Class Differences In Fairy Tales

1875 Words 8 Pages
Fairy tales live in the minds of their narrators and the audience, evolving slightly each time they are told. The same tales told six hundred years ago still lives in the minds of people after their authors have been long forgotten. Fairy tales hold a unique magic that allows them to grow, and to change, becoming fresh and relevant new generations. During the time the tales of the Grimm Brothers were created, people lived in fear of magic and witches. While Pentamerone, by the poet Giambattista Basile, is from the sunny climate of Italy where there was less fear which made his stories lighter. In the culture of France, where Charles Perrault gathered his anthology of tales, people lived in a society characterized by ridged customs and class …show more content…
This idea of class distinction is so engrained in the minds of human beings that unlike environment and belief systems instead of highlighting the cultural differences it brings the stories together. It is one of the reasons why the same tale appears over and over again in different places, in some places there was a caste system in others feudalism chained people in their place. The only place where one could find true social mobility was in the fantastical tales for children. The magic any fairy tale is in the ability to use every day circumstance to provide their characters with a beautiful future. Marina Warner make the observation, “Fairytales typically use the story of something in the remote past to look towards something in the future, their conclusions, their ‘happy endings’ do not always bring about total closure, but make promises, prophecies” (XX). What young girls has not dreamed of being a princess to be swept away by a charming prince, what young boys has not dreamed of being that prince charming capable of sweeping a girl off her feet with only a look. Class plays a distinct role in how fairytales are constructed for the poor man, he is often desolate with no money, no friends, and much of the time a terrible family that despises him and he is in psychical need. But, for the nobleman, when his quest begins, he is in search of something more than physical wellbeing because he is lacking in his emotional prosperity. Thus the audience must conclude that once our physical needs are satisfied we must find our emotional needs. The difference in how stories about different classes are presented and the needs found by those classes shows the similarity between different cultures along with their

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