While this book is in most ways a typical case prototype, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Every child is different, with different reading levels, interests, and levels of maturity. To say that only one style of book is good for children and should be read by children is to limit them and possibly foster bad connotations with reading. I know that this is not what Nodelman is advocating; rather he is attempting to point out that there is a lack of logic and consistency in these assumptions. I loved this book as a child and still love it now.
Green Eggs and Ham gave me an opportunity to play with and enjoy reading at a level I was comfortable with at that time. It also encouraged me to try and make up my own rhymes and fantastic creatures. I know that I loved this book as a child and I still love it now. All of my boys loved it and my ten year old still takes it out sometimes just to have the fun of reading, listening, or playing with the rhymes.
But the Lemony Snicket books clearly do not hold the listed assumptions as truth, instead presenting the strong, smart Baudelaire children to prove each generalization false. It opens with a death, features the children in uncomfortable and miserable situations, and describes only darkness and pain.
The characters are not what one would expect either. Violet is a fourteen-year-old inventor, Klaus is twelve and a brilliant reader, and even the infant Sunny is very bright but has trouble saying what she means with only baby-talk. Adult characters are either evil geniuses or bumbling fools who refuse to take the orphans seriously. The Baudelaire orphans cannot turn to a trusted adult for help in their hardships; they must rely on their own intellect and cunning to save themselves. Indeed, it is the adults that they are most often fighting against. This is also quite uncommon.
Usually, grown-ups are there to help and guide the children; it is still quite controversial for an adult to be portrayed in such a negative light. Furthermore, children are conventionally shown to need help and guidance, but here the Baudelaires prove themselves to be remarkably self-sufficient. The children are intelligent, eager to learn, and able to think about and react to the situation at hand. Another relatively uncommon feature of this book is that it is not didactic in any traditional sense.
The adults in the story are certainly not role models, and they do not display behavior that a parent would wish their child to imitate. The children succeed because they are different from the adults, not because they have been assimilated into miniature versions of them. This is most readily shown when Mr. Poe can think is that he might be using words that are too big for them. But this is what the children are used to dealing with. And rather than struggling against a dragon or monster, they fight against the adults who try to take advantage of them.
The Bad Beginning goes counter to every traditional assumption listed in the beginning of this paper. And yet, the Series of Unfortunate Events has become one of the most popular and highly-regarded series around. He is passing out book reports, showing his superiority by dressing in a suit and standing tall, requiring the sitting students, whose papers he just evaluated, to look up to him. The viewer then sees Cory putting on a clown nose and making silly faces. His behavior is quite a contradiction to the composed and dignified teacher in the scene, leaving the audience with an impression that adults are more perfect than children.
As Mr. Feeney continues to pass out the book reports he congratulates a student, named Rick, for his efforts. He is no longer smiling and appears confused. Still wearing the clown nose, Cory tells Mr. Feeney, who unlike Cory, is very collected in his appearance, thoughts, and behavior informs Cory that Rick worked hard for his C and Mr. Feeney respects him for it.
The teacher then looks down at Cory still wearing his large red foam nose and suggests that he not waste his time being the class clown. He then contradicts himself, by looking at the test, because he wants Mr. Feeney to think that he is a genius. His mom and younger sister, Morgan, are discussing when Morgan can get a Halloween costume. The mom tells Morgan that she is very busy with work but that Eric, the oldest son, will take her shopping. Morgan becomes impatient and again announces her desire for a Halloween costume. Eric agrees to help but can not do it unassisted.
He still needs his mom to take them to the store and his dad, when he gets off from work, to then pick them up. Morgan returns home with a costume of a Zombie. She looks at Eric, giving blame to her older son, and announces that she wanted Morgan to pick out her own costume. This is giving the child agency and allowing her to express and expand her own imagination. She explains that Morgan picks out her own clothes because they like to give her freedom of expression.
This is another example of interpellation, because whoever decided clothes have to match or what should be considered a match? It seems as though they are trying to protect her from the messages of disappointment that they are sending to their older son Eric. The director, in this scene, displays an agreement with the common assumption that children are innocent and need to be protected. Feeney congratulates him verbally but appears doubtful through his facial expressions. Cory is worried that Mr. Feeney knows he cheated and that he will tell his parents.
He announces that he does not like lying to his parents. However, they fail to realize that it was their initial mistake that caused the adult to give the detention sentence. He knows that adults assume that he is fallible and will love and take care of him despite his mistakes. The bell then rings and Mr. Feeney announces that he wants to talk to Cory. The student looks nervous and gets out of his seat slowly, as though he is about to meet his death. Cory looks as though he is going to be physically hurt, though he knows Mr. Feeney is only going to talk to him about his high IQ score.
This quote also reinforces his admiration of adults because he is associating Mr. Feeney sits down with Cory and asks if there is anything he wants to share. He explains that Cory will be transferred to an advanced school where the school is committed to giving children all that they deserve. Cory is aware that his parents and teacher know that he cheated on the IQ test. Before finally admitting to his parents that he found the answers to the IQ test, Cory takes a second intelligence test.
This test reveals that he has the IQ of an average sixth grader. It is this common assumption that adds to the adult-centeredness of the episode because adults like Mr. Feeney are portrayed with high intelligence, while the child is not corrected when calling himself a moron. At the end of the episode Cory tells his parents and teacher the truth; which gains him the respect he so desired from his teacher. The episode is didactic because Cory has learned that he should tell adults the truth and he should never cheat.
He accepts the fact that he is inferior to adults, a point which I do not like about the episode, but a typical adult-centered characteristic. This positive portrayal of parents makes it impossible for the viewer to be mad at the adults for punishing Cory, especially since Cory realizes that he deserves punishment, and therefore, is not upset. The fairy tale, The Little Mermaid was story that I could not go to sleep without hearing. I was about six years old when I first heard this story and it allowed my imagination to meander into the world of mermaids.
Whether I was at the beach swimming like a mermaid in the ocean or simply reading the story over and over, I was fascinated by the mermaid world under sea. I was nearly obsessed with mermaids and wished I could be one of them. This story created the magic in my imagination; however, as I read the story more and more, I came to see the practicality in it. Maybe I was convinced that there really were mermaids out there so the story became practical to me? To illustrate, The Little Mermaid portrays a young mermaid with these typical characteristics, but Andersen takes it a step further.
