The Importance of Fairy Tales
Stories With Morals
Almost all fairy tales have morals of good vs. evil, of the good guys finally winning and of the various villains receiving a well-deserved comeuppance. Somewhere in the human consciousness lies an embedded desire to see goodness triumph. Fairy tales seem to have the ability to reach across all racial and religious differences and to unite human beings with a single wish: let the protagonist win, and let the antagonist lose. Everyone in the audience watching a movie that has been based on a fairy tale wants the same basic thing to happen. Everyone who reads a storybook wants to see the good guy or gal be all right and to see the bad guy or gal either a. change his/her mind and become good, or b.see him/her be stopped by whatever means is necessary.
The Storytelling Art
When is the last time you read a good fairy tale, or better yet, when is the last time you told one? Storytelling is an art with similarities to acting. A good storyteller must not be afraid to show his or her potential. The more you practice, the better you'll get. (I'll never forget Uncle J's Big Bad Wolf voice, or my mom's rhythmic rendition of a poem about a train.) Tell a story to someone this week--today, if possible.
Can You Remember?
How many stories can you actually remember? Write a list and see. I'll bet you surprise yourself with how many stories there are and with how long it's been since you've thought much about them. Fairy tales are timeless. They grow better with each passing generation. They are a rich part of many cultures and heritages and are a reservoir of multi-generational moral instruction. If you find you cannot recall very many or have forgotten pieces of the story, a fairy tale collection makes an enjoyably entertaining read, and will help you brush up on what you've forgotten.
Remember, it's one of the most basic and easily understandable forms of classic literature, and knowing your fairy tales will broaden your imagination. I know when I first read a book of Andersen's Fairy Tales I was very surprised to learn that there were stories I hadn't yet heard. Even in Grimm's Fairy Tales I hadn't yet covered the complete collection. Some of the stories that were less well known were still a perfectly good and imagination-stirring read.