Fairy Tales

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Shakia C. Bell
Dr. Claude Wilkinson
En 306. Introduction to Poetry
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Fairy Tale Travesty’s
In the poem “Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale”, Jane Yolen takes a sarcastic and scornful stance against traditional fairy tales. She straightforwardly targets the perfect images of fairy tale characters. Yolen suggest that these depictions are unrealistic and that characters of all shapes and sizes can convey the underlined meaning of story plots and ultimately have a happy ending. Yolen tirelessly throughout this poem advocates for the full figured fairy tale character that has not been created. With that being said Yolen satirically expresses her feelings in “Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale” through three components of poetry: images, theme, and connotations. First, Yolen identifies the theme of this poem through its title. “Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale” clearly shows that fat, chubby, or oversized individuals are viewed as unappealing in the creation of fairy tale characters. Yolen desperately looks “for a teller not yet born” (line 17) to create a fairy tale that includes characters that are pleasingly plumb. This poem searches “for a listener not yet conceived” (line 18) to reason with someone who looks beyond the mainstream portraits of what beauty should be. Yolen stresses the need for a fairy tale world “where everything round is good: the sun, wheels, cookies, and the princess” (lines 20 & 21).

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Secondly, each stanza of this poem begins with “I am thinking of a fairy tale” which immediately ignites visual illustrations in ones mind of what the speaker is looking for. Yolen uses imagery to address her feelings toward the idolized image of fairy tale characters. Yolen anxiously waits for a fairy tale “where the princess is not anorexic, wasp-waisted” (lines 5 & 6) looking as if she is in dire need of food and nourishment. This poem indicates that society is bias toward obese individuals. It strongly suggests that...
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