The mermaids in each version of the story differ greatly, especially the reasons behind each mermaid's wish to go to land with the people. Andersen's mermaid wants to be a human being so she can have an eternal soul after she dies. She is driven to become a human. Their world seemed to her to be much larger than her own. Disney made The Little Mermaid a traditional fairy tale, because Andersen's ideas could not be translated into a modern cartoon that was socially accepted for children.
So Disney used the classic battle between good and evil, which is typically understood everywhere, instead of the mermaid's battle within herself as Andersen wrote. In my mind, fairy tales represent the good conquering over the evil after a significant challenge. In contrast, Andersen displays the sea witch winning the battle.
The little mermaid does not look back on her life under the sea, but looks forward to her chance to attain an eternal soul. Why would the sea witch say such a thing that might change the little mermaids mind about becoming a human? I assume that the reasons for this line may be to enforce the adult figure in the story.
The sea witch is older; therefore, she is wise and guides the young mermaid. For example, Disney reveals the story to have a happy ending in that the little mermaid and the Prince marry. One could conceive the ending to have different meanings. The little mermaid had failed and evil had won. In the original Andersen story, The Little Mermaid , she does not marry the Prince, which is what seems to be what she should do.
Still, she learned to love unconditionally, and did not turn into sea foam, as mermaids do. She ascended and obtained a human soul from entering the daughters of air. The daughters of air are portrayed to be a spiritual movement. When I read this story as a child, I can see why I related the daughters of air to heaven. Finally, by losing her life, she wins the hope of immortality because of her years of good deeds.
It is almost like viewing death as a reward in this story because she in fact did win and gain her immortal soul. After reading the story at age nineteen, what really struck me was how the little mermaid did not get what she thought she wanted, but ended up with something much more important or valuable: her immortality. This means that they fit what we would assign to children right or not. This, among other terms, will be used to weigh through the book Giraffes? By Dr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey to assess how it relates to other books. It fits the look of an educational book.
What I mean by this is that when I think of an educational book, I associate lots of photographs, small amounts of text simply to explain the background information or captions to pictures , and a particular layout for their pages. This vision of a particular educational book is founded in the strictly educational, typical case prototype books I used to read as I was younger; the Eyewitness book series used to be my absolute favorite book to read for the very same reasons listed above.
They disguised learning to be fun and painless. To continue on, this book has a very similar layout to that series. Part of a series itself, the authors and designers purposely tried to model the visual presentation of an Eyewitness look in this satiric series, as to help create its ambiance.
On every single page there is at least one photograph in which the surrounding text pertains. The diagrams or drawings are all clearly labeled, as well as the photographs, to keep things clear. Moreover, there is a pocket on the back inside cover of the book where they provide several activities to complete. Each diagram has a specific purpose; this purpose is to support the text, and bring it clarity. More importantly than the pictures or layout of the book, is the actual text.
As mentioned earlier, at first glance the book looks like it set the standards for the typical case prototype book. When one reads the text, however, they are shocked from the lack of validity, completely crushing any thought of this book fitting the typical case prototype.
I believe this is true, because the text of a book is far more important than the pictures. The book goes out of its way to make fun of all educational writing. Every situation presented in the book is presented as fact, no matter how farfetched it is. It is as if the book is telling joke after joke, and keeping a straight face the whole time. The text is comprised only fictional scenarios or facts, while the pictures and layout design lead you to believe otherwise. You see, giraffes love drinking fruit juices…but their bodies have no real use for fruit juice, so it all trickles down to their legs where it stays and squishes around.
This is only one example of how the book is so unbelievable; on every single page, there are multiple examples of such ridiculous statements. The mere appearance of the book is shockingly similar to those I have read as a tool to induce learning. Instead of being completely false, the book Giraffes? Does contain a small amount of educational material in it. For instance, on page 48, there are two diagrams of fish; one of the colored pictures labels the outside organs of the fish, while the other informatively labels some of the inside organs.
The same case occurs on pages 6, 9, 13, 38, and A child reading this book would be able to sort out that this piece of information is correct, compared to the extremely farfetched text of the story. Because the whole rest of the book is in outfield, learning about the fish is somewhat disguised. Even if the reader has some negative stigma towards learning, they will not realize what is happening.
The reader is subconsciously focused on not believing anything about the giraffes. When they see information that is true, they do not remember that they are learning. These comparatively small diagrams in the book are a very good reference for information. For this reason, I feel that the book has both typical and atypical case traits.
The appearance of the book and hidden learning tools are created for children to induce learning. The ridiculous text, however, completely bashes any hope of it fitting into the typical case mold. The book is just too progressive and turns how we would normally react to a story from natural to unnatural. The readers have to be conscious to how they respond to such material, as opposed to a conservative book that reinforces old ideas or beliefs.
This defamiliarization causes us to challenge all that we have known to be true about educational books. When I read those books, I would never give a second thought to whether or not what I was reading was true. I would completely trust the narrator and authors. After reading a book that tricks you to believe that it might be true, I will never be able to read an Eyewitness book in the same light. That is the heart of defamialization ; it permanently causes something to be looked at differently.
One tool that the author uses to defamiliarize the readers is metafiction. The irony in this quote, is that what the authors are claiming is so absurd, that there is no way it would be obvious to anyone. No one would know to think that, because it is not based on any hint of truth.
This concept is one of several that help explain the term metafiction. In metafiction , not only does the narrator do too much or too little, the lines between the fictional world and the real world are blurred. The book is doing something, whether it is a quote, picture, etc. After reading the above mentioned quote on page 9, and also looking at pages 7 and 13, it becomes clear that the author is drawing attention to the absurdity of the text. This tool is used to heighten the satiric nature of the book.
From pure common sense, we know what the text claims is not true about fruit juices ; such claims have no scientific standing. When the author also jokes later in the book about personifying words, we have to second guess that as well. This silly statement about words calls attention to the fact that the reader is actually reading. It is something used to make the readers rethink how they are conditioned to react to books. This challenge is seen as progressive, and breaking the mold. Essentially, Giraffes?
