My rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood” © – Pencil sketch & colored in Photoshop
Good Fairy tales are DANGEROUS and often FRIGHTENING!!
So why then, do we love fairy tales so much?
The TV show – Once Upon A Time, has captured many a fairy tale/fantasy fan’s time and attention.
I admit I am one such fan. Sometimes I love where the creators are going with the story; other times… not so much…
Why are fairy tales so appealing?
Why do they have the power to shake the heart, mind and soul to the very core?
Let’s look at the characteristics of fairy tales…
- Teach lessons and impart values.
- Are direct and simple enough for a child to grasp
- but are also
- deep, solid and sound to the core, with meaning and wisdom that speaks to the mature.
- Are timeless and seamless, crossing all boundaries and cultures.
- Include a conflict that needs to be solved.
- Include magic/fantasy/supernatural elements – helping us to transcend our belief system for a moment in time, and allow us to think outside of the box.
- Make heroes out of the rejected, lonely, unnoticed, the imperfect.
Let’s take a break here and ask George McDonald, (one of my favorite authors) Why do you always write about princesses?
His answer – “…every little girl is a princess, and there would be no need to say anything about it, except that she is always in danger of forgetting her rank, and behaving as if she had grown out of the mud.”
- Fairy tales teach us perseverance, faithfulness, courage, kindness, love, and sacrifice, (among other things).
- They teach us about life and death, good and evil.
- The good and happy endings are reflections of our hope of heaven.
- These good endings do not come without a price.
- And what about the evil and harsh endings? What do they teach us?
- We live in a fallen world, and evil is all around us. That is our reality.
- Fairy tales remind us that God lifts up the humble, (James 4:10)” but also deals with those who are proud. (Proverