How did Fairy Tales shape our world? And are the moral messages suggested in Fairy Tales still relevant today?
In The Beginning.
Once upon a time, in a land far away a student started writing his Major Essay. Cliché’s aside, this is probably the most recognised introduction to writing in existence. Passed down through philosophers, bards, story tellers and authors Fairy Tales transcend culture, politics, language and even time periods. Arguably, every single person on the planet has heard one. Whether it be the Ancient Roman version of Cinderella, Cupid and Psyche passed down through modern Greece, heard all the way to Turkey or the African version of Snow White, Udea and her Seven Brothers commonly recited all through the African states. With these stories, or a version of these stories being so common in society it is a reasonable question to ask, if the morals and messages contained are still relevant in today’s world? Sally Goddard Blythe a child development expert suggests they are crucial for a child’s development in her book “The Genius of Natural Children” she outlines her belief that
“The greatest threats to our future isn’t in disease or illnesses, but in learning and social problems which are a direct consequence of modern living conditions, lifestyle and ignorance of children’s biological needs perpetuated by a culture of political correctness.” Goddard, S. (2011) In other words, our children aren’t being exposed to culture, to literacy in the same way. Instead of reading our children Fairy Tales, instead of singing culturally diverse nursery rhymes, children are being put in front of TV’s that regurgitate an endless cycle of Sesame Street clones. A poor substitute for parents attention. Children need this exposure to grow up to be healthy well-adjusted adults. Whereas Joanne Green an advocate for disabled children disagrees. She instead suggests that Fairy Tales give children an unhealthy perception of society. “The princess was beautiful. And because she was beautiful, we know she was good. And because she was good, we know she was beautiful.” Green, J (1993) If we equate a person’s worth on how they look, we are short changing those who aren’t traditionally beautiful and giving those who are a free pass for no other reason than winning the genetic lottery. We give fairy tales too much power, ignoring ambiguity with black and white good vs evil. This essay will demonstrate that while both sides of story have valid points, the moral messages Fairy Tales contain are indeed crucial and most importantly relevant to shaping today’s world.
Origins and Adaptions
Cupid and Psyche, widely believed to be the first ever Fairy Tale. Written by Apuleius in the 2nd century, it is the only remaining ancient roman text to survive, part of a Latin Novel called Metamorphoses it basically tells the story of Psyche, the most beautiful and youngest of 3 sisters. Both of her older sisters have married and found love. Psyche, so beautiful that...