This film illustrates the main character, an eight-year-old boy named Kevin McCallister , as a mischievous yet sincere child who when left alone in his house, discovers that family relationships are a crucial part of growing up. Home Alone also showcases many stereotypes of children that coincide with the typical case prototypes discussed in class. Metatextual concepts are featured in this movie as well, which help to involve the child audience.
These concepts, as well as the character of Kevin, discover the underlying meaning of the movie. He not only breaks free of the typical child roles and standards, he is able to use the thought of them to his advantage when confronted with two burglars attempting to break into his home. By Kevin saving his house, he realizes he is much older than he thinks and begins to appreciate his life and what is in it, mostly his family. This interpretation of Home Alone presents more than it just being a humorous movie about a boy and two robbers.
Once his family leaves for a Christmas vacation in Paris and he is left all alone in his house, Kevin McCallister gains total agency in this film. He no longer has any parents to tell him what and what not to do. Now, Kevin can run around the house and jump on beds, while having no one to tell him to stop. A perfect example of Kevin displaying agency is when he makes a total mess in the kitchen, eats a huge amount of junk food and ice cream and watches a movie that is not appropriate for him.
The roles of child and adult are also reversed. Although Kevin is doing all these things that would normally get him in trouble, his parents are portrayed as the irresponsible ones for leaving their child alone in the house. Home Alone does a great deal of displaying typical child case prototypes throughout the film. Adult perceptions of children are especially construed through the two burglars, Marv and Harry.
The two men are completely confident that they can break into the McCallister home because Kevin is the only one there. We can take him. Kevin was completely aware of the situation but still continued to fight the burglars because he knew he had to defend his house. Protecting himself and his house became more important to Kevin than doing what stereotypical children do and run away. In one particular scene, there is a reference made that does go against these typical case prototypes, which is also one we have discussed in class.
He then tells her a story of how he left his child alone one day at a funeral parlor. This character was implying that children are not permanently damaged by certain experiences and I think this is an incredibly important feature of the movie as a whole. If his family leaving him alone for days had negatively affected Kevin, then he would not have recovered and would not have learned the lessons he did by being put in that situation.
The less obvious element of Home Alone is the metatextual concept. Throughout this film, Kevin is constantly talking to the audience, because no other characters are around him. The narrator-like characteristic Kevin has in this movie makes the audience aware that he is talking directly to them, letting the viewers know what is going on and what Kevin is doing. There is one moment where Kevin actually does speak directly to the audience, looking straight into the camera.
Kevin breaking the fourth wall and creating this metatextual moment in the movie lets the audience in on the upcoming events as if it were a secret between them and the narrator. Another concept I noted is the deus ex machina role. In the film, this role is played by the elderly neighbor, who Kevin is afraid of for the majority of the movie.
Are Fairies Real? What's the Difference Between Fairies and Angels?
However, after talking and the old man admits that he has become a different person because of lost relationships in his life, Kevin provides him with advice as well as takes it himself. Kevin becomes aware that he needs his family and does not want to lose them like the old man lost his. So the two agree to change and do something about their unfortunate situations. After this conversation, Kevin returns home but once he has used up all of his traps to mislead the two burglars, he runs next door to call the police. The men are aware of his game this time and catch him before he is able to.
Then, when it looks like there is no escape for Kevin, the old neighbor hits both burglars and saves Kevin, taking him out of the house and away from danger. Throughout Home Alone , Kevin embraces being a kid with no parents to listen to and no roles to follow. However, over the days he is left by himself, he demonstrates a great amount of change. At first he is scared of Marv and Harry trying to break into his house. Kevin recognizes that he must take some control of the situation, because riding sleds down the stairs and turning the whole house upside down is unacceptable behavior when there are criminals trying to break into his house.
Kevin begins to take on typical adult roles, including going grocery shopping, doing laundry and washing dishes. These are not chores most eight-year-olds complete on a daily basis. Kevin is forced to become more mature throughout the story and does so by not only outsmarting burglars, but also by accepting the fact that his family is important to him and wanting them to come back.
Even though Kevin McCallister displays a great deal of agency, I do believe Home Alone is more adult-centered than child-centered. His family is the center of the story and is the element that is continuously referred to. Kevin is given total freedom to do whatever he wants and although he does use this to his advantage in the beginning, after awhile he begins to miss his family and regret ever saying he could live without them.
In that book, the main character Max wants to be away from his mother and not have to obey her as an authority figure.
While living with the wild things though, Max takes on an adult role, much like the one of his mother. He also begins to miss his mother and miss the idea of being a kid. This is exactly the change Kevin reaches in Home Alone. Although he enjoys having a break from parents and rules, he does long for his old life where although there were some hardships, he was surrounded by people who love and care about him.
Children need family relationships and in these particular texts, the children only discover this when those relationships are deterred from. Although I stated earlier that Kevin matured throughout the film, I also think he became more vulnerable at the same time. Accepting such a dramatic change in their lives leaves the children in these texts very sad and distressed. Fortunately for Kevin, his situation was temporary, but for children watching it could stand as a lesson to cherish and respect the relationships in your life, particularly with your family, because you never know when they can be taken away.
In fifth grade Officer Brown, my D. I drew an evil looking man with snake like eyes. He was wearing dark black clothing, and he was standing on a grungy street corner in front of an abandon warehouse. The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate that anyone could be a drug dealer. A drug dealer could be a sweet Suburban soccer mom who bakes homemade cookies for her children, or a drug dealer could be that evil looking guy wearing black clothing on the street corner.
Officer Brown explained that as a society, we tend to associate negative characteristics with drug dealers because the media depicts drug dealers in this manner. As a result, this negative imagine of drug dealers have been imbedded into our minds at a very young age.
She has long flowing red hair, big bright blue eyes, perfectly full red lips, and she seems to have a glow about her. She is very feminine, and her voice is high pitch but pleasing to the ear. The males in The Little Mermaid are strapping and handsome. They have big bulging muscles that can aid them to rescue mermaids if they get into trouble.
The men also have a full head of hair that always says in place. In fact it is as if they are perfect. Ursula, a sea witch, in The Little Mermaid is an ugly dark looking creature with a long pointy noses, and long fingers. She has monster sharp teeth and a gruff manly voice. Ursula does not possess one positive quality. For example, in The Little Mermaid, Ariel lives in a well-maintained golden castle. The water surrounding the castle is crystal clear. On the floor of the sea, there is green seaweed and bright colored flowers. There are also various forms of life swimming around the castle.
