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Last we come to the reason for this article, the meaning of the fairy tale. Fairy Tale :. A fanciful tale of legendary deeds and creatures, usually intended for children or this definition of a fictitious, highly fanciful story or explanation. Many that have been handed down were created by females; many more than written by men but in generations back women were not usually recognized as writers such as in the case of George Sand who was actually a woman using a masculine nom-de-plume. Most of these stories had been handed down from grandmother to mother and retold over and over again.
Fables and Fantasies
Originally, stories we would now call fairy tales were merely a kind of tale, not marked out as a separate genre. The genre itself was first marked out by writers of the Renaissance, who began to define a genre of tales, and became stabilized through the works of many writers, becoming an unquestioned genre in the works of the Brothers Grimm. Prior to the definition of the genre of fantasy, many works that would now be classified as fantasy were termed "fairy tales", including Tolkien's The Hobbit, George Orwell's Animal Farm, and L.
Indeed, Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories" includes discussions of world-building and is considered a vital part of fantasy criticism. Although fantasy, particularly in the sub-genre fairytale fantasy, draws heavily on fairy tale motifs, the genres are now regarded as distinct. One universally agreed-on factor is that the nature of a tale does not depend on whether fairies appear in it. Obviously, many people, including Angela Carter in her introduction to the Virago Book of Fairy Tales, have noted that a great many of so-called fairy tales do not feature fairies at all.
As Stith Thompson and Carter herself point out, talking animals and the presence of magic seem to be more common to the fairy tale than fairies themselves. However, the mere presence of animals that talk does not make a tale a fairy tale, especially when the animal is clearly a mask on a human face, as in fables. In his essay "On Fairy-Stories", J.
However, the same essay excludes tales that are often considered fairy tales, citing as an example The Monkey's Heart, which Andrew Lang included in The Lilac Fairy Book.
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Other tales that include no magic but are often classified as fairy tales include What Is the Fastest Thing in the World? The fairy tale, told orally, is a sub-class of the folktale.
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Many writers have written in the form of the fairy tale. The oldest forms, from Panchatantra to the Pentamerone, show considerable reworking from the oral form. The Brothers Grimm were among the first to try to preserve the features of oral tales. Yet the stories printed under the Grimm name have been considerably reworked to fit the written form.
Most of them were expurgated and were edited as they were compiled and the darker, scarier parts and in some cases gruesome were eliminated or toned down.
Over time the audience the stories were written down for has also changed from an adult audience to and audience of predominantly children. The versions they read now are very watered down versions of the original stories. For instance when Perrault collected some of the tales which he compiled to be presented to the court of Versilles, the tales all had an ending with a moral to the story.
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At the same time, literary fairy tales of great imagination and invention, often quite cruel and gruesome, were being created by the women surrepticiously rebelling against the contraints placed on them by their restrictive society. They were not written for children. Bob Huang. Many did not have happy endings and when the Countess de Murat told one that satirized Louis XIV she was banished from his court. Many of these tales dealt with love or marriage and sometimes political intrigue concerning the aristocrats.
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