Modern culture is still very much affected by folk tales even though nowadays standards of morality undergo significant changes. It is no wonder as the sources of eternal wisdom can be found in fairy-tails. People have always been in a search for entertaining, interesting, creative, easy and engaging ways of implanting important truths into their children’s’ minds and hearts. Fairy-tails became the most filigree pieces of wisdom meeting the above-mentioned requirements. Generally, such important lessons as explaining social roles of men and women, the consequences of particular way of thinking and acting including violence, envy, pride and many more can be derived from folk tales.
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To examine the important lessons which can be found in fairy tales, the “Cinderella” poem by the Grimm Brothers and “The Birthmark” will be addressed in the following paper. First of all, discussing Cinderella’s story it should be said that it is by far the most popular dreamlike story among any miraculous stories on the earth. Every single person seems to be against poor Cinderella including her stepmother who denies her every chance to improve her situation; the poem reads, “no, Cinderella, you have no clothes and cannot dance” (Grimm and Grimm, p. 24). Every possible excuse is used by wicked people to stop Cinderella on her way to happiness which she wants so much and deserves so well; the world goes against her, but she is strong and positive, and she receives her “high profits”. This great lesson is very important for people today as every person has one’s own dream, one’s own “prince” so to say and crowds of “step mothers” around to stop one on one’s way to happiness. Cinderella’s success is very thrilling and encouraging; it is a necessary “medicine” for every dreamer. No wonder, so many films, shows, songs and other pieces of modern culture address the important idea from this story. Literary addressing to this topic can be seen in “Cinderella” movie with Hillary Duff, and some hints to it in such works as “The Shawshank Redemption” movie where the man fights all the cruel “step mothers” to conquer in his pursuit of happiness and the “Firework” song by Katy Perry. One more important lesson which can be learnt is related to the benefits of doing something fine to others (Haase, p. 67). In our modern materialistic world, this truth is still very important as it is connected to the universal principle that we reap what we saw: if we saw kindness we will get it back.
Further, in “The Birthmark”, Aylmer wants to remove the birthmark from his wife’s face and tells her, “no, dearest Georgiana…this…defect…shocks me” (Hawthorne Para. 26). Eventually the wife is destroyed by such desire of her husband. This is the ever more important lesson nowadays as men are crazy about appearance of their women, and ready for everything to proceed in this race to perfection; however, it is connected to numerous risks. This theme is often addressed in newscasts where we learn about the latest victims in the serious of unsuccessful plastic surgeries and so on. One of the most thought-provoking addresses to this topic can be found in the song “Crazy” by Simple Plan.
In conclusion, folk tales can be described as unfailing wells of wisdom teaching about the most important notions in people’s lives through centuries including the pursuit of happiness, true and lasting values and many more. Two examples of such masterpieces full of wisdom are “Cinderella” and “The Birthmark” teaching how to draw closer to one’s dream and how sad the consequences of badly developed system of values are.
- Grimm, Will, and Jake Grimm. “Cinderella.” Shared Class Files, 2012.
- Haase, Donald. Fairy Tales and Feminism: New Approaches. Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2010. Print.
- Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Birthmark.” The Literature Network, 2012. Web.