The fishes, shrimps, crabs, and other animals are bright vibrant colors. Ursula on the other hand, lives in a dark dreary cave. During parts of the movie, the water surrounding the cave is black, and at other times, the water is dark blue. The eels are black with slanted snake like eyes that glow a yellowish-green color. Instead the floor is made of dirt and rocks. The entire atmosphere surrounding the castle represents death.
There are mostly bright vibrant colors, such as yellows, reds, oranges, purples, and blues. Most of the fish in the sea are a mixture of two colors. The fishes are either red with yellow fins, purple with yellow fins, blue with red fins, and blue with purple fins. Other animals are red and orange. There is also some pink mixed among the animals. The little color that is use is cold and dark. The most abundant color representing Ursula is black. Ursula herself is a dark purple, and there are some dark blues and greens. Officer Brown was on to something when he stated that the media influences our opinion.
It may not be obvious to children as they watch The Little Mermaid or another Disney movie, but that movie is influencing their opinion. It also teaches them that evil people should not possess certain items. For example, in The Little Mermaid Ariel lives in a castle, but Ursula was not even good enough to have a house. Instead she lived in a damp dreary cave. Therefore in the beginning of the paper when I described my picture of a drug dealer in the fifth grade, it could be conjectured that I obtain those images from society, and not from reality.
As officer Brown stated, anyone could be a drug dealer. In a way, I revisited my childhood over the weekend. Growing up, I read Freaky Friday over and over. In fact, I still have that same paperback copy of the book—the cover is half torn off, passages are penciled, its got the little grease spots where I ate potato chips while I read it, and there is even a stain where I spilled some Pepsi. Coming back as an adult, over twenty-five years later, and re-reading this very book and physically seeing the remnants of my thought process was eye-opening. This book took the idea of switching bodies, which is not uncommon, and made it a little different by making it cross a generation.
This helps to show the lesson that is being handed down by the mother, Ellen Andrews, who is very frustrated with her daughter, Annabelle. That is what gives this book its subtle, yet overwhelming, adult undertone, and it is clearly defined from the first chapter of the book. Annabelle Andrews, the narrator of the story, is thirteen, and thirteen is an awkward time in life.
She then goes on to describe her parents and her brother. Additionally, Annabelle is in love with Boris, but because her mother made her get those ugly, nasty braces, Boris will never get past who she was in the past and take notice of her. The list of wrongs that her mother has heaped upon her, such as keeping her hair neat and nails trimmed, wearing what she wants, going where she wants, and keeping that room clean only prove to Annabelle that her mother is just unfair 6.
You are always pushing me around and telling me what to do. How come nobody ever gets to tell you what to do, huh? Tell me that! And then, Annabelle wakes up and she is her mother. But first, Annabelle is thrilled with the change! But, then things the take a turn and the day is no longer fun. The situation becomes more than her thirteen year old mind can handle. In this way, the inability of Annabelle to cope with adult situations and problems, shows that there is a clearly defined line between adulthood and childhood. Annabelle is still a child, but as her mother, she has to tackle some adult responsibilities, and Annabelle is clearly not at that point in life where can do so without further confusing things.
While the story remains funny and page-turning, it is easy to see what is going to occur here. Schmauss Before the incident with Mrs. Schmauss , Boris comes downstairs to return a colander, and it is during this time that we learn, in no uncertain terms, the Boris hates Annabelle which is too bad for Annabelle because she is totally in love with Boris!
It is also when we see the author handing out a lesson about studying hard and handing work in on time. This is drilled into the reader throughout the conference, and the fact that Annabelle is not doing it really hits her hard. She leaves the meeting, looking for herself—literally.
Annabelle has learned many lessons today and has heard how everyone in her life feels about her. It is a humbling experience, especially when she realizes that the person who loves her the most is the person she treats the worst, her brother It is an event concerning Ben which really makes her see that she is not ready to be an adult, and that she wants to go back to her own body. Her brother gets kidnapped. Well, not really. But, Annabelle thinks that Ben has been kidnapped. Mainly because in her thirteen mind, she had contemplated all the different people her mother may have chosen to be that day, and Annabelle was uncertain if her mother would even want to be Annabelle.
Boris takes charge, reveals his love for Mrs. Confusing, yes, but not if you read the book. Annabelle has had enough and is ready to just go ahead and give up. You wanted to teach me a terrific lesson? Very few folklorists and critics have examined fairy tales from an evolutionary psychological perspective, despite the fact that fairy tales deal opulently with evolution of the human species under particular cultural conditions that often engender crises.
All of these situations incite similar questions: What must an individual do to adapt to a new and unexpected situation? Does a person become heroic through a special kind of adaptation? How will the heroine or hero survive? What does a person have to do to maintain power so that she or he can survive? How must one protect oneself in a dog-eat-dog world?
Are there alternative ways of living and reproducing the species that do not involve the transgression of other bodies? In some respects I believe that we have been attracted to fairy tales because they are survival stories with hope. They alert us to dangerous situations, instruct us, guide us, give us counsel, and reveal what might happen if we take advantage of helpful instruments or agents, or what might happen if we do not. They communicate the need to be oppor- tunistic, to exploit opportunities, to be selish so we can survive.
They have arisen out of a need to adapt to unusual situations, and many of these situations are similar the world over so that many of the same types of tales have arisen and been disseminated and transformed so that new generations will learn to adjust to similar situations in chang- ing environments.
All tales want to stay alive in us, and they compete for our attention. We choose a particular metaphorical tale to be more precise and effective in what we want to express. Yet, each tale in its mutated form must articulate why it is still necessary and relevant in a changed environment and whether its impact is positive or negative. It is a tale about predators and how to deal with them. In my book The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood, I demonstrated that the origin of the literary fairy tale can be traced to male fantasies about women and sexuality and to conlicting versions with regard to the responsibility for the violation in the tale.
In particular, I showed how Charles Perrault and the Grimm Broth- ers transformed an oral folk tale about the social initiation of a young woman into a narrative about rape in which the heroine is obliged to bear the responsibility for sexual violation. Such a radical literary transformation is highly signiicant because the male-cultivated liter- ary versions became dominant in both the oral and literary traditions of nations such as Germany, France, Great Britain, and the United States, nations that exercise cultural hegemony in the West.
