Week #3- Wrap Up

In this module, you’ve read, listened to, or watched a number of fairy tales as they were collected, recorded, written, and shaped by some of the people most associated with fairy tales. Some may have come from oral tales, some may have been created. These aren’t so much the “original” tales, but versions that were recorded that have had lasting staying power in this textual form. But fairy tales are constantly shifting and changing as we will see in the upcoming weeks.

Thinking of the stories as presented this week, it is important to note that many of these were stories that were shared with adults and children. What values might these stories have conveyed? What does the content of the stories reveal about the world they were written in?

Were you familiar with these stories before? These older versions of the story? What surprised you or was unexpected? Were any stories or moments particularly memorable? Has anything changed in how you think about fairy tales?

(Please add a longer comment below and engage with your classmates)

When you’ve finished head over to Vocal Exercises for Week #3

35 thoughts on “Week #3- Wrap Up

  1. The stories are presented this week were very new to me, It was my first time reading and hearing these stories like sun, moon, and Talia or the six swans. The primary values the stories have conveyed are knowing the right or wrong mortals, understanding Consequences and rewards. I believe each story reveals a little bit about the world they were written in, for example, Some stories are written in a very wicked way, unlike other stories that are written in a more magical positive way. The contents of each story reveal what is often considered correct or wrong in each fairytale setting. The one story that surprised me a lot was three spinners, I thought the girl would get in trouble in the end for lying saying she was a spinner instead of the other woman doing her job. One story that I found very memorable was the elves and the shoemaker, I thought the story was very sweet. Fairytales can be a range of imagination and possibilities so no I don’t think anything has changed about fairytales, I think many people can contribute something different to it.

  2. I have never heard of the first couple stories, the one with the man asking the fish for favors, the man and the goddess, or even about seal-humans. Never once heard that one, but i love learning new stories so it wasn’t bad at all. definitely weird but not bad. I think the stories all have one thing in common, they are all in the perspective of a man being memorized by a woman. I think it mostly says a lot about how the men at that time saw women either beautiful and something to have or just annoying and someone that pesters them constantly. They all seem to have a lesson regardless. the golden fish story is essentially saying to be careful what you wish for, the mermaid stories I feel are a warning or to be cautious of women or strangers they meet. they may not be what you thought they were

  3. Fairy tales feature fanciful characters that convey a moral to teach children lessons and values, resulting in much better human interaction.
    These tales can be described in many different ways and are not restricted to a particular meaning.

    The Brothers Grimm were among the first to preserve the features of oral tales. They considerably updated the fairy tales to fit the written form.
    It was my first time reading The Six Swans and The Juniper Tree. I noticed that these old versions have some similar lessons. Yet, I was surprised to see how The Juniper Tree includes themes of child abuse, murder, and cannibalism, which can be inappropriate for children to read. I still think that fairy tales benefit every age, especially children who can develop their creativity and imagination by reading different fairy tales.

  4. I had never heard all those stories before ,it was completely new to me.the majority of the story was fairy tales .Fairy tales are also very moral in their division between good and evil .I think fairy tales are crucial to the growth of young people and older people who need to take a break from real life. The story The Juniper Tree contains themes of child abuse, murder, savage.The story The Three Spinners teach us great moral lesson about correct behavior. Well at the World’s End you don’t find struggle between Good and Evil it’s more about Fantasy story, it was more a battle to save the world .

  5. A few of the stories that I’ve read, listened to and watched, I was familiar with as Ive either heard it in school, my family or friends. While, there was a handful of stories, I was unaware of and it was interesting to read some new ones. When going through all the stories, what surprised me the most was not all fairy tales have a happy ending, or positive lessons within them as many can be dark. What stood out to me the most was The Juniper Tree as murder was involved, and too many that may not seem so fairytale like. But, little do they know that fairytales are meant to have a good and bad message that only teaches the audiences values and lessons they may have never learned before. Fairy tales have taught me that they aren’t just meant for children, as there are fairytales for all ages and spark the imagination of whoever reads, watches to listens to them.

  6. These stories were very new to me. I have heard a version Sun, Moon and Talia which is sleeping beauty but it is so interesting to read the older and more gruesome versions. I can see why someone would make different variations of these stories so that they are more light hearted and enjoyable to children. I enjoyed reading the stories The Juniper tree and the six swans. They were new to me and very interesting. These fairytales mostly follow a common theme of good fighting against the bad. The messages behind these stories is also something I can see reimagined into a movie. Disney for example does this where they share the stories through a nice message in the end. Personally, I liked the concept of the six swans and how the sister was so selfless that she risked her life to save her brothers. These fairytales are so engaging and I can see why they would get passed on from generation to generation.

  7. Most of those fairy tales were new to me some of them kept me intrigue especially Sun-Mon and Talia it reminded me of all Greek tragedies that I read before. When the queen wanted to feed the children to the king it reminded me of Media because the queen was hurt by the king’s betrayal so wanted to hurt him with the children just like Media wanted to hurt Jason. In many of the fairy tales, we can find similarities from other fairy tales.

  8. All of these fairy tales I have read have suprised me a lot! They have depicted a sense “morality”. Some fairy tales described “evil” “ambitous” and “murder”. Each telling us a lesson. These fairy tales are different from the most common tales I have read and taught during my childhood. Its versions are being told differently, coming from a different culture or century like Japan and Russia. The fairy tale that caught my attention the most is the one that speaks about the wife being ambitious and desiring more and more but is never happy with what she is granted. Also, you have the husband who asks the golden fish to grant his wife all her desires but never outs her a stop or asks for himself. At the very end they are left with nothing feeling the same as with what they started with. My opinion about fairy tales has changed as I have now discovered that they are not about “happily ever after” “, “princesses”, “witches”, and “young minds” but reasoning and a sense of moral.

