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miércoles, 31 de octubre de 2012

Influence in the analysis of fairy tales

Vladimir Propp: (1895-1970), was a soviet formalist scholar who analyzed the basic elements of Russian folktales to identify their narrative elements. His most important book is Morphology of the Folktales. For him, in all fairy tales there are an initial situation, after which the tale usually takes the following 31 functions, it is known asThe functions of Vladimir Propp. According to this theory, a tale can contain all the functions or only some of them, but in all cases, the functions appears in the same order. As an example of these functions, here are two of them:

  1. ABSENTATION: A member of a family leaves the security of the home environment. This may be the hero or some other member of the family that the hero will later need to rescue. This division of the cohesive family injects initial tension into the storyline. The hero may also be introduced here, often being shown as an ordinary person.
  2. INTERDICTION: An interdiction is addressed to the hero ('don't go there', 'don't do this'). The hero is warned against some action (given an 'interdiction').

He also concludes that all the characters can be resolved into 8 broad character types in the 100 tales he analyzed. We are going to mention two of them:

  1. The villainstruggles against the hero.
  2. The dispatcher character who makes the lack known and sends the hero






Bruno Bettelheim: (1903-1990), was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than The uses of Enchantment, because of its revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood  development . He was a good story teller, who made this analysis in terms of Freudian psychology. In it, he studied the role of the most important fairy tales on the development of the unconscious. He thought that they play different roles in teaching children about morals, right versus wrong etc. and they are instruments to stimulate their imagination. Bettelheim argues convincingly that fairy tales provide a unique way for children to come to terms with the dilemma of their lives.





María Tatar: Is an American academic whose expertise lies in children´s literature, German literature and Folklore. Since 1970´s, she has focused on fairy tales and she discovered that in Grimm´s stories are included murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide and incest. For her, the fairy tales have a magical glittery sparkle that fires a reader´s imagination, but also a dark horrific side that stages our deepest anxieties and fears. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales is a remarkable treasure trove, a work that celebrates the best-loved tales of childhood and presents them through her vision, as she is a leading authority in the field of folklore and children's literature. She presents new interpretations of the powerful stories in this worldwide best-selling book.





Kieran Egan: (Ireland in 1942), is an educational philosopher who think that education may be more imaginative. For him, nightingales talk telling children certain kind of .feelings, since fear to a world of happy fantasy in which disease and cruelty are absent.

He divided the fairy tales in:

·         Happy fantasy

·         Fear fantasy


Fantasy  is for him a product of language mind and fantasy stories disturbing features are a healthy preparation for a life, that is unlikely to lack disturbance. Fantasy stories undermine courage, they present to the child's mind a world in which undefined but fearsome threats are behind the facade of the everyday world. Our discouraging anxieties may start with monsters under the bed but the anxieties remain with us, less precisely focused, to interfere with our work and our relationships and to suck pleasure from our lives. Fantasy is a prerequisite both for a range of intellectual skills and for an imaginative and flexible engagement with reality.


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