While reflecting on this course and what I have learned, I think that fairy tales do matter. They give everyone, not only children, a source of entertainment, inspiration, and help to make the world around us understandable. Additionally, in the instance of children’s tales, they usually provide lessons which are feasible for the children to grasp and interpret. Some of these lessons include to keep promises, to not lie, and to be kind; which are timeless. Although these stories were written and first spoken many many years ago, these themes and moral teachings can still be applied and are still equally important today.
I liked reading not only fairy tales themselves, but the supplemental articles as well. Learning about where fairy tales originated, the common uses for fairy tales (such as entertainment, culture, and traditions), the shift from oral tellings to written down literature (and the changes this shift brought to the tales), and the common themes, lessons, and motifs present in fairy tales was so interesting and made analyzing the tales easier. It was easier to point out common themes such as the presence of a prince saving a young girl, sibling-parent rivalries, the emphasis on beauty, and even the motif of parents giving up their children. These tales can tell us a lot about the culture and time period in which they were written/told, which I think further demonstrates the need and importance of fairy tales even today.
While I loved reading fairy tales which I knew different versions of, I also loved reading the first Zipes article in which he spoke about Disney and how Disney came to dominate the genre of fairy tales as we know it today. I love Disney so learning about it was very interesting and I also learned a lot about the earlier stories and films of Disney’s. I was surprised to learn that he often implemented himself into his cartoons, stories, and films as he would put his hand drawing the characters, reflect on his childhood, and demonstrate his dominance in the film industry (ex. Prince with large power) into his work.
Overall, I really did like this course and enjoyed learning about fairy tales. It is a light topic which gave me a little break from the dreadful work of my other rigorous courses, but was also very interesting and fun. If anything, I would have liked to maybe watch clips of the Disney movie of the tales that we read, maybe to compare the differences between the versions. As we have learned, Disney has dominated the fairy tale industry, so I think it would add another element to the course that is light and fun, but also is relevant to the course.