Fairy tales are intended for teaching children

Fairy tales convey much about the nature of humans to show kindness and empathy by revealing character qualities that impact others. The positive qualities and ethics displayed in fairy tales will have a ripple effect that not only reaches the other characters in the tale, but also will reach the reader or audience for generations. For example, Beauty and the Beast is a tale that shows how kindness not only impacts others within the tale, it also impacts the giver, and it will eventually influence the reader. In De Beaumont’s version of Beauty and the Beast, Belle is said to focus on “character, virtue, and kindness” and “all those good qualities” (De Beaumont 47). Belle, who is also referred to as Beauty, focuses on these qualities in others, but she also possesses these qualities in herself. As some people may have trouble understanding, the behavior and attitude have a much bigger influence on your appearance or looks, and that is what beauty tries to get her sisters to comprehend. Her two older sisters focused on outward beauty and cared more about their appearance and the appearance of others instead of who they were on the inside. Their personalities made them come across as unattractive, and they were totally unaware of this because their focus was on their physical attributes. In De Beaumont’s version of this tale, when their father was getting ready to leave the house, the two older sisters begged him to bring them back “dresses, furs, laces, and all kinds of baubles” (De Beaumont 33). Beauty did not want to ask her father for anything, but she decided on just asking for was a rose, and that is only because she did not want to make her sisters look greedy. Even in this type of instance she was looking out for others. Being mean just was not who Beauty was, and she always thought about everyone even if they did not give her the same treatment.

Another character trait that is brought out in Beauty and the Beast, is that Belle does not conform to the world around her. Belle has the characteristics that are different from all of her sisters, and she knows right from wrong. She looks at both angles of a situation. There is a saying that states, “you get what you give” and in the case of Belle she gives what she gets and so do her sisters. Belle shows kindness and kindness is returned to her. On the other hand, her sisters snub their noses at certain people and certain situations and only include people in their lives that can fulfill any need they have. This ends up affecting the sisters because when they are in need the people in their community have no time for them nor do they have the desire to help the sisters. The sisters end up getting what they gave. Belle’s quality of character is revealed throughout the tale. Beauty understood the beasts’ actions because no one ever looked at his feelings, they only looked at his outward features. The selflessness that Belle displayed towards the Beast is the focus of the moral of the story. Although it is also human nature to be selfish, the tale of Beauty and the Beast shows how influential selflessness can be. This tale shows that it is also human nature to make the best out of a bad situation.

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In Beauty and the Beast, Beauty is not only kind, but she also makes sacrifices that improve the lives of others even if it is not beneficial to her. Beauty did not necessarily have the perfect life or get to choose the way she lived, but that did not stop discourage her. Even though Beauty made many sacrifices, she was still able to take control of her own life and turn “lemons into lemonade.” When any type of human nature is revealed within a tale, it helps the reader to connect in some way with the tale. This connection also allows the reader to relate to the story, as well as becoming more interesting in the story. In Beauty and the Beast, it describes relationships that do not have to be based off of your looks, but instead the goodness of your heart and having a positive attitude. Noticing morals, such as faithfulness, positivity, and having a good heart, within the text will also bring more attention to the audience when reading. The reader is opened up to a new angle to look at the characteristic the tale is focused on describing. People often look for guidance along the pathway of their life. If a person is going through type of difficulty or struggle in life and they read a story that has sentimental values within the text that relates to them, it is just human nature for them to get attached on an emotional level. In De Beaumont’s version of Beauty and the Beast, there is a line that states “it’s quite satisfying to see pride fall” (De Beaumont 33). The idea that there is no reward for not living ethically is found in many fairy tales. Numerous people struggle to understand or make sense of these things within their own lives. Beauty and the Beast deals with the idea that what appears to be true on the surface is not what actually is in reality. De Beaumont’s moral lesson is aimed toward young girls coming into womanhood and married life, but fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast reveal how a person can make their own way and improve their life circumstance. In the story, it explains how your appearance is not what makes up a good relationship. Beauty’s courage, kindness, and compassion are on display throughout this tale.

Fairy tales open the reader up to an almost magical experience and this experience is not limited to children. Life is a continuous learning opportunity. As people age, they may stop growing on the outside, but the growth on the inside does not need to stop. A person’s imagination does not cease to exist when a certain age is reached and fairy tales can also encourage the use of imagination. The Oxford Dictionary listed a third definition of fairy tales and in the third description it states that fairy tales resemble a fairy story because they are known for “magical, idealized, or extremely happy.” There is no age limit on magical and happy, therefore fairy tales are suitable for all ages. Fairy tales are able to “serve as portals to wonder worlds, to sites that combine danger and beauty in ways so alluring that they inspire the desire to wander into new imaginative domain” (Tatar 56). Although the overarching idea of fairy tales is that they are suitable for all ages, fairy tales could be categorized by age appropriateness. There may be some tales, such as Bluebeard, that portray harsh and graphic things that would be more suitable for adults, while there may be tales that are too silly for an adult to enjoy.