Indeed, the Per- rault and Grimm versions became so crucial in the socialization process of these countries that they generated a literary discourse about sexual roles and behavior, a discourse whose fascinating antagonistic perspec- tives shed light on different phases of social and cultural change. In discussing this development, however, I did not examine how it might be a linguistic and memetic form related to evolutionary theories about instincts, adaptation, and survival. Therefore, I should like once more to summarize my arguments about the sociopsychological implications of the changes made by Perrault and the Grimm Brothers and conclude by considering how the tale has evolved up to the present and why it is still so popular.
None of these motifs, it must be borne in mind, are particular to the times of Perrault and the Grimms, or to our very own times of rabid violence and violation. The tally of Red Riding Hood tales is quite impressive. Thanks to his exhaustive study of tales and motifs in the ancient world, however, we now have a much more comprehensive grasp of the memetic and epi- demiological formation of canonical fairy tales. If we accept the latter premise, then we can accept the hypothesis of widespread diffusion of folktale, with deviant and misrecollected ver- sions by forgetful or inaccurate storytellers easily corrected by those with better memories.
What we should guard against is the idea that tales will be reinvented in more or less identical form by different societies as they proceed through progressive stages of civilization, a fantasy of nine- teenth-century proto-anthropology, or that because a large number of popular tales use a inite number of motifs, then oral storytellers simply shufle the motifs around to make new tales. There are indeed instances where two convergent tales can become confused, or where one tale seems to borrow from another, but on the whole[,] hybrids, common as they are, still remain marginal in the process of diffusion of tales.
The more examples of any given international tale-type we study, the more clearly we can see the integrity and logic of the tale. They gradually had to be congealed in a stable form to become canonical, so to speak, and though one cannot precisely detect each step in the formation of a classical literary tale, the more information we gather about the spread of the motifs the more light we will shed on why and how a tale becomes memetic.
In it he incorporated many Latin translations of vernacular prov- erbs. Because many of the proverbs originated among the uneducated countryfolk, Sigebert of Gembloux ca. A certain man took up a girl from the sacred font, and gave her a tunic woven of red wool; sacred Pentecost was [the day] of her baptism. The girl, now ive years old, goes out at sunrise, footloose and heedless of her peril. A wolf attacked her, went to its woodland lair, took her as booty to its cubs, and left her to be eaten.
They approached her at once and, since they were unable to harm her, began, free from all their ferocity, to caress her head. If Egbert imposed Christian features in this fashion, then the redness in the story told by the common people could have had a general apotropaic signiicance that the Latin poet particularized with a religious dimension when he appropriated it. When a tale evolves through the discursive appropriation of oral and literary transmission, this germ remains and is at the heart of its memetic appeal. It is the constant interaction between what Bakhtin called primary and secondary speech genres that constituted the epidemiological dissemination of this canonical fairy tale and all the other canonical narratives.
The little girl arrived and knocked at the door. Take some of the meat which is inside and the bottle of wine on the shelf. Let me go outside. When the little girl was outside, she tied the end of the rope to a plum tree in the courtyard. Are you making a load? He followed her but arrived at her house just at the moment she entered. She is shrewd, brave, tough, and indepen- dent. Evidence indicates she was probably undergoing a social ritual connected to sewing communities the maturing young woman proves she can handle needles, replace an older woman, and contend with the opposite sex.
In some of the tales, however, she loses the contest with the male predator and is devoured by him. There is no absolute proof that the above synthetic tale pieced together by the astute French folklorist Paul Delarue was told in the exact same form in which he published it. Perrault revised some kind of oral tale that featured a young girl endangered by a predatory wolf to make it the literary standard-bearer for good Christian upbringing in a much more sophisticated manner than Egbert or oral storytellers. Moreover, his fear of women and his own sexual drives are incorporated in his new literary version, which also relects general male attitudes about women portrayed as eager to be seduced or raped.
In this regard, Perrault began a series of literary transformations that have caused nothing but trouble for the female object of male desire and have also relected the crippling aspect of male desire itself. What are the signiicant changes he made? First, she is donned with a red hat, a chaperon,56 making her into a type of bourgeois girl tainted with sin since red, like the scarlet letter A, recalls the devil and heresy. Second, she is spoiled, negligent, and naive.
Third, she speaks to a wolf in the woods—rather dumb on her part—and makes a type of contract with him: she accepts a wager, which, it is implied, she wants to lose. Fifth, she is swallowed or raped like her grandmother. Sixth, there is no salvation, simply an ironic moral in verse that warns little girls to beware of strangers, otherwise they will deservedly suffer the conse- quences. Sex is obviously sinful. It was translated into English by Robert Samber in and into other European languages.
The Grimms made further alterations worth noting. Here the mother plays a more signiicant role by warning Little Red Riding Hood not to stray from the path through the woods. Little Red Riding Hood is more or less incited by the wolf to enjoy nature and to pick lowers. Instead of being raped to death, both grandma and granddaughter are saved by a male hunter or gamekeeper who polices the woods. Only a strong male igure can rescue a girl from herself and her lustful desires. What constituted its memetic quality? If memes are selish, as Dawkins has declared, the persistence of a story that presents rape relevantly in a discursive form to indicate the girl asked to be raped, or contributed to her own rape, can be attrib- uted to the struggle among competing memes within patriarchal soci- eties that tend to view rape from a male viewpoint that rationalizes the aggressive male sexual behavior.
Yet, it is not entirely negative as a meme, and it is a meme that has mutated, especially in the past thirty-ive years, under strong ideo- logical inluences of the feminist movement. Perrault did not dispute the fact that men tend to be predatory, but he shifted the respon- sibility of physical violence and the violation of the body to the female, and since his communication it the dominant ideology of his times shared by many women and perhaps ours , his story competed with all others and became the dominant meme and remains so to this day.
As dominant meme, it does not simply convey the notion that women are responsible for their own rape, but it also conveys a warning about strangers in the woods, the danger of violation, and an extreme moral lesson: kill the rapist or be killed. Used or transformed as a warning tale, it reveals that the tale is open to multiple interpretations and also has a positive cultural function.
