Sunday, 30 January 2011

Features of Fairytales

Feature number one – Morals

Many fairytales arguably have a moral undertone. For example you could conclude with observation, that in Cinderella, she would have been useless even with her beauty and character without her godmother, perhaps reflecting the importance of social connections?

Beauty and the Beast – she gets everything that she could have ever dreamed of because she loved someone for who they were, not their appearance. Suggests vanity is a negative trait. Etc. - Also it could be a moral undertone in the sense that honesty and cleverness is often rewarded, characters are often put to the test and as a result they are depicted as good or evil. Suggesting what is right and what is wrong.

Feature 2 - Feature number two – Beauty. The idea of vanity being represented in Beauty and the Beast is contradicted by the common theme of beauty, shown in almost every single fairytale that comes to mind. Ariel, Beauty and the beast, snow white, little red riding hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin etc. It is arguable that fairy tales reinforce the stereotypical perceptions of women,

and undermine them in their accomplishments. Perhaps this was a good thing in terms of the context of production, when women weren’t meant to work? Maybe it is trying to drill this in to little girls heads so that their role in society is shaped and defined through the undermining of women in fairytales? (They also seem to always be very thin - doesn't send out a very good message.)

Characters are created seemingly to fulfil their roles. They often do not possess names but their job in society, their position, who they are to the main character. “Miller”, “king”, “Evil sisters”, “Beauty”, Could be just to simplify the idea to the children reading it, they may not be able to remember all the characters names and what they do/who they are. Could be symbolic of society and social standing, comparisons are easy to make “the miller”- “the king”.