The Good And Bad Characters In Fairy Tales

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"The figures in fairy tales are not ambivalent-not good and bad at the same time, as we all are in reality. But since polarization dominates the child's mind, it also dominates fairy tales" (Bettelheim 9). The purpose of a fairytale is to teach morals in a memorable way. One way to ensure that it is memorable is to include dark, scary characters. The appearance of the characters is essential. Beauty is an important characteristic in fairytales and the bad characters are indicated by being ugly or different. This helps distinguish the good and bad characters from each other (Jones). These characteristics are shown in many fairytales including "Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel," "Beauty and the Beast," "Cinderella" and many more. …show more content…
This happens because the reader is shown the good and evil sides of a story and the consequences of doing something wrong. The reader gets a sense of what it might be like to be a bad character. The bad character and the wrongful acts they do are often described. In "Hansel and Gretel," the witch's appearance is described, and her wrongful acts are summarized, "…[she] only pretended to be friendly. She was really a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children. She had built the little house of bread just to lure them inside. As soon as a child was in her power, she killed it, and ate it" (Grimm 239). After the bad character is introduced, the reader typically will go against the bad character and will want the good characters to win in the end. This happens because the good character's actions make a positive appeal to them. The reader will project itself onto one character of their choosing. They do this by asking themselves, "Do I want to be good? Who do I want to be like?" (Bettelheim 10). If they decide to connect with the good character, the reader will decide they want to be good too. The reader can connect to the good characters because they get into most of their situations by not following instructions or because of their curiosity, and people can relate to this. After the reader realizes they want to be …show more content…
This is also where the moral of the story comes from, to not do the wrong thing. The moral of the story for "Hansel and Gretel" is to not trust strangers and do not disobey your parents. Since the children were starving, they trusted a stranger to help them. That stranger, the witch, almost kills them and tries to eat them. This story helps demonstrate what could happen if they trust a stranger, therefore creating a moral. Morals can help shape a person to be who they want to be, "Then the child has a basis for understanding that there are great differences between people, and therefore one has to make choices about who one wants to be. This basic decision, on which all later personality development will build, is facilitated by the polarization of the fairy tale" (Shapiro 592). These morals allow for the reader to use their own judgment and use the lesson they learned, in life. They can either use the morals learned from stories in their everyday life or they can try to test these morals and experience the consequences first hand. The overall purpose of a moral is for a lesson to be learned from a story. This is essential because it can help motivate the reader to do the right thing, instead of getting into dangerous situations like the characters in the fairytales. The evil characters help form these morals that are important in

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