Fairy Tales play a significant role in our lives, from childhood through adulthood. People may not always realize the stories we are told when we are children play lasting impacts on our lives infused into our goals, our values and our perceptions. We see the ideas of beauty and women in society infused in stories such as Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The idea of being beautiful and having that beauty will get you farther in life. These stories have created significance behind roles such as the step mother or red apple. Every day emotions are demonstrated such as jealousy, envy and even kindness. I have learned, through deeper meaning, fairy tales are essential in the growing up process of children. We learn so many important values or have implemented key ideas from these classic stories into contemporary life.
Before taking this class, it did not occur to me the weight our society uses these stories to socialize children. Each story has a different take away message and theme among the characters in which little children will aspire to be like the heroine so they will follow the advice they give. For example, Cinderella’s kindness allows for her fairy godmother to come and transform her or Beauty’s kindness transforms her beast back into a prince. This idea of kindness is a virtue in our society and a big takeaway message for children reading the story. Kindness is one of the many themes given off throughout the various Fairy Tales we have read through the semester. I was most surprised by the different interpretations I (personally) was taking away from many of the stories that I had not realized before and how my entire view on the story shifted. I found myself connecting themes in the story to my daily life and relating and disliking characters I may not have in the past. I have always been interested in the deeper meaning of fairy tales, nursery rhymes and short tales we tell children, but I never had the time or reason to look into it. This course gave me that opportunity to explore this curiosity. Additionally, I thought some of the articles we read were interesting as I enjoyed being able to connect the stories to the growth process of children. I never realized how much the idea of the child has changed and the impact of fairy tales in each different version of the child’s life. The child used to be seen as another person with no different treatment than anyone else who heard the same stories to the idea of a delicate creature who needs to be nurtured with now a genre of stories directly meant for them.
Finally, I would have enjoyed reading the remaining fairy tales in our book. I know I can always read them on my own, but it is much more interesting to be able to talk about the stories and what we take away individually as a class. I also enjoyed tapping into my creative side and writing fairy tales which as a math major is not something I get to do often. I enjoyed this class as it was something I would not take normally, but still captured my attention and I have learned something that I may not use in my major, but will be able to hold onto to use in the future.