HUMA 1780 Lecture Notes - Religious Text, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood

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14 Apr 2012
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January 10th 2012: Fairy Tales
Visual Texts
1) The Golem: How He Came Into The World, Dir. Paul Wegener, 1920
2) La Belle et La Bête, Dir. John Cocteau, 1946
3) The Company of Wolves, Dir. Neil Jordan, 1984
Key Terms for This Lecture
Didactic: A teaching/instructional function
Socialization: socializing function
Orality
Linguistic Cues: Once upon a time, in the beginning etc.
SECOND TERM PAPERS
A comparative paper, asked to cross-reference two texts. Primarily from the second term reading.
Compare a visual text with a written text.
Fairy Tales
Fairy tales are subset of traditional folk tales.
Usually but not always involve young people who deal with supernatural events
Used to be a chief form of entertainment for adults, not a type of children’s literature
Presence of magic**
Conventions: set phrases or words, once upon a time, happily ever after
Mysterious pranks, adventures of supernatural spirits capable of performing enchanted feats.
Example: elves, spirits, etc.
These supernatural spirits possess wisdom and the power to regulate the affairs of human
beings, for good or evil
They also have the capability of changing their shape at any time (transformative powers)
Folk tales: largely passed down through oral tradition. Involve supernatural beings who have
special capabilities but are not gods or goddesses.
Are often a part of rituals/celebrations
Certain fairy tales were told at certain parts of the years
Helped to encourage identification with cultural collectives, and solidify cultural identity
(socializing function)
They provide guides for dealing with life experiences, they model “proper” behaviour, and they
have a didactic function. Proper gender rules, proper sexuality, proper behavior on class
distinctions, etc.
Exemplary tales for bad behavior, their punished according to their transgression
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