Folk Tale Genre Essay, Research Paper
Folk tale genre
The greatest treasure of every nation is its language. Fairy tales are part of the oral traditions of literature all over the world. The fairy tale is one of the forms of the people’s linguistic arts where life and social system are reflected. Folklore, mythology, fables, tall stories, and other classic tales have been handed down, generation through generation. Countless treasures of human thought and experience still accumulate and live in the world even after thousand of years.
Fairy tales appeared in the world a long time ago. Every culture has it is own variety of these stories. Although, fairy tales differ because of places, cultures, and periods their unique impact on teaching and entertaining of people has not been changed. Every class of people, in all parts of the world, has passed down this great tradition for generations, giving it popularity. Some scholars have studied reasons of why fairy tales still exist and continue to be told everywhere. They state that “stories may differ in subject from place to place, the conditions and purposes of tale telling may change as we move from land to land, from century to century, and yet everywhere it ministers to the same basic social and individual needs (15-18)”.
Fairy tale allows the reader and the wrier to go into a new imaginary world. There are many things to learn from the fairy tale. Tales in their simplest form have many reasons for being told. The psychologist, Bruno Bettelhiem, studied what is being learned from folk tales. He states: ” Folk tales tell about the agonies of sibling rivalry, of wishes coming true, of the humble being elevated, of true merit being recognized even hidden under rags of virtue rewarded and evil punished (45-46)”.
In every telling of a fairy tale, an audience is eager to listen and retell the story to a new audience. The social values can be taken back to the history, and around to all parts of the world. The tales take the pulse of existence and of man’s faculty of dreaming and communing. According to M.K. Thompson: ” Curiosity about the past has always brought eager listeners to tales of long ago which supply the simple man with all he knows of the history of this tale (484-485)”.
The principal kinds of folktales are myths, legends, and M?rchen, or fairy tales. Readers will find that tales carry almost the same stroke: the fight of good and evil, wisdom and stupidity, people’s joy and suffering, love and anger, belief and unbelief, moral and justice, truth and fiction, honesty and deception, beauty of the truth and ugliness of prejudice.
The fairy tales are also used in ways to express problems, customs, traditions, beliefs, living conditions and views, still in their very own way than other kinds of storytelling.
Fairy tales are part of us and we are part of them. Being an integral part of people’s minds, they render the dormant poetry; they speak of joy, love, tears, and smothered rage, of the drama of miscommunication.
Many stories, such as “Cinderella” have been told worldwide. From the tale we know, that good person will be rewarded and the evil will be punished. The many variants of “Cinderella” have taken observers through many points in time, all over the world. African, Native American, and even ancient Chinese variants have been found. The “Cinderella” character has a generous and sweet disposition. The figure is usually given tasks to prove his or her virtue and goodness. Magical agent appears, such as a fairy godmother or spirit; or in some versions a wise animal such as bull or fish. A character of royal heritage discovers the special qualities of Cinderella. The reader favors the character “Cinderella” and begins to admire qualities. In the story of “Ashputtle,” by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, the audience would learn how evil is punished. After the stepsisters had their eyes picked out by doves, the story reads: “…both sisters were punished with blindness to the end of their days for being so wicked and false (yahoo.com)”.
The tale speaks of aspiration to happiness, beauty and truth. For her trials she is respected and loved. The characters play different roles in society, have different names, and have different occupations and statuses. Their virtues are considered desirable and rewarded.
It appears that man created fairy tales for quite a few reasons. These reasons include explaining the unknown, natural events and forces, to show the duality and pureness of human and the human mind, and to help societies maintain order and remain stable.
For the fairy tale to survive, it must be continually be retold to new audience everywhere. Everyone shares the ability to tell a great story. Curiosity will always lure new listeners to them. As the tradition is passed on to new storytellers far and wide, it is unknown how much each of the tales will be changed and carried on. Now, a new generation of listeners will emerge, new people will begin to study the folktale genre, and many new stories will be created.
International Internet Journal: ” Tales”(15-18)
“Years of Glory” Bruno Bettelhiem(45-46)
M.K Thompson writers reference guide II (484-485)
Www.yahoo.com- Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm
Encyclopedya Encarta: “Folk Tales”