Mr. Harold Eggert
12 January 2015
The Evolution of Fairy Tales Fairy tales are stories that have influenced cultures and societies orally and literally. The stories illustrate an image of good and evil through magic and good luck. Fairy tales have a happy ending, which is comforting to the listener and reader in a way that eases the tension of fear from wickedness and portrays the idea that the hero will prevail through determination and help from a supernatural force, or just plain luck. No matter what the culture; each culture has its own form of folklore and fairy tales that it holds dear to its identity, and certain motifs are the definition of their traditions and lessons passed on to youngsters as one generation unfolds to another. Fairy tales manipulate the principles of various cultures in tradition, society, and values. The emotions of humans are the same all around the world; as virtues of kindness, love and friendship are taught to the younger generations. Fairy tales are the essential formula in conveying a lesson that teaches the values of one’s culture, through the display of what is considered to be evil or good, moreover, what is accepted or not in a any given culture. The Arabian culture has virtues, standards that they abide by, and so tell stories like, “Little Red Riding Hood”, which is translated into, “Laila wa Altheeb”, to teach children the dangers of disobeying their parents. The tradition of this story and true essence is still alive today, which is a timeless story that will always teach children the dangers of strangers. “Given the cultural appropriation of fairy tale film genres, perhaps, we, too, could retell and redraw traditional folk and fairy tales for the current and future generations of children” (Lotherington, Heather 2005).
The most famous fairy tale in Arab culture is called, “One Thousand and One Nights” or “Arabian Nights”. King Shahrayr was betrayed by his first wife, so he married a new woman each night, and killed her by morning. Then Scheherazade came along and changed his perspective of life, love through the thousand and one stories that captivated his heart and spared her life. “These tales come from India and Persia, from Egypt and Mesopotamia from Syria and other Arabian Cultures” (Shofar 152). The traditions of these stories continued throughout French and British cultures that altered the events to meet the interest of their audience. “Antoine Galland was a French orientalist and archaeologist, most famous as the first European translator of The Thousand and One Nights …and exerted a huge influence on subsequent European literature and attitudes to the Islamic world” (Good Reads).
Fairy tales are exhibited through plays, movies, and books for people of all ages for pleasure, wonder, or to have a better comprehension of language, in addition, a way to open up to different ideas and cultures. Society is viewed depending on the morals implanted in the reading of fairy tales and folklore that shape the way we think. Universally, we know that historically; a princess is a beauty that must find her prince, a stepmother is a wicked witch, and a stranger is a wolf. As time changed, society changed, and therefore people’s views change as they alter the fairy tales that they teach their children to meet the needs of today’s society. Likewise, the Arabian culture has adapted a new way of thinking about the importance of reading multicultural literature to their children in order to help them better understand the similarities and differences of distinct cultures, to have a connection and better understanding of the changes they need to make to better their own society.
The values in the Arabian culture are values that one has towards their society. Generosity, kindness, and hard work are expected in any given society, how