Disenchanting the fairy tale: retellings of ‘Snow White’ between magic and realism.” Marvels & Tales 21.2 (2007): 228+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 22 Mar. 2010.
Yolen, Jane. “From Anderson on: Fairy Tales tell our lives.” Marvels & Tales 20.2 (2006): 238+ Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 12 Feb. 2010
Ziegenhals, Gretchen E The Christian Century; July 19, 1989; 106, 22; ProQuest Direct Complete pg.693
Zipes, Jack. “Breaking the Magic Spells: Politics and Fairy Tales. “New German Critiques (Autumn 1975): 116-135. Rpt. in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 171. Detroit Gale, 2010. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 11. 2010

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