Fairy tales as memes

You’ve probably encountered a fairy tale meme online before. And you probably have a definition for what a meme is (more or less…)

Please add a meme to the following fairy tale meme slide show. (Open in Editor to do so)

What you have probably seen over these last few weeks is how much fairy tales are in our popular imagination.

Lastly, please read “What Makes a Repulsive Frog so Appealing: Applying Memetics to Folk and Fairy Tales” Chapter 5 from Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children’s Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling by Jack Zipes.

You will need your Brooklyn College library access: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/brooklyn-ebooks/reader.action?docID=367695&ppg=98

Respond: What do you think Zipes is trying to say in this article? Why do you think some tales have stuck with us more than others?

12 thoughts on “Fairy tales as memes

  1. jack Zipes argues the story “The Frog Prince” have become memes and will continue to be told for years .the story put a strong emphasis on its themes of couple , love, and the search for one’s identity.jack zipes talk about numerous different versions of the story and how the tales adopted new modern ideas.I remembering hearing this story when I was younger and had never seriously considered its true meaning and moral.

  2. Zipes argues that when a tale is relevant through human agency and meets certain basic needs of people, it will become a meme. Once it holds a place within a module of our brain, it gives information essential for adapting to the environment.
    The fairy tale “The frog prince” is prevalent throughout the world, and there are thousands of versions of it in various languages. The exciting part is that many people have no idea why they care and attract to this tale. In fact, fairy tales have become part of our second nature mostly because they reveal important factors about our minds, memes, and human behavior.

  3. what the article is trying to say about not just the frog prince story but all fairytales is that we’ve become attached to them. I believe, and what is said in the article, is that it is because we can relate to some factors in these stories, if not the experiences, then the emotions the the characters feel when something tragic or amazing happens to them. I think it’s also because most of the time it’s read to us as children and we hear these stories and retelling of these stories throughout our lives over and over again

  4. Jack Snipes argues that due to a multitude of factors such as our societal values, social frameworks, understanding of the hegemonic family structure, as well as human behavior and mating strategies some stories, like the tale of the Frog Prince, become stuck in our collective minds and almost demand to be reproduced and reworked. He calls it a meme and draws from many versions and re-tellings of the story from various time periods and schools of thought to support his argument that the Frog Prince has staying power. This power is held to this day because of how the tale calls out to its audience. Marcus Feldman describes these stories with such staying power almost as one would a highly infectious disease. He calls the storytelling process a transmission (leading to his preferred term for meme, social transmission) with two distinct steps: communication of an idea by the storyteller and comprehension of that idea by the listener. This transmission can only occur if a story remains interesting enough in the minds of new listeners and relevant enough to be re-worked. I think this relevance and self-propagation of stories is what selects for what stories will stick around and what will fall by the wayside and be left in antiquity.

    analyses versions as old as the Grimms

  5. In the article, Zipes mentions that fairytales stick with us through oral traditions and they get embedded into our minds as memes. These stories can be relating or have to do with our societal behaviors. For example, the frog prince as mentioned talks about mating. The grimm version of the story sticks because it talks about sexual acts which can be a part of ones culture. These relate to human nature. These stories stick because they are constantly told through movies, books, and oral traditions. There are many ways they get passed on For example, the movie Princess and the frog is appealing to children and because they watch it so often, it sticks.

  6. In the article, Jack Zipes argues that a tale becomes very popular with us humans, and with that popularity, it gets set into our minds as memes. The “Frog Prince” story has many versions of it all over the world and it speaking about love, couples, and mating which is relatable to us in our daily lives.

  7. Zipes points out the origins of the fairytales we’ve come to know and love, in our day and age. Most of us know these fairytales as different from the original. We are used to seeing them as childish/ child appropriate and lighthearted, but do not know the original stories, which are often dark and can be inappropriate. Zipes also points out how these fairytales have stuck with us and are ingrained in our minds, which also contributes to the remakes of these fairytales. They are interesting, relatable, and we often keep them close to our hearts, and this plays a large role as to why, throughout all of this time, the fairytales are still prevalent.

  8. Zipes gives us a brief overlay of the origins of fairytales we grew up reading and hearing. Majority if the fairytales we know are a variation of the “original” one. I think fairy tales have stuck to us for different reasons. At some point books were the only way to escapee real life and its difficulties. Other periods in time i serves as a distraction to the real world. For YA I think it’s a facto of both, you live through the characters in the stories. For example I wasn’t a huge fan of reading until my senior year in high school when i was introduced into the divergent series. A lot of young ladies like my self became obsessed with the book and the characters because they felt relatable. I read the book in 3 days and continued to read the book that followed. I think this is the case for many people. When books are relatable and you find your connection with them you fall in love with them.

  9. Ziles expands on what makes readers attracted to Folk and Fairy tales, He questions why we care about these stories, why are we so attracted to them and overall don’t question their background. Through memetics, relevance theory, and evolutionary psychology, Ziles explains the appeal of Fairytales. When stories comes a meme is a communication that will indicate something significant about our genetically and culture that will influence our behaviors and our mind. Often times we are so focused on common, comfort and stories we love that we don’t think about the dark backgrounds that stories mostly have.

  10. Its the very human relations that we have with certain things, that allow us to put ourselves in the position to connect and hold on to a story. The ideas and feelings that are relayed to and conveyed within the frog prince created a sort of mass relatable connection that human being from any walk of life would be able to find pleasurable to their humor. Some tales don’t always have obvious or common place feelings that most eyes would relate to. The very details of a frog tuning into a beautiful prince to finally be happy and present a beautiful life to him and the princess. The feelings that go along with this story cause a humorous ripple in time throughout the literatures existence.

  11. Zipies article generally talks about how a meme becomes to be. In the article he argues that when a story is relatable and some way connecting to the real human. it then becomes a meme. Most (if not all) memes that we see all over social media today. we connect and relate to them in one way or another. Memes are there to give us a laugh and a realization of some sort.

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