‘A fairytale is a narrative form which expresses a society’s collective concern about some aspect of growing up and expresses these concerns at the level of magical thought’ (Crago, 2003, 8). When the word fairytale comes to mind, many people automatically think about falling in love, big castles and houses made of sweets, happily ever after endings, magic, enchantments and wish-fulfillment. I was one of those people. I was shocked when I studied fairytales more in depth, realising that many fairytales have a darker side to them when looked at more closely, yet these darker aspects of fairytales are lost or given less importance in order to make the read or the film more child friendly. Their association with wish-fulfillment has over powered the tales darker aspects, such as human fears and anxieties. Evil witches and cruel stepmothers are some of the main, most dominant characters in fairy tales that add fear and anxiety to these fairytales. Physical appearance plays a very important role in fairytales today. Characters like Snow White and Cinderella are beautiful women. “The tale’s popularity says a lot about what our culture values,” says Baker-Sperry. “[These fairy tales] reinforce the message to children that physical attractiveness is an important asset women should aim to achieve and maintain.” these characters are often feared by the older characters in the tale due to jealousy. The idea of stepmothers being cruel, vindictive and malicious people is highlighted throughout many fairytales; this stereotype of stepmothers in fairytales brings with it fear and anxiety felt by the other characters, especially the young. This idea of stepmothers also gives a child a pre-convinced idea that all stepmother’s are like this. In the ‘Brothers Grimm’ version of ‘Snow White’ the stepmother is portrayed as a jealous, envious, cruel woman that will go to any lengths to kill her stepdaughter. It’s evident that Snow White has a great fear of her stepmother, unable to...
Bibliography: Tatar, Maria. (1999) The Classic Fairy Tales. New York. Norton.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document