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THE FAIRY TALE THE MAGIC MIRROR OF THE IMAGINATION Steven Swann Jones.

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Presentation on theme: "THE FAIRY TALE THE MAGIC MIRROR OF THE IMAGINATION Steven Swann Jones."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE FAIRY TALE THE MAGIC MIRROR OF THE IMAGINATION Steven Swann Jones

2 MAJOR FORMS Indigenous oral versions Collected and variously edited versions in print Literary/Single-author fairy tales

3 ORIGINS In oral tradition - the credit for the invention of most classic fairy tales goes to folk tradition, to the heritage of storytellers who borrowed, altered and retold tales. Oral transmission (the ability of people to creat and retell stories without the aid of books) encourages variation – the inspiration of storytellers and the contribution of audience members

4 Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella Initially the product of folklore: No exact and established versions No identifiable authors No fixed titles Multiple versions, adapted by different narrators Yet – strict adherence to some basic structures (the sequence of basic episodes, the plot outline as the defining feature of specific tales)

5 FOLK NARRATIVES MYTHS – etiological narratives that use divine, immortal figures to explain the operation and purpose of the cosmos LEGENDS – quasi-historical narratives that use exceptional and extraordinary protagonists and depict remarkable phenomena to illustrate cultural ideas, values FOLKTALES – entertaining narratives that use common, ordinary people as protagonists to reveal the desires and foibles of human nature

6 FOLKTALES FABLES – didactic or moralistic tales JOKES(JESTS) – humorous tales NOVELLAS – romantic tales FAIRY TALES (WONDER TALES) – magical tales

7 THE ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF THE FAIRY TALE The incorporation of fantasy The confronting and resolving of a problem, frequently by undertaking of a quest The happy ending The audience is encouraged to identify with the central protagonist, who is presented in an unambiguous way The depiction of themes of basic interest to age- differentiated audiences about typical concerns of their lives

8 THE USE OF FANTASY – the most salient formal or stylistic feature The fantastic perspective is a product of the unconscious, intuitive, and imaginative aspects of the mind Fairy tales essentialize things and depict them in vivid ways, and affirm a spiritual perspective on the world Magical agents come to the rescue or assistance of the protagonist – the affirmation of the cosmic morality

9 AN ADVENTUROUS QUEST The objective of the fairy tale quest is personal happiness, measured by domestic satisfaction and tranquility. The focus of fairy tales is apparently on journeys of self-discovery, recognition and confrontation of internal anxieties and desires

10 THE HAPPY ENDING – the successful solving of a dilemma It affirms the moral propriety of the universe The evil adversaries are consistently punished either as a result of social justice or of cosmic justice

11 AN UNPRETENTIOUS PROTAGONIST A good, and deserving, modest and somewhat ordinary person (who turns out to be a princess or a prince, or at least worthy of marrying one) is unfairly afflicted by a problem. The fairy tale functions to instruct the young about who they are, how they relate to others, and what they should know of the world.

12 THEMES Fairy tales address basic problems that confront people – the psychology of the individual, the sociology of the community, the cosmology of the universe.

13 PSYCHOLOGICAL THEMES They depict the feelings or attitudes of the protagonists towards parents, siblings and prospective mates Feelings of rejection (separation, anxiety) Feelings of oppression (authoritarian or tyrannical anxieties) Feelings of jealousy (oedipal or sibling rivalry)

14 SOCIOLOGICAL THEMES Fairy tales depict and inculcate social values (promote marriage, patriarchal family structure as dominant cultural institutions). They depict roles and behaviour patterns considered socially appropriate for each gender and age group. They encourage industry and moral virtue as routes to securing material and financial success.

15 THE UNIVERSE Fairy tales offer guidance about the spiritual properties of the universe They indicate the presence of supernatural properties of the universe

16 A HEURISTIC FUNCTION Fairy tales help us to recognize and cope with typical problems and anxieties that we encounter in life. Young people are in the process of defining themselves, establishing their place in society. They learn and assimilate cultural norms, determine their spiritual outlook.

17 TALES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN Young protagonists About family life, social and domestic skills, being accepted as a competent member of the family (successful return to the parental home) HANSEL AND GRETEL

18 TALES FOR DEVELOPING ADOLESCENTS About leaving home, difficulties of acquiring a mate, finding a mate, overcoming obstacles of marriage, establishing a new domicile. THE CAT AS HELPER

19 TALES FOR RELATIVELY MATURE ADULTS About reconciling themselves to the changes and difficulties of daily life, emotional travails of living with a mate, fidelity, communication, adjusting to the birth of children. THE THREE GOLDEN SONS


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