Certainly, it is very dificult to change sexual behavior. At times, Pinker minimizes the connection between sexual drives, social reinforcements, and social power that still enable males to exercise their domination in various ways, but he also fortunately recognizes the sig- niicance of the feminist challenge to the way rape is displayed, trans- mitted, and narrated in Western society. If we have to acknowledge that sexuality can be a source of conlict and not just wholesome mutual pleasure, we will have rediscovered a truth that observers of the human condition have noted throughout history.
The great contribution of feminism to the morality of rape is to put issues of consent and coercion at center stage. The ultimate motives of the rapist are irrelevant. I want to close with some brief remarks about a remarkable ilm that relects upon the possibility for cultural transformation or change. She is picked up on a highway by a serial rapist and killer, and because she is so street smart, she manages to turn the tables on him, grab his gun, and shoot him. She then takes his car but is arrested because the rapist miraculously survives.
Two detectives interrogate her, but largely due to their male prejudices, they do not believe her story about attempted rape. In prison Vanessa succeeds in escaping while the two detectives follow leads from people they interview that convince them that the rapist was really lying. When she arrives, she bravely beats him to a pulp, and the astonished detectives, who had wanted to help her, show up only to witness how Vanessa can easily take care of herself.
The contested representations suggest that there is another way of viewing desire, seduction, and violation. If there are really such things as memes— and I am convinced there are—and if memes can inluence us and be changed as our behavior is transformed, it is important that we take the theory of memes and fairy tales themselves more seriously. As we know, tales do not only speak to us, they inhabit us and become relevant in our struggles to resolve conlicts that endanger our happiness.
Although there is some truth to these assumptions, they conceal the deep cross-cultural and multilayered origins and meanings of these pan-European tales that also have fasci- nating connections to northern Africa and the Orient, including the Middle and Far East. Of course there can be no denying that the tales are culturally marked: they are informed by the languages that the writ- ers employed, their respective cultures, and the sociohistorical context in which the narratives were created.
In this regard one can discuss the particular Italian, French, German, or English afiliation of a tale and also make regional distinctions within a particular principality or nation-state. The truth value of a fairy tale is depen- dent on the degree to which a writer is capable of using a symbolical linguistic code, narrative strategy, and stereotypical characterization to depict, expose, or celebrate the modes of behavior that were used and justiied to attain power in the civilizing process of a given soci- ety.
Whether oral or literary, the tales have sought to uncover truths about the pleasures and pains of existence, to propose possibilities for adaptation and survival, and to reveal the intricacies of our civilizing processes. Historical Background For the past three hundred years or more scholars and critics have sought to deine and classify the oral folk tale and the literary fairy tale, as though they could be clearly distinguished from each other, and as though we could trace their origins to some primeval source.
As I have stated in the previous chapter, this is an impossible task because there are very few if any records with the exception of paintings, drawings, etchings, inscriptions, parchments, and other cultural artifacts that reveal how tales were told and received thousands of years ago. In fact, even when written records came into existence, they provided very lit- tle information about storytelling among the majority of people, except for random information that educated writers gathered and presented in their works.
Naturally, the oral folk tales that were told in many different ways thousands of years ago preceded the literary narratives, but we are not certain who told the tales, why, and how. We do know, however, that scribes began writing different kinds of tales that relected an occupation with rituals, historical anecdotes, customs, startling events, miraculous transformations, and religious beliefs. The recording of these various tales was extremely important because the writers preserved an oral tra- dition for future generations, and in the act of recording, they changed the tales to a greater or lesser degree, depending on what their purpose was in recording them.
There is no evidence that a separate oral won- der-tale tradition or literary fairy-tale tradition existed in Europe before the medieval period. Graham Anderson has performed a great service for folklorists and serious scholars of the fairy tale by demonstrating how Greek and Roman myths contributed to the generic development of the literary fairy tale by studying oral and literary sources in the pre- Christian ancient world.
It does not seem that folktales, including fairy tales, are memorized in verbal detail but according as they deal with matters of concern to the community, and in terms of stereotyped characters and narrative patterns. The pattern has its own internal logic which does not necessarily depend on material probability or a plot with strict cause and effect, as does the novel, at least in theory. The general pattern must satisfy the common desire for a marvel and a satisfactory outcome. How this occurred, where it occurred, and exactly when it occurred are dificult questions to answer with precision because the tales developed as a process largely through talk, conversations, and performances that caught the imagination of people from different social milieu and were gradually written down irst in Latin and then eventu- ally in different vernacular languages, when they became more accept- able in the late Middle Ages.
As more and more wonder tales were written down in Latin and vernacular languages from the twelfth to the ifteenth centuries, they constituted the genre of the literary fairy tale, and writers began establishing its particular conventions, motifs, topoi, characters, and plots, based to a large extent on those developed in the oral tradition but altered to address a reading public formed largely by the clergy, aristocracy, and the middle classes. The tales that were told cut across different classes and segments of a particular society—rural, urban, and court.
The threatening aspect of wondrous change, turning the world upside down, was something that these classes always tried to channel through codiied celebrations like Carnival and religious holidays. This must mean that the Cocaigne mate- rial belongs to the oldest of oral traditions, otherwise it would not have been written down as soon as man started wielding the pen.
Their ingredients—consisting of formulaic elements, individual motifs, and stock themes—are part of a widespread oral culture that has continued to the present day. In addition, details of this oral tradition continue to crop up in written literature, which then forms its own traditions, some- times—but not necessarily—interacting with the oral transmission of these same stories. The establishment of literacy was, among other things, a way to police the use of language through schooling, religion, and legislation of laws.
It is extremely dificult to describe what the oral wonder tale was because our evidence is based on written documents, and there are many types of wonder tales with diverse plots and characters, bound intricately with customs and rituals, that are often inexplicable. Gen- eral theories about the origin and spread of the folk tales leading to the formation of the literary fairy tale were irst conceived at the beginning of the nineteenth century and have been elaborated and contested up through the twenty-irst century.
The Brothers Grimm believed that fairy tales were derived from myths that had been religious at one time, but storytellers had gradually discarded their religious connotations, and the tales became secular wonder tales. Their views were expanded by Theodor Benfey —81 , a scholar of Sanskrit, who argued in his introduction to the Indic Pantscha Tantra that the genre of the fairy tale originated in ancient India as an oral wonder tale and spread irst to Persia and then to the entire Arabic-speaking world.
