Jack Zipes, (2009) believes that the nature of the fairy tale has been taken and used by Western society to help 'communicate about social and psychic phenomena ' (p. 38). From its early and humble beginnings in oral tradition among peasants to its gathering appeal over the years until it finally became something so entrenched in society that companies such as Disney were taking tales and producing them for the masses. As society changed over the decades so too did the method of transferral of these tales, who they were told by and to and how. Zipes explains that fairy tales, much the same as other genres written these days for children were not originally written intended for the younger audience, (p. 26) although they were unlikely to have been excluded.
The term 'meme ' first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene, has been adopted by Zipes, who says that a fairy tale could be described as an informational pattern that can be stored, copied to another brain, stored and replicated, (Heather Montgomery, 2009, p.47). Montgomery continues, Zipes feeling is that fairy tales are a tool designed to 'turn children into the sort of adults their societies need and value '.
Bibliography: EA300 DVD 1, no. 4 ‘Visual Representations of Little Red Riding Hood’. McGough, R. (ed) (2002 ) 100 Best Poems for Children. London, Puffin. Montgomery, H. (2009) 'Block 1: Instruction or Delight ' in EA300: Study Guide. Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp. 7-70. Zipes, J. (2009) ‘Origins: Fairy Tales and Folk Tales’ in Maybin, J. and Watson, N. J. (eds) Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 26-39.