Sunday, September 6, 2015

What is a Fairy Tale
Märchen, or Fairy Tales, provide a profound statement on the culture and socioeconomic entities during an era. But first, it is important to delineate the difference between scholarly definitions of local legends, Saint’s legends, and Fairy Tales. Max Lüthi describes that the teller of a local legend probably did not orate a difference between the three, rather express his or her story as a Sage, a brief story. The story teller also “believed his tale and by no means wanted to characterize it as legendary in our sense”(Lüthi 35). The Saint’s legends definition stems from its latin root legenda, which means “that which is to be read”. It is disparate because it has not been passed down by the oral tradition, but rather inscribed, usually be clerics or literate workers of the church. Lastly, the Saint’s legends provide religious guidance and explicate miracles only divine powers could create. Fairy tales, on the other hand, have a core of magic and imagination. One of the themes of fairy tales is time and how it is manipulated. Lüthi remarks that “part of the power which [fairy tales] has to delight the reader derives from this triumph over time and the passage of time”(Lüthi 44). In the two previous tales objects are passed down from generation to generation, but in the fairy tales, objects are only used when they need to perform a specific job. Fairy tales detach people from the space-time continuum and propel them into another world, that can be incorruptible and wondrous. One of the biggest distinctions between fairy tales and the two legends is how it deals with magic/miracles. The quintessential example is when an animal begins speaking to a human. The fairy tale hero has a moment of anxiety, which vanishes within a couple seconds. Furthermore, there is usually no questioning of how or why that animal can speak, therefore the fairy tale “accepts miracles as if they were a matter of course”(Lüthi 46). Finally, the fairy tales stylistic characteristics are in consummate consonance. They exhibit precision and the desire to use every last second of the time limit.

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