Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Thursday, June 08, 2006

*To kill or let live fairy tales*

A child growing up in America these days, one has a great opportunity to hear and see fairy tales come to life. Just as easily, the child is hearing or seeing these tales and he is also affected by them. In some way or another the moral of the story will rub off onto the child, these fairy tales also affect adults as well. The moral of the story may cut on a deep level consciously or unconsciously, or the affect may be a smaller eye opening experience. Whatever the result of the fairy tale, you walk away a person who has just been enlightened.

Fairy tales are a passage to a separate world than the one we stumble through. In the tale we are ushered into a colorful world of imagination. In this world everything is black and white, no gray areas in this world. You see the tales are a great shortcut to informing children and adults to the moral codes of human society. No matter what, if the story is told to perfection or in a loose manner the person will walk away pondering the theme laid before him in the tale.

Most of the fairy tales that I have encountered begin with setting the stage for what or who is moral and amoral. Then the enchantment comes through certain sequences conveying the story. Throughout the story the main theme and moral are expressed. To get to the theme there must be some resistance or certain things blocking the receiver (us) from the precious information trying to be shown to us. The height of the barricade may also begin to show the importance of the point trying to be completed, but some resistances may be unnecessarily embellished or may not be conveyed strong enough making it seem as if it were a flippant lesson in life.

Some fairy tales could be categorized from let’s say the rating of restricted all the way down to the general audience viewing/listening. The ratings of a tale are somewhat petty. Overall these added effects are just the storyteller’s way of depicting the information. Some fairy tales are unnecessarily brutal and gruesome, but make the point stronger. Some fairy tales are just getting by. I personally like the tales that Disney has produced over the years.

Grasp on to Disney for a moment here with me. Through voice, song, characters, and art a story is told. (I have chosen to use Disney because it was a major factor of fairy tale moralization in my upbringing, and is to this day.) See Disney has a unique and exciting way of making good morals easier to be accepted by humans. We latch onto certain characters and choose to let them captivate us and truly mold us. We are attracted to this cartoons qualities because we see something we would like to be or maybe we find ourselves in this character.

The main purpose of a fairy tale was not to display a specific story or moment in history. The writer didn’t say, “ here read this it’s a powerful story and oh by the way it will not affect or change your life.” No! This has nothing to do with a story. It’s a specific persons characteristic that makes the point. The character is what makes up the entire story. The author had a point he though was relevant or applicable to share with the rest of the world. Basically he is saying “hey! Check out this characteristic, don’t you want that in your life too?”

The author created a world of make believe which would draw the reader/viewer into the life of the characters world. The reader in the end is held hostage for a few moments and ultimately “ made to believe” the point the author wanted to get across. Does he accept it? Maybe he does accept it or maybe the reader rejects it all together.

Remember with me for a few more seconds Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. While watching the movie you could take the side of Gaston (the man who rallied the town to kill the beast) or you fall in love with Belle and her compassion for the Beast. The Beast who was learning a lesson of change and Belle who was learning the lesson of looking on the inside of a person to find true quality. Some people take Gaston’s side and others take Belle’s, simple choices that lead to good or bad consequences. Anyone can figure out which side is good. Disney movies make it easier for a child to learn a life lesson through animation.

There are three ways of learning a lesson. Number one is experience, through living and learning from the past. Number two is (in my own opinion) the Bible. Everything we need to learn and lesson’s to be taught are in this great book. The third and the topic at hand is fairy tales. Through words and pictures and yes a characters characteristics we learn some of life’s greatest lessons.

Remember the Disney version of Peter Pan? As a child I was captivated with this movie. I am a person who really fights growing up and embracing maturity. Peter Pan really didn’t hit home with me until I was in my senior year of high school. I suddenly realized that I was expected to grow up and fast. I always thought of myself as one who knew when maturity was needed in life. Peter Pan showed me I was totally wrong. I have found ways to still be a kid. Working in youth ministry helps out a lot, and one day I will good off with children of my own. I cannot stay in Never Never Land forever. I may visit occasionally, but never prolonged. Like a vacation to Disneyland, I will never be able to afford staying year round; it is a weekend at most.

To me fairy tales are a small wakeup call to the world. In the fairy tale we are able to handle the wakeup call. And then when the swift kick in the pants comes we are able to handle the situation and step up to the plate. That’s what fairy tales do for you, me, and the children of this world. Fairy tales open our eyes to right and wrong, but they also prepare us for reality and how to in a certain special way deal with the bad (problems) when they come up and find the good situations or people and welcome them into our lives.

So I ask you in a sort of choose your own ending (or beginning depending on how you look at it) are fairy tales acceptable and useful tools in the human adventure we call life? Perhaps these fairy tales are a nuisance to all and fading instead of helping to moralize our society? Hmmm….


Anonymous Amber said... deep thinker :o) You know me, I love Disney. Always have and probably always will. I love how they seem to bridge the gap between age groups. Adults can sit down like any child and watch them and be completely entertained.

Yes, I believe there are lessons to be learned from the themes, characters, and situations that are presented in the movies. Take Toy Story: Buzz has an identity crisis...or call it denial. I think everyone at some point has that in their lives. And then there is Woody. Woody gets a tiny rip in his arm and he thinks his value is ruined...he has no self-worth. But then his ever faithful, loving owner Andy is always there for him. I've felt like Woody many times in my life. Any small mistake I make or flaw that I have, my self-esteem plummets. But God never sticks us up on a shelf or stuff us in a cardboard box and shove us under the bed to get dusty and forget about us. He is always there and his love is unconditional. That is something I'm still trying to fathom.

9:19 AM


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