I have always been a fan of fairy tales because they are a way to be transported into another world: a world of “magic.” I typically think of the Disney versions, but this course showed me that there’s so much more to fairytales than I originally thought, whether it be the different versions created or the different themes that a lot of them share. Fairy tales matter because they are a way for children (and people of all ages) to learn morals and use their imaginations. The evil characters in the stories are usually punished and the good characters are rewarded, showing kids that being a good person and treating others with kindness is worthwhile. They also give people an escape from reality, as they allow you to forget about the problems of your real life and focus on the plot. I thought it was very interesting to read the original versions of these fairytales because they were so different than what I pictured in my head. For example, it was fascinating to read about Beauty and the jealousy of her siblings in Beauty and the Beast, or the tragic parts of the Little Mermaid, or the ending of Snow White where the prince did not wake her up with a kiss, because I had never read those versions before. The original stories included certain aspects of violence and other adult topics that Walt Disney removed in order to make his movies more family-friendly. I also loved hearing everyone in the class discuss the themes of the stories and the different opinions about each of them because it allowed me to hear perspectives that I may have never considered otherwise. Overall, this class allowed me to realize that fairytales go so much deeper than just having the purpose of entertaining children.
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