A Conversation for Fairy Tales

The teaching aspect of fairy tales

Post 1

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

There is a lot in what you say.

You don't appear to have covered (unless I have missed it) the teaching aspect of stories. Under the guise of fairy tales, children can be taught not to take at face value what is presented to them. Some messages which could be quite unacceptable when spoken plainly can be covered using the analogy of fairy tales.

AFor instance, as the parent of a small child, I tried to broach the subject of stranger danger. He would have none of it - grown ups are always safe and trustworty. I do not want to take away his innocence.

Fairy tales provide instances where children (or the main characters) have to use their wits against the whiles of a whole host of dodgy characters. Through acts of (often unconscious) kindness and generosity, they are often repaid by the subjects of the kind acts, when faced by difficulties or challenges.

Oh yes, I agree that the tales are often sexist, when looked at with modern eyes, but I think that there is a lot of value in them.

And I agree that the original stories are more interesting. What a pity lots of them were 'Bowdlerised'.

Have you read 'Women who run with the Wolves' by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Iona and Peter Opie or Katharine Briggs? I still have to read Joseph Campbell.

The teaching aspect of fairy tales

Post 2


The teaching aspect is the main reason that I became a storyteller. We learn from the tales without realizing it. The layers are wonderful, and I mean that in the original sense.
Joseph Campbell is worth reading.

The teaching aspect of fairy tales

Post 3

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

I quite agree, Leslie. smiley - smiley Joseph Campbell *is* interesting. I started telling stories on camp a year or so ago, telling Baba Yaga stories and found that I appear to have a talent for it. (All I have to do now is find the time to learn more stories - easier said than done.)

Where do you tell stories?

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote

The teaching aspect of fairy tales

Post 4

tacsatduck- beware the <sheep> lie

smiley - run
smiley - chick
(smiley - cuddlesmiley - bunny)

The teaching aspect of fairy tales

Post 5

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

In response to Zarquon's Singing Fish:

No, I haven't read 'Women who run with the Wolves.' I just looked it up on Amazon.com, and it sure looks interesting! It is indeed a common theme, though men who run wild are also often seen. Tarzan would be the prototype example of the latter.

Joseph Campbell is a wonderful reference for mythology of all sorts. Especially pertinent to this article would be "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" and "The Transformation of Myth Through Time."

He tends to include all sorts of mythology, including religious and formal literary myths in addition to fairy tales. So I didn't think to immediately include him. But he would be a great match for anyone interested in learning more about cross-cultural mythos.

The teaching aspect of fairy tales

Post 6

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Joseph Campbell Foundation website: http://www.jcf.org/index2.php

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote

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