English Composition 102
March 19, 2012
Components of A Fairytale
Fairy tales should illustrate more than what meets the eye. It should incorporate certain elements, which can aid in the development to healthy growth of a childhood. In “Fairy Tales and the Existential Predicament,” Bruno Bettelheim discusses the importance of fairy tales and the elements they should contain in order to fully connect with a child reading a particular fairy tale. Bettelheim considers a successful fairy tale to be one, which fulfills a child’s psychological needs and promotes his/her development. The Grimm brother’s structure of their fairy tale in Little Red Cap (LRC) was different in certain points than Charles Perrault’s version of Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH). However, despite the changes made by the Grimm Brothers in their interpretation of Riding Hood compared to Perrault’s, it can still be considered a fairy tale through Bettelheim’s criteria. The presence of evil, the gaining of assurance and the ultimate happy ending in Perrault’s and the Grimm Brothers version of Little Red Riding Hood show that both iterations are true fairy tales. In fairy tales, good and evil are embodied in simply drawn characters, in blunt plots without subtlety and without the nuances and ambivalences of flawed good people, or bad people with some good qualities. As Bettelheim reasoned, the child can identify with the good character, not because he values goodness per se, but because he identifies with the situation the character is placed in and wants to see her escape or triumph. Nevertheless, the morality of the situation is not lost on the child and he or she learns to value good over evil. In Charles Perrault’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, we are introduced to the main character portrayed as an innocent girl living in a small village. As was stated by Perrault, “Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a little country...
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