January 10 2012: Fairy Tales
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
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 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
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
Exemplary tales for bad behavior, their punished according to their transgression Element of resisting the dominant power structure
Popular fairy tales today usually come from ancient anonymous oral folk tales which were
Never a fixed text, always being improvised, and becoming more relevant to the audience it’s
being told to
Mother goose published in 1967
Little Red Cap & Little Briar-Rose
Both stories have elements of magic
- Grandma & Little Red Cap freed from wolf’s stomach
- Little Briar-Rose to sleep a hundred years
Both have linguistic cues
- Little Red Cap: Once upon a time in the beginning
- Little Briar Rose: A long time ago in the beginning & they lived contented to the end of their
days in the ending
Socialization in both stories is apparent
- Both use the term little repeatedly, making the women in these stories seem weak and
Little Red Cap (Page 57)
- Little red cap is instructed to walk quietly and nicely
- She is told by her mother how to act
- Sexual metaphor present
- Red as a symbol of passion, loss of virginity, etc.
- Two encounters with the wolf