Ownership In Fairy Tales Essay

Ownership In Fairy Tales Essay

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Ownership is a symbol of control. As human beings, we tend to put labels on things, believing that everything must belong to someone or something. This issue of ownership does not exclude the world of fairy tales. Fairy tales, much like birds, follow no rules and are free, but can be over ruled by potential superiors. In Donald Haase’s essay entitled, “Yours, Mine, or Ours?” and Lawrence R. Sipe’s case study, “Talking back and taking over: Young children’s expressive engagement during storybook read-alouds”, both scholars claim that children holds the baton of ownership over fairy tales. Although Haase and Sipe lay out an appealing theory and practice for children’s literacy, a story like “The Juniper Tree” by the Grimms brothers suggest skepticism to their claims and leads to a conclusion that children may not attain autonomy through fairy tales.
Haase believes that we should encourage children to think independently. In his essay, Haase discusses the views of both nationalists and universalists about the issue of ownership over fairy tales. He mentions, “Germans were only too ready to exercise their right of ownership by advocating the Grimms’ tales as a national primer, after 1871…” (437). Because of this, many critics believe that the violent character of the Grimms’ fairy tales mirror the violent acts of the Germans, which led to the ban of fairy tales in many German public schools. On the other hand, the universalists believe that fairy tales “belong to us all” (441), and it has the power to show child readers “their way through life’s existential dilemmas” (441). Haase illustrates how both nationalists and universalists believe that fairy tales can impose, bad characters and teach different life lessons young readers can ...


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...s family members did to contribute to his death. When the little boy died, he did not know anything about the causes of his death and the things that happened after. He had to learn that his “mother, she slew [him]”, his father ate him, and his sister “… Gathered up [his] bones, tied them up in silk, and put them under the juniper tree” (248). This shows that it is not as easy as inserting different people in the story for children to attain their self-rule. Although the story of a fictional character might not be relevant to the real-world expectation, it still shows where Sipe falls short in his essay about the purpose of the five expressive engagements. Sipe’s claims and supporting evidences show that it is not only through these expressive engagements that children can attain power over their lives, but also through the persistence of children to learn literacy.

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