Effects Fairy Tales Have on Human Life

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Throughout generations, fairy tales have been an integral part of our lives. They have always been narrated to us before bedtime, and despite repeated exposure, we still eagerly anticipate them. Fairy tales possess a profound influence on human existence by fueling our imagination and molding our mindset regarding certain situations. Maria Tatar’s article “An Introduction to Fairy Tales” delves into the relationship between fairy tales and various aspects of life. Although real life may not mirror the exact realm of fairy tales, there are instances where they intersect. Fairy tales contribute to shaping children’s outlook on life, often portraying improbable lifestyles.

The combination of human senses and fictional events in children’s stories helps convey subconscious knowledge about life and transport them to a world of imagination where anything is possible. This imaginative journey allows children to escape the harsh realities of life (229). As children grow up, they eventually must face the true nature of reality. However, fairy tales continue to have a significant impact on our lives by shaping the way young children think and potentially influencing their future actions. According to Tatar, it is not only the words but also the visual imagery in fairy tales that affect children. These stories resonate with individuals on a personal level as they explore themes such as love, power, and family dynamics. Through these perspectives, fairy tales engage readers and encourage them to draw connections with real-world experiences.

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The origins of fairy tales in adult storytelling culture can be seen in the stories that are currently read to children. When these stories are examined in their earliest written forms, they reveal themes and aspirations that align with the fears and desires of adults (230). Additionally, these tales serve a therapeutic purpose by helping readers of all ages confront and conquer their fears and negative emotions. Both children and adults turn to fairy tales and imagination as an escape from their fears and a source of comfort. As fairy tales have taught humanity throughout history, it is wisest to confront the challenges of the mythical world with cleverness and a positive perspective (231). However, according to Tatar, different childhood stories may also offer important lessons for children such as honesty, responsibility, self-discipline, friendship, work ethic, courage, loyalty, faith (etc.).

The morals in some fairytales may not have been appropriate for children to learn directly, but they can still be valuable lessons that can be reflected upon and learned later in life through self-observation and personal experiences. This is especially true when raising their own children. Children often apply these lessons from fairy tales, although not necessarily in the way the author originally intended. Tatar emphasizes that even without explicit morals and messages, fairy tales provide us with models to reflect upon and discuss values that resonate with our emotional, physical, and conscious selves (233).

Fairy tales have the potential for diverse interpretations, reflecting individual perspectives and meanings. The essence of these stories lies in readers’ ability to breathe life into them through personal interpretations. These tales remain vibrant by capturing fundamental aspects of existence such as fears, desires, love, romance, passion, and anxieties. They serve the purpose of creating characters that inspire hopeful endings for both readers and their children while guiding values and aspirations. Tatar emphasizes how fairy tales stimulate imagination to generate profound ideas and guide us down unexpected paths in reality. Personally, I have been influenced by fairy tales as certain aspects from these stories still resonate with me today. Specifically, my childhood belief in finding true love and living happily ever after has endured. Among all fairy tales, Cinderella remains my favorite; however, over time I have come to understand the distinction between fantasy and reality. Recognizing that relationships are complex endeavors has become a crucial realization in my life journeyAccording to Jane Yolen, the true magic of fairy tales is their ability to provide comfort in difficult times (“the real magic of the fairy tale lies in its ability to extract pleasure from pain”, 231).

By understanding the true meanings of fairy tales and distinguishing fantasy from reality, I now realize that dreams can be achieved through hard work, perseverance, and patience, rather than relying on magic. Although I occasionally reflect on certain aspects of fairy tales, I apply them to my current lifestyle. Fairy tales serve as a reminder that human life may not mirror these stories completely, but there are certain points in life where they do coincide. These stories are often shared before bedtime, watched in Disney re-enactments and shows, and read in school, making them a constant presence during our childhood and the childhood of our own children. The narrative elements in these stories have always served to teach readers about different perspectives on life that are relevant to fairy tales. As Maria Tatar explains in her article “An Introduction to Fairy Tales,” these stories shape behavioral codes and developmental paths while providing us with a framework for understanding events in the real world (229). Fairy tales have influenced multiple generations and will continue to impact our lives for years to come.

Works Cited
Tatar, Maria. “An Introduction to Fairy Tales.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 12th Edition. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonardo J. Rosen. Boston: Pearson Longman, 2013. 229-235. Print.

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Effects Fairy Tales Have on Human Life. (2016, Nov 21). Retrieved from


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