Fairy Tales in the European Tradition

In class we started to talk very briefly about the transition to the literary fairy tale, through this module you’ll explore some of those stories and how they’ve been told.

First, scholar Marina Warner in a very quick video about fairy tales.

Did any of these ten things surprise you? Or remind you of something? (comment below)

21 thoughts on “Fairy Tales in the European Tradition

  1. It was pretty interesting/surprising to learn that We mostly remember the fairytales from media pictures. This reminds me of my favorite fairytales growing up like snow white, red riding hood, and many more. I often would picture and replay these fairytales in my head primarily because I watched a lot of fairytale films growing up.

    1. I totally agree with you Karen I remember hearing fairytales through videotape recorder as my teachers would read out loud. I remember reading and hearing The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and etc. As I grew up I clearly remember being told these stories over and over again.

  2. the video was very fascinating, fairy tales are rich in symbols and image I still remember when I was a little girl I ask my mom why snow white eat the apple and I keep asking my mom she going to live. Fairy Tales were use as children’s bedtime stories and at often times it teaches a lesson. Many of these tales were originally passed down orally and it was popular among the farmer . a couple hundred years ago, has these tales been written down because back in the days many people were illiterate.

    1. I agree with you Nayely, certainly the symbols play an important role when it comes to fairy tales. Fairy tales are the connection to our childhood and at the same time brings out the child that are inside us.

  3. i feel like all the things in the idea I kind of already know, part both the reason is because the class but also because I already know them. I do like the video and how relatable it is, when I read stories or watch movies I get the same feeling as she described

  4. This was a very interesting video because snow white is one of those fairy tales that I have seen the most. There are many versions but we always have our favorite this video made me think about others fairy tales classic. even though I feel that I heard this before from my peers but it is so true the way she describes that feeling we get when we watch that fairy tale movies.

  5. Some of the things said by scholar Marina Warner were familiar to me from the past. For example, a fairy tale is a short story filled with enchantment. Also, a fairytale is a Genre of a magical story written in a shared language of symbols and images. Lastly, as mentioned in previous articles, the story we hear now is a variation of something in the past. However, I was surprised to hear that we mostly remember the first fairytales we heard from the pictures. She also mentioned how the film played an enormous role in the distribution of fairy tales. It was fascinating to know that Disney’s Snow White is still one of the most-watched films globally.

  6. Many of the things mentioned, I have heard prior to the video as symbols have alway been a major part of fairytales. I remember in school, the teacher would always make us point out the little things within a story and tell us to read between the lines as symbols are a major part of a tale and it reveals a lot of details about the story that may not have been mentions physically.

  7. I was surprised by how easily the narrative structure of fairytales can be broken down into a set of tropes or plot beats and themes in spite of their ability to be a powerful tool to cope with the hardships and realities of life. Most fairytales also have a gruesome twist to them which is something not usually associated with children’s media.

  8. A lot of the things mentioned in the video reminded me of what you see when it comes to Disney’s versions of the fairytales. For example, the use of vivid imagery and symbols that are associated with fairytales. In sleeping beauty, the spinning wheel can be seen as a symbol. Something that surprised me a little is how fairytales can have a dark theme to them. It is unusual to see this because fairytales are usually meant for kids so to include different versions of them can be interesting.

    1. I think as kids we are so excited for the “happy endings” that we don’t pay much attention or focus on anything else. A lot of times the dark moments in fairy tales are subtle and unless your reading between the lines you wont really catch them.

  9. I found this video really interesting. One thing that stood out to me is how fairytales are often variations of another story in the past. I remember when I was younger, I would watch movies/ read fairytales and not know there is a long history behind these stories. For example, watching Disney movies such as Snow White and Beauty and the Beast, I did not realize just how old these stories are. As I learned more about fairytales and their actual origins, and how they have been altered overtime, it really changed my view on them.

  10. Karen and Sonia I have to agree with you. As a child I remember hearing all these fairytales through cassette tapes and even through read alouds by my teachers. It’s crazy how as we get older, we still remember all of the stories. Stories about the Disney princess to stores about the big bad wolf in the three little pigs, little red riding hood and the boy who cried wolf! I’ve heard these fairytales NUMEROUS of times!!

  11. She describes fairytales to the T. They are stories that take us to another world and a lot of us shape our realities subconsciously to reflect the stories were were told and read and even heard as kids. Fairytales aren’t always happy either so it’s interesting how relatable fairytales are to us even in adulthood.

  12. Fairytales are often never described to be possibly negative. I think her comment that fairytales are almost always nursey level in its atmospheric sense. You tend to leave out all negative aspects of life and fantasy when trying to reach children or any imaginative reader.

  13. Out of all 10 things, nothing really surprised me. However, number 3 which stated that stories we hear now are variations of stories in the past, really made me think. Of course i know that this is true stories have to come from somewhere whether its an adaptation of a past fairytale or a completely new imagined story that was inspired by a fairytale. But the thing that I started thinking about was if all stories come from past stories, where did the first ever stories come from. If cinderella was based on a story before it, what was the story before that one based on, etc. etc. This had my brain going around and around in circles but number three really had me intrigued.

  14. This video was very interesting and described fairy tales as stories told from the past. She also mentioned that we learn about fairy tales because of pictures that we see in books and media and I totally agree because my love for fairy tales started when I can see all these crazy and fun stories in books and movies. Disney was a big part of my life growing up and I remember loving cinderella, the little mermaid, Tinkerbell, and more, and that had to do a lot with looking at picture books and media of them. Children are drawn to these stories not knowing the history of them, it would be really awesome if parents and teachers taught them about just how old these fairy tales are.

  15. Fairytales often start off with something said as said in the video, lost of a parent which leads to having a cruel step parent but somehow there is a happy ending despite that. Number 6 is what grabbed my attention, because I believe I have watched the fairytales as opposed to actually reading them first. I think i’ve seen the film and have read the book or skimmed through pictures if i wasn’t able to read at the time. I think we tend to try to hide the realness of a fairytale for our children and leave with a happy ending because we want to protect their innocence.

  16. This video was great. Some things I already knew and others made me think and realize a lot about fairytales. I thought about how even though fairytales are made-up and everyone is aware of it, the lessons they often teach us are realistic. I also noticed how different we look at things when we are kids versus when we’re adults. I didn’t notice any of the dark and evil themes and fairytales until I grew and actually had the mind to think deeper about the stories.

  17. This video is was interesting because growing up watching these fairytales always took me to my imaginary land and I would think I’m a princess. but now that I’ve grown up I look at fairytales very differently vs how I looked at them growing up.

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