Fairy Tales: What are they, and Why are they Important?

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m exploring the subject of fairy tales. Come along and discover what a fairy tale is and why it’s vital that we still tell them, even today.

Fairy Tales: What are they, and Why are they Important?

Whether you grew up reading them or watching movies based on them, you’re probably familiar with fairytales. But what is a fairy tale, and why are they so important?

What is a Fairy Tale?
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features magical creatures like fairies, goblins, trolls, and witches (hence the name “fairy tale”) and often, but not always, ends happily ever after.

These stories began as oral traditions, passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth long before the written word was ever a “thing”. In fact, stories such as beauty and the beast and Rumplestiltskin are thought to be around 4,000 years old but are by no means the oldest.

Fairy tales usually fall into two categories: wonder tales or moral tales. Wonder tales are stories where the objective is to inspire awe and wonder in the reader. These stories often have supernatural elements and focus on the hero’s journey.

On the other hand, moral tales aim to teach lessons about how to be a good person and how the world works. Both types can be found in both oral and written forms.

Why Are Fairytales Important?
Fairy tales address universal themes relevant to people of all cultures and ages. For example, many fairytales explore the struggle between good and evil and right and wrong. They also teach valuable life lessons, such as the importance of being kind and persistent in following your dreams. Additionally, fairy tales often contain magic and other elements that can help spark imagination in children, which is vital for mental development and well-being.

On a broader scale, fairy tales often reflect the worldview of the cultures, places and times they were written and can teach us a lot about history. They can also be used as social commentary, acting as a mirror to the society and time a tale was written. For example, in Charles Perrault’s version of Cinderella, the author explores class and social mobility in 17th-century France, where the story’s namesake – Cinderella – ends up leaving her life as a servant to her stepmother and stepsisters for a better life after marrying a prince.

Modern Fairy Tales

Fairytales in the modern era are often quite different from their earlier counterparts. Where once, they were used to reinforce traditional gender roles and social norms, such as women needing to find true love and be married off in order to live full lives, today’s fairytales are much more diverse in their characters, subject matter and audience. Nevertheless, they still retain the ability to captivate readers and listeners of all ages with their blend of magic, adventure, and romance, and probably always will because, let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a good fairy tale?

Do you have an all-time favourite fairy tale? Tell me about it!

As always, thank you for stopping by and spending your time with me today!

Until next time,


© 2023 GLT

Categories: Reading

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