Eventually, the oral wonder tales were transmitted to Europe via Spain, Greece, and Sicily through trade, migration, and the Crusades. The Grimms and Benfrey believed that there was one point of origin or one place of birth monogenesis that led to the formation of the folk tales. The notion of polygen- esis was also at the basis of the British anthropological scholars Edward Burnett Tylor — , Andrew Lang — , and James George Frazer — ,9 who maintained that, since the human species was similar throughout the world, humans responded to their environment in similar ways, giving rise to identical tales that varied only accord- ing to the customs they developed.
A common assumption made by almost all folklorists and anthro- pologists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was that the fairy tale was part of an oral tradition thousands of years old. Instead, he argued that, despite the existence of oral folk tales in antiquity, there was no such thing as a fairy tale, and the fairy tale as a genre was really the creation of individual writers, who forged the genre in the ifteenth and sixteenth centuries and its basis is literary.
His ideas were soundly rejected and answered by, among others, the Danish folklorist Bengt Holbek, whose thorough and thoughtful work Interpretation of Fairy Tales demonstrates clearly that some forms of the fairy tale have existed in the oral tradition for millennia. Moreover, she tries to set up a false debate between so-called oral- ists and herself as though there were a clear divide, and argues that only published books provide accurate evidence for the origins, existence, and spread of fairy tales.
Her positivist approach to oral history recalls the elitist manner in which the upper classes treated popular culture and negated their customs and forms of entertainment. Scholars who have used a more inclusive and expansive approach that focuses on the inter- action between elite and popular cultures and the interplay between orality and literacy reveal the narrow conines of her argument. Forms and Contents of the Or al Wonder Tale and the Liter ary Fairy Tale The debate about the origin and transmission of the fairy tale as oral wonder tale, while signiicant and productive, can be misleading and distracting when we consider that the spoken language existed long before writing systems were developed, and when we take into account that it is impossible to determine when and how certain types of tales evolved.
What we do know, as Jan Ziolkowski has pointed out, is that: Europe has had writing systems for thousands of years. Clay, stone, metal, bark, papyrus, wax, parchment, and paper are only a selection of the materials that have been used for this purpose. Tales have been told dur- ing those millennia, but most tellings have not been set down in writing or otherwise recorded.
Part of the reason is the sheer practical one that it has been happily impossible to capture in writing all the words people have spoken. Some types of literature were written down again and again, while oth- ers failed to receive oficial approval, either explicit or tacit, which was an indispensable prerequisite for being memorialized in literature. The plot gener- ally involves a protagonist who is confronted with an interdiction or pro- hibition that he or she violates in some way.
Therefore, there is generally a departure or banishment and the protagonist is either given a task or assumes a task related to the interdiction or prohibition. The protagonist is as-signed a task, and the task is a sign. That is, his or her character will be stereotyped and marked by the task that is his or her sign. In sociological terms, each character is to act out what Pierre Bourdieu calls a habitus,16 that is, the characters occupy the whole complex of thinking, acting, and performing of a position within the family and society: names are rarely used in a folk tale; characters function accord- ing to their status within a family, social class, or profession; and they often cross boundaries or transform themselves.
It is the transgression that makes the tale exciting; it is the possibility of transformation that gives hope to the teller and listener of a tale. Inevitably in the course of action there will be a signiicant or signifying encounter. Depending on the situation, the protagonist will meet either enemies or friends.
Sometimes there are at irst three different animals or creatures that test the protago- nist to see whether he is worthy of their help. Whatever the occasion, the protagonist must prove him- or herself and acquire gifts that are often magical agents, which bring about a miraculous or marvelous change or transformation. Soon after, the protagonist, endowed with gifts, is tested once more and overcomes inimical forces. A miracle or marvelous intervention is needed to reverse the wheel of fortune. Fre- quently, the protagonist makes use of endowed gifts and this includes magical agents and cunning to achieve his or her goal.
The success of the protagonist usually leads to marriage; the acquisition of money; survival and wisdom; or any combination of these three. Whatever the case may be, the protagonist is transformed in the end. Never- theless, his theory helps us understand that the structure of oral tales depends heavily on memory, repetition, and resolution.
The signii- cance of the paradigmatic functions of wonder tales and their distinct characters, identiied through their social class and habitus, is that they facilitate recall for teller and listeners. Over hundreds of years they have enabled people to store, remember, and reproduce the plot of a given tale and to change it to it their experiences and desires because of the easily identiiable characters associated with particular social classes, professions, and assignments.
At the center of attraction is the survival of the protagonist under dificult conditions, and the tales evoke wonder and admiration for oppressed characters, no matter who they may be. Wonder causes astonish- ment, and as marvelous object or phenomenon, it is often regarded as a supernatural occurrence and can be an omen or portent.
It gives rise to admiration, fear, awe, and reverence. In the oral wonder tale, we are to marvel about the workings of the universe where anything can happen at any time, and these fortunate and unfortunate events are never really explained. Nor do the characters demand an explanation—they are instinctively opportunistic and hopeful.
They are encouraged to be so, and if they do not take advantage of the opportunity that will beneit them in their relations with others, they are considered either dumb or mean-spirited. The tales seek to awaken our regard for the miraculous condition of life and to evoke profound feelings of awe and respect for life as a miraculous process, which can be altered and changed to compensate for the lack of power, wealth, and pleasure that most people experi- ence.
Lack, deprivation, prohibition, and interdiction motivate people to look for signs of fulillment and emancipation. In the wonder tales, those who are naive and simple are able to succeed because they are untainted, naturally good, and can recognize the wondrous signs. They have retained their belief in the miraculous condition of nature, revere nature in all its aspects, and accept their own natural inclinations. They have not been spoiled by conventionalism, power, or rationalism. In contrast to the humble characters, the villains are those who use words and power intentionally to exploit, control, transix, incarcerate, and destroy for their own beneit.
They have no respect or consideration for nature and other human beings, and they actually seek to abuse magic by preventing change and causing everything to be transixed according to their interests. The marvelous protagonist wants to keep the pro- cess of natural change lowing and indicates possibilities for overcoming the obstacles that prevent other characters or creatures from living in a peaceful and pleasurable way. The focus on the marvelous and hope for change in the oral wonder tale does not mean that all wonder tales, and later the literary fairy tales, served and serve a radical transforming purpose.