Although there are many versions, the tale of Bluebeard might be useful in teaching a child about boundaries and consequences. While reading Bluebeard, the texts describes a man who owned many homes and possessed the finer things in life, but that simply because he had a bluebeard it made him “look so ugly and frightful that women and girls alike fled at the sight of him” (Perrault 188). This suggests that money does not necessarily buy happiness or cure loneliness. That is a civil moral lesson that is suitable for children, yet the storyline it takes to get to this is quite harsh. In Charles Perrault’s version of Bluebeard, there is a temptation that involves death as a consequence for disobeying the rules. Bluebeard’s young bride knew what the consequences of her choice would be before she made it, but “the temptation was so great that she was unable to resist it” (Perrault 189). The descriptions of terror, death, bloody keys and of the secret room are what makes this tale aimed at adults than children. When the wife was unable to wipe the blood off a key, this seemed to mirror the idea of sin and how once the sin, or crime, is committed then there is “blood on the person’s hands” which is difficult to remove.

Regarding fairy tales, Jack Zipes explained that they “were based on rituals intended to endow with meaning the daily lives of members of a tribe” (Zipes 415). Fairy tales also reflected the religious beliefs of the time and this is evident in many fairy tales. It is as if the original religious story was the origin of the fairy tale storyline and then the “magical” elements were added. Although Bluebeard does not lean towards ritualistic, parts of this story seem have more of a religious leaning and relate to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. In Bluebeard the temptation is an unknown room with instructions not to enter, and in the story of Adam and Eve the temptation is a tree with instructions to not eat the fruit from this tree. In both stories, the surroundings were filled with wonderful things to fill their time and to take care of their every need, but the one thing they could not have was what was dwelled upon the most.

Fairy tales are worthy of begin read by all age groups because of the imagination they inspire as well as the valuable lessons they teach. Imagination is in everyone no matter what their age may be. These fairy tales are full of stories that open up the readers imagination and that is what makes them unique. Maria Tatar describes fairy tales as having a “transformative power” and she believes that fairy tales can morph “into new versions of themselves as they are retold” (Tatar 56). A person’s imagination is what helps to transport them to the “land far, far away.” The land of enchantment, all is well and full of adventure. Everyone has their bad days and times when they just wish the world would stop and just take a breath of fresh air. Everyone also has hobbies or certain activities to get their mind off the stress of everyday life. The author allows readers to escape from reality for a little while when reading these fairy tales. When someone is reading a story, it is almost like they are somewhat the author as well. As a person uses their imagination, it is as if a sea of calm overtakes them. The use of imagination is not restricted to fairy tales alone, it is part of a child’s daily life. All is well in the world of make believe, and if it is not well then a child can just imagine it to be true. In daily life imagination provides endless possibilities and at any given moment in a person’s daydreams it is as if they are transported to their very own far away land.

On person’s imagination can be quite different from another person’s imagination. For instance, tales such as Cinderella, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood are familiar fairy tales that come in many different forms and versions. Little Red Riding Hood, as told by Charles Perrault, started out like many others with “once upon a time” and a description of a lovely girl and her happy life. It also was like many other fairy tales with the same title when the girl from the village who was an “attractive, well-bred young lady” was tricked by the villain in the story. The villain plotted against the girl and in this story the villain prevailed. The wolf wins and this story does not have a happy ending (unless you are the wolf). This type of tale is timeless. Even though this tale has been told and retold with parts added and taken away, and sometimes it has even been fluffed up to make it more “kid friendly,” it is as though the focus and moral remain remains the same.

There are life lessons that parents naturally want to instill in children and the right fairy tale can be used as a teaching tool. In the story of Little Red Riding Hood, Charles Perrault shares a moral that is easily relatable to the lives of everyday people. It makes the reader think on and look for a deeper meaning. From a young age children are taught the difference between good and evil. There is a proverb that says, “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” and this thought correlates with teaching children to be moral and of good character. In Little Red Riding Hood, again the element of sin is introduced because the color of her hood is red and in the world of religion, red is representative of sin. The wolf being described as being “big” and “bad” could also be symbolic of the cruel world. When approached by strangers, the lesson for most of the children in the world has been the same, “do not talk to strangers” and “do not take candy from strangers” and so on. Fairy tales give people the opportunity to look at things in a different perspective and can allow their minds to stretch further than they thought they ever could. These stories put new meaning to issues that people would not even think about if they did not read the fairy tales.

The first step towards happily ever after is through once upon a time and with your imagination as your compass, fairy tales may be the road map used to get there. Fairy tales are fueled by imagination. A person’s imagination is a powerful thing. Imagination can turn a box into a spaceship, it can turn nothing at all into an invisible friend and it can even turn a dreary day into a day at the circus. Fairy tales and other traditional types of stories started centuries ago and originally were created for entertainment purposes, but they have proven to be invaluable for both children and adults because of the lessons they teach. Fairy tales are timeless and are easily relatable to whatever century they are told in. Fairy tales are often filled with beauty and ugly, good versus evil, and like in this story, temptation and consequence. By setting these consequences, it is a way for the men to show their power over women. Even though it sounds cruel, in the long run it teaches readers the result to temptation and how consequences can affect you. Fairy tales convey much about the nature of humans to show kindness and empathy and are worthy of being read by children up to adults because of the imagination they inspire as well as the valuable lessons they teach.

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Fairy tales are intended for teaching children. (2022, Jul 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/fairy-tales-are-intended-for-teaching-children/