Are fairytales dangerous?

February 15, 2009 at 2:57 pm (books, thoughts) ()

I’ve often read articles or heard speakers saying things like “Too many fairy tales are bad”  and “Fairy tales lead to unrealistic exceptions”; and while I vaguely understood the points, I  didn’t  get it.  I loved fairy tales, and still do .  I gobbled them up as a kid and read all the retelling I can.  Last night , while listening to Cosy Sheridan, I was struck by a lightning bolt of realization. ( This is very fitting — there were a lot of Greek gods running around in her songs.) When I think fairy tales , I don’t stop at Cinderella. Or Sleeping Beauty. And I do not mean the clean,happily ever after Disney versions only.   My definition of fairy tale is big and broad — and really  they hit all parts of life.  The pretty  , the romantic , the ugly, the courageous and  the grim.  There are many versions of Cinderella where her stepsisters are not forgiven. I read Grimm, Anderson, native American myths, Greek myths, fairy tales from Japan, China , India and silly stories from Norway. My favorite fairy tale is The Little Mermaid. No not  the Disney version, but the version I read in our Grolier book  of  knowledge.  It  may me cry.  and I had a hard time rereading it.  I am sure that at first I wanted a different ending. Gradually, I really  wanted the Little mermaid to changer her behavior.  I wanted her to understand that giving up everything for love, and espcially for love  that wasn’t going to be returned wasn’t wise.  She never did learn,  but I  think I  did. Sacrifice  might be part of love, but giving up yourself is wrong.

1 Comment

  1. Purple Butterflies said,

    What a lesson. I’ll never ever understand why people think it is so important that other be and do what they want them to do.
    Somehow you survived and are here posting on the net these clever words. And some how my brothers survived the Loony Tunes.

    DW Golden
    Let in a little magic with Purple Butterflies, a new young adult novel now available at Amazon.

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