April 8, 2009

Why We Love Fairy Tales - by Guest Writer Courtney Phillips

Why We Love Fairy Tales

by Courtney Phillips

Fairy tales are enjoyed by people of all ages the world over. For hundreds of years, many of these tales were passed down orally with only the best elements of the story preserved for posterity. Nowadays, people still read and tell fairy tales for a variety of reasons, a few of which will be explored in the following article.

A Fantasy World

As children, we hear fairy tales and are taken on a trip to magical lands where things are familiar, yet something is different. The tales are timeless and exist in a dimension that is unaffected by the changes in our material world. The characters of these tales may or may not have special powers, but the fact that there is an element of magic in the stories themselves leaves readers wanting the story to keep going because they don’t want to leave the magical land.

Inspires the Imagination

Fairy tales allow us to fill in the blanks by listening to the tales and putting ourselves in the shoes of the characters. From a very early age, children listen to these inspiring tales that makes us want to play and pretend, or tell fun stories of our own. Many a daydream has been spawned by the telling of fairy tales.

Lesson Learned

At the heart of many fairy tales is a lesson to be learned by the reader. Though the author may not come out and tell readers, inferences and connections are made simply through the passing along of this story. The battle between good and evil is fought in many a fairy tale and archetypal characterization is used to achieve this end. Rarely are there any characters that are “on the fence,” so to speak.

Entertainment Value

No matter how many times you hear a fairy tale, it rarely gets old. Though we may know the outcome, we still read on with the same anticipation and wonder that we felt the first time we heard the story. These timeless tales have an entertainment value that is virtually limitless and universal at the same time.

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Elle Scott said...

It's amazing when you start thinking of how many modern books and movies are inspired by fairy tales. Even if the fantastic elements and magic are taken away, there is still the underlying story. For example, "Slumdog Millionaire" seemed like a kind of fairy tale to me; the hero had to battle quite a number of 'dragons' and pass a number of challenges to reach his princess.

"Δημήτριος ο Ταξιδευτής" said...

you have an amazing blog
with awesome posts (stories)
thanks for sharing them with all of us..

The Ink Gypsy said...

I would like to add one thing:

Fairy Tales Are Mythically Resonant.

Fairy tales have the ability to enjoy/speak to the very young right through to the very old and in different ways.

For example, the archetypes and symbols used in the tales can be interpreted in so many ways it's possible to continually see the same tale in a new light as one gets older and goes through different experiences.

From simple enjoyment through to very adult themes such as steps to self-improvement and/or recovery, fairy tales touch all alike and differently at the same time.

They are timeless and that's true for a persons' chronological age as well as their personal maturity but also over centuries and across cultures, race and gender.

For these reasons and more fairy tales are mythic and resonate within the hearts and minds of people of all kinds.

They show us our past, our future, our limits and our potential. They show us the world and, most of all, they show us ourselves.

Dorlana said...

I think it’s fun to read them and reduce them down to a single meaning/moral. Like “Jack in the beanstalk” I felt greed summed it up - “The Emperors New Clothes” fear. And depending on which version you read, they are almost screaming to be used as inspiration: Kind of like a page in a coloring book: As long as you stay in the lines, you can use any colors you want to bring it to life. (OK, sometimes I might get outside the lines)

And thanks for the comments. :)

ClaringM.H said...

Fairy tales are forever. :)
Nice blog sir!