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Chapter 1

HUMA 1900 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Hobbit, Labour Power, Utopia

Course Code
HUMA 1900
Gary Butler

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Zipes Reading September 25
Tolkien’s purpose on writing essay on fairy stories was:
1. To define them
2. To trace their origins
3. Discuss their functions
A fairy story is one that touches on or uses “faerie” translated by magic of a
peculiar power
Tolkien primarily concerned with the socio-psychological effect of the tales as they
are received by contemporary audiences
Fairy tales open a door on other time, and if we pass through that door we stand
outside our own time, outside time itself
Fairy tales are a sub-creation of the truth
Four factors account for the magic of fairy tales:
1. Fantasy
2. Recovery
3. Escape
4. Consolation
Imagination: the mental power of making images
Fantasy: form of art embracing the quality of strangeness and wonder derived in
its expression from the image and lends the image an inner consistency of reality
Fantastic images are images of thing that are not only ‘not actually present’ but
which are indeed not to be found in our primary world, or are not generally there
Fantasy is a rational and natural human activity
Fantasy is human labour power the mental exertion of ordering images
conceived by the mind for the purpose of enjoyment, enlightenment and
Fairy tales enable readers to regain a clear view of their situations recovery
includes return and renewal of health
Creative fantasy in fairy tales embodied in the fairy tale helps us see new
connections between past and present
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