Oral tales have served to stabilize, conserve, or challenge the com- mon beliefs, laws, values, and norms of a group. The ideology expressed in wonder tales always stemmed from the position that the narrator assumed with regard to the relations and developments in his or her community; and the narrative plot and changes made in it depended on the sense of wonder, marvel, admiration, or awe that the narrator wanted to evoke. In other words, the sense of the miraculous in the tale and the intended emotion sought by the narrator are ideological.
Narra- tors sought to use language and the art of communication to make their utterances special and relevant so they would catch on and stick in the ears and brains of their listeners. In the last analysis, however, even if we cannot establish whether a wonder tale is ideologically conservative, radical, sexist, progressive, and so on, it is the celebration of miraculous or fabulous transforma- tions in the name of hope that accounts for its major appeal.
People have always wanted to improve or change their personal status or have sought magical intervention on their own behalf. The emergence of the literary fairy tale during the latter part of the medieval period bears wit- ness to the persistent human quest for an existence without oppression and constraints.
It is a utopian quest that we continue to record through the metaphors of the fairy tale, even today. Two more important points should be made about the oral tradition of transmission that concern the magical contents of the tales and the mode in which they were disseminated. During the Middle Ages, most people in all social classes believed in magic, the supernatural, and the miraculous, and they were also smart enough to distinguish between probable and improbable events. On the contrary, they were told and retold because they had some connection to the material condi- tions and personal relations in their societies.
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To a certain degree they carried truths, and the people of all classes believed in these stories, either as real possibilities or parables. Magic and marvelous rituals were common throughout Europe, and it is only with the gradual rise of the Christian Church, which began to exploit magic and miraculous sto- ries and to codify what would be acceptable for its own interests, that wonder tales and fairy tales were declared sacrilegious, heretical, dan- gerous, and untruthful. However, the Church could not prevent these stories from being circulated; it could only stigmatize, censure, or criti- cize them.
This is true of all organized religions and continues to be the case today. The magical tales of the Bible and religious texts have always been compelled to compete with the secular tradition of folk and fairy tales for truth value. If women were regarded as the originators and disseminators of these tales, then the texts themselves had to be suspicious, for they might relect the ickle, duplicitous, wild, and erotic character of women, who were not to be trusted. Thus, their stories were not to be dismissed as trivial. Inci- dentally, this association was often coupled with children, that is, the folk were regarded as simple children, and their tales were thus belittled as simplistic, ignorant, and crude by the upper classes and the clergy.
Tales were told in walks of life in the Middle Ages and during the Enlightenment, as they are today, and both sexes contributed to and continue to contribute to the tale-telling tradition. Troubadours, professional court storytellers, kings, queens, merchants, slaves, servants, sailors, soldiers, spinners, weavers, seamstresses, wood- cutters, tailors, innkeepers, nuns, monks, preachers, charcoal burners, and knights carried tales as did children. It would be an exaggeration to insist that everyone in society told tales or that they were good and interesting tale tellers.
These tales were often embellished, or they were ritual tales that brought the members of a community closer together.
But one factor is clear: the folk were not just made up of the peasantry or the lower classes. The great majority of people in the Middle Ages up through the beginning of the nineteenth century were nonliterate, and thus everyone participated in one way or the other as teller or listener in oral traditions. They are apparent in Indian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman col- lections of tales, myths, and legends and in the texts that constitute Oriental and Occidental religions.
However, they were never gathered or institutionalized in the short forms that we recognize in the West until the late Middle Ages. Then male scribes began recording them in collections of tales, epics, romances, and poetry from the tenth cen- tury onward. Most of the early work was in Latin, and the interactions between the Church and lay people and between orality and literacy help us understand how the fairy tale evolved and was disseminated. As Rosmarie Thee Morewedge has maintained: [W]e must rely on the wealth of tale collections that have come to us from medieval and pre-medieval sources, that were told by the tale-tellers; it must be remembered that tales did not stop being part of an oral tradi- tion just because they were written down by vagrants, preachers, mer- chants, crusaders or other literati.
Which talented priest would not want to serve the missionary thrust of the church by collecting tales heard in childhood, read in school, heard on travels and in various monasteries? In general, Oriental tales were spread in Europe both through oral retellings and translations into various European languages. It is interesting to note that one of the tales in the Gesta Romanorum probably spawned the oral and literary dissemination of the remarkable Fortunatus c.
In brief the tale concerns a young man named Fortunatus on the island of Cyprus. After he joins the entourage of the Earl of Flanders, he travels to Flanders and wins a tournament, but jealous rivals and the threat of castration cause him to lee to London, where he leads a life of decadence and then returns to the Continent. Destitute, he wan- ders about Brittany and becomes lost in a forest. A kind fairy or Dame Fortune takes pity on him and grants him either wisdom, strength, long life, wealth, health, or beauty.
He must select one of them. Fortunatus chooses wealth, and she gives him a magic purse that will always provide money for him. After wandering about Europe for a while, he returns to the island of Cyprus and inds that his parents are dead. However, with his magic purse, he is able to restore the family name and marries a young lady from a noble family.
After two sons are born, he begins traveling again and eventually procures a magic cap that transports him to any place he wishes once he puts it on his head. Before he dies as a respected member of society, he bestows his gifts on his two sons who lose them because of their greed and carelessness. There were many variations of this plot, and sometimes, instead of just one hero named Fortunatus, there were three young protagonists and three fairies.
Sometimes the gifts are different. Fortunatus also makes use of an invisible cloak. In a signiicant essay about the origins of Fortunatus, Luisa Rubini has shown that the German folk book of For- tunatus was more than likely preceded by Spanish and Italian versions. Lively economic and cultural relations, contacts and exchange between southern Germany and northern Italy are amply documented for that period, and the presence of Italian lit- erature, both serious and popular also in the form of cheap prints in German libraries provides further evidence.
Another good example is the wonder tale about the grateful dead that can be traced to pre-Christian antiquity and spread widely throughout Europe in the medieval period. Ruby - the Naughty Little Black Kitten. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long.
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