  9. A lot of these stories were very new to me except Cinderella, Snow White, and the little mermaid which are classics for a lot of us. But the crazy thing that still shocks me is that these stories have several versions whether it’s good or bad. For example a lot of the princess stores that we all know and love from Disney are all magical and happy with perfect endings but what people do not realize is that the real stores are very dark. Of course as these stories are passed on, things will often change. Over all what I have learned is that fairytales are not always butterflies and rainbows. There will always be some type of challenge(s) that characters will come upon and a lot of these stories are a lesson learned. For example that story with the ambitious wife who was not happy with anything that she was given. That story teaches us that you will never appreciate anything unless you work for it yourself and realize how some people work their boots off just to make others happy even if it’s not beneficial to them at the end of the day!

  10. Learning about these different fairytales was very interesting. There were lessons of being ungrateful, greedy, too trusting, etc. While there were also themes of gruesomeness, murder, cannibalism, etc. I think that today (and over the last few decades), many of these stories would not be appropriate for children which is why we see more altered, light-hearted versions of these fairy tales. It made me realize how stories change overtime and across different cultures, in order to be deemed appropriate by the said culture. As the way in which we see children began to shift, so the content which was presented to them changed as well.

    1. I wonder why they were considered appropriate for the time, as well as why the Brothers Grim left in explicitly violent content but removed sexual content. When I read that I was reminded of how violence is often allowed in movies or t.v shows without an R rating, but sexual content is gated. Maybe our modern version of fairy tales in this regard of what is and is not censored/allowed in is present in the other types of media we consume.

  11. This week’s readings (and watching/listenings) of fairy tales were delightful! While I was reading The Little Mermaid, I wrote down a note, partly as a joke, that the moral of the story was that you should be good as a child or else you are hurting the little mermaid and hindering her quest for a soul. I would never have come to that moral from any part but the last few paragraphs in the conclusion of the story, and in many fairy tales, it almost seems like the moral is only found in a happily ever after moment used to quickly wrap up an otherwise unresolved story. This is both frustrating to me, and something that makes me love fairytales even more as it gives the medium its unique charm. This along with some of the more morbid content like in the story of blue beard killing his wives, or the assault of Talia reveals to me that these fairy tales were used to cope with the cruel world that children lived and grew up in.

    I was familiar with some of the stories, but often under different names, or from Disney versions. For example, Sun, Moon, and Talia reminded me of sleeping beauty. Others like The Old Man, His Wife, and the Fish I had heard told in very similar formats. The story of like meat loves salt was new and particularly interesting to me. I loved the storyteller’s tone and the cadence with which she told the tale which certainly helped draw me in. I also like the familiar yet slightly changed story beats of a king and his rash decision-making. This week’s work has made me think much more about the how of a story being told in addition to the content of the story.

  12. I think these fairytales defiantly put into perspectives the atmosphere and morale of the time these were written. The rhetoric and choice of expression can show how kind or how barbaric a person really was when they were in the story. The story between the fisherman and the mermaid at sea was a snuck in dynamic of what it was like to be loved as a women. You are more a prize to claim not a person to pursue. This wasn’t much of surprise to me judging by the fact that most published literature was written by a man. Men often especially in those times were very unaware of the true potential and reality of the life a woman truly can and should live.

  13. The stories I feel like gives us an idea how much people really wanted to escape from the reality they had been in, or just had more then enough time on their hands to create such horrific stories that are at the core of all the fairy tales and folklore stories we know and love today. The story about the fish the man and the wife reminds me of my childhood and a story my mom use to tell us about being greedy and ungrateful.

    Some of the stories had core elements from fairytales like sleeping beauty and rumple stilts skin from when I was a kid. I think it’s interesting reading the variations and still getting to feel the commonality they all hold but also how different they each are in their own way.

    1. In the first video, Marina Warner talks about a feeling that fairy tales give us. I think that you’re touching on that here – there’s an escape of sorts, even though it might reflect our society, there’s still an overall feel of it being a different world and set of rules.

  14. I wasn’t familiar with the first few stories, they were very interesting and honestly gruesome they spoke about lying, abuse, cannibalism, life lesson, greed, etc. These stories would have been very traumatizing to children, children’s fairy tales have been cut short and instead of a bad ending, they made a good one for the children to believe in “happily ever after” which I think is better for children because it teaches them that no matter what their obstacles is theirs always a light at the end of the tunnel. These stories have changed over time and since they have been aimed at children they are very cautious about what they put in them, every country and culture has its own version of fairy tales and they cut and leave what is deemed suitable for children.

    1. Yes, perceptions of children and what is appropriate for them definitely change depending on time and place. I think it’s also important to remind ourselves sometimes of the dark things we did read or know about as children and how that may have helped us to process the world around us.

  15. A lot of stories/fairytales often teach children a lesson. They can teach you about values, morals, relationships, and the difference about the good and bad. There are many different versions of the same fairy tale for each culture, maybe to teach every child the same lesson.

    1. We call stories/books that have a principle goal of education “didactic” – and many fairy tales have been used this way, with a clear goal or moral. But, I think its important to look deeply at these stories and how they are being told in a time and place and how sometimes they subvert the implied moral.

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