Final Blog Project: Why Fairy Tales Matter-Matthew Lopez

Whether people realize it or not, fairy tales are immensely intertwined into everyday life. These creative and imaginative tales have been told for centuries and can reach us through word of mouth, through books, and in the modern world through advertisements and television shows. From what I’ve learned throughout the semester, it is clear to me that fairy tales do matter; fairy tales should matter to us not only for their entertainment value, but because of their historical, cultural, and creative value. In terms of their historical value, fairy tales are almost as old as human language. Similar to how humans have adapted to their everchanging environment throughout history, fairy tales also experience change as they pass from generation to generation. The changes in these stories that take place through their retellings often represent the changes that take place in the society they are told in. This reasoning also supports the claim that fairy tales have cultural value to us mainly because these stories act as a sort of projector of a peoples, culture. This is evident through the different variation of tales like Rumpelstiltskin. While the German telling of this tale ends in the violent dismemberment of the “magic man”, most other versions end with the creature peacefully leaving the main character to live happily ever after. Although fairy tales are valued historically and culturally, their highest value is found in its effects on the way we think. Fairy tales often feature magical elements that are odd, but intriguing to us. The descriptions we hear and read when entering the world of fairytales are creatively formed to be unfamiliar to us, ultimately making us use the creative part of our brain to picture what takes place in a story. In addition, the unusual conflicts presented in each story help us to deal with unusual problems in real life. Through the progression of a plot and the eventual resolution of a problem in a story, people are taught to use their creative thinking to resolve problems in their lives. To add to this, the themes presented in each story serve as advice for readers to keep in mind as they go through life. Many fairy tales share themes on marriage, wealth, and beauty that tie into real life. Throughout the semester, I found this aspect of fairy tales to be most intriguing. Personally, I feel that being able to adapt to changes in life is a very important skill to have along with being innovative or creative. If a person can find a way to make due with whatever situation they are in, they can make it in todays world. This aspect of fairy tales is one that should continuously be reviewed in future classes and is what makes fairy tales matter to me.

 

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