I personally thought that the SJC-100H class, Folk Tales: Secrets and Sorcery, was very interesting. The topics and ideas that we talked about really grabbed my attention and made me have a deeper understanding regarding fairy tales. I also felt that our group discussions helped me to be more comfortable speaking in front of a class. I have learned many different aspects about fairy tales including why they matter, how they figure into our lives, and how many stories that we know today have many different versions.
Fairy tales’ matter because they help with child development by opening the minds of children. While doing this, they also have deeper messages that they tell. As Maria Tatar had explained, fairy tales enable us to be subjunctive, which means to explore the “might be, could have been, perhaps will be”. Fairy tales’ figure into our lives by transforming the power of language. Fairy tales affect a child’s emotional, physical, and mental development. They also teach children how to deal with basic human conflicts, relationships, and desires in a healthy way, therefore influencing children’s lives in a positive way. Fairy tales are not only stories that parents read to their children because they are magical and sound interesting, but they also teach lessons to children that they could use in their everyday lives.
The thing that I learned that surprised me was how important and meaningful fairy tales are and can connect to our everyday lives. Before I took this class, I thought fairy tales were just made-up stories mainly for the entertainment of children. However, this class helped me to realize the importance of fairy tales to enhance a child’s mind as well as the importance that each story’s meaning has to modern day society due to our discussions in class and reading the supplemental articles. This class also helped me to connect different fairy tales to each other in which many fairy tales had common themes or had similar aspects where there is sibling rivalry (mainly between siblings of the same gender) or the idea of the parents struggling to have a baby at first like in Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.
The part of the class that interested me the most was reading the multiple different fairy tales. As I read them, I could see how many of the Grimm’s stories are very different from the versions that I know today, or even the versions that I watch on Disney. I was very interested in the class discussions about the fairy tales because they opened my mind to multiple different interpretations and the deeper meanings of the stories. The fairy tale that was my favorite which had a deeper meaning which I never thought about was “Little Red Riding Hood”. This was the fairy tale story that I wrote about for my essay assignment. The story of “Little Red Riding Hood” connects to the idea of females being seduced, taken advantage of, and raped. I never realized that this story had this deeper meaning that connects to issues that females face in our society.
I have never thought deeply into fairy tale stories that I read as a child and this class really opened my mind to the different interpretations and real meanings of these stories. The movie Spirited Away also interested me a lot because it was interesting to see multiple aspects of different fairy tales put into a movie. This included the help of animals, the power of names, greed gets you punished, impossible tasks, the power of love, good vs. evil, and the idea of having a happy ending.
Overall, I loved the course and learning about the fairy tales, but the one thing that I think will be worthwhile doing with the next class is more partner projects or partner discussions. I think that the group projects really helped to develop closer relationships with different students from the class. I think next year students should watch clips from the Disney movies so that they can see how the original stories are way different from the versions that were created by Disney. I also think that an assignment where you watch a Disney movie and then compare the similarities and differences of the Disney movie to the original version that is read in class would be an interesting assignment for the students to take part in. This course was very interesting, and it helped me realize the importance of fairy tales in our everyday lives.