The Sleeping Beauty Of The Wood By Charles Perrault Essay

The Sleeping Beauty Of The Wood By Charles Perrault Essay

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Children’s literature is very influential part of a child’s early life. Stories told to children, while sometimes involving make believe, fantastical creatures, and things that do not exist in real life, teach morals to young children that will shape their beliefs and values in their lives. Fairy tales are one of the many influential types of children’s literature. Many tales are revised or retold to teach different morals to the younger generation (Joosen 129). By addressing the differing modernist views that people have today, “There Was Once” changes the way that fairy tales like “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” were viewed as educational items for young children to assist in the teaching of morals and even prompts changing some elements of the older fairy tales.
The fairy tale, “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” by Charles Perrault, is a story about a princess cursed to sleep for a hundred years who is then saved by a prince. This story’s moral is that sometimes waiting for true love is worth it because in the case of Sleeping Beauty, she waited one hundred years and ended up marrying a loving prince that takes care of her when she was about to be killed by the Queen. This story also has elements from its time period that are shunned in the modern world, such as women performing traditional tasks of taking care of the children while the men go out to work in the world. Some modern authors noticed the effect of children’s literature on the young minds of children and wrote stories such as “There Was Once” by Margaret Atwood to draw attention to the values from the seventeenth and eighteenth century prevalent in fairy tales that children should not be taught in the modern world. The short story “There Was Once” addresses the dif...


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...s such as mood, tone and setting to major elements such as the ideas referenced in the pieces. Charles Perrault’s story contains content about women in their traditional roles as mothers and housekeepers while Atwood’s piece criticizes this writing and looks to change how women are viewed. By showing the differences in the stories such as feminism verse antifeminism, Atwood is able to better convey her purpose of pointing out the outdated values that are being taught in the outdated fairy tales. Pieces such as Atwood’s have sparked a new movement that aims to change older fairy tales in to newer versions that teach the values recognized as appropriate by society today. Without stories such as “There Was Once” that address the outdated fairy tales and the vastly different values, children would continue to be exposed to old values that do not pertain to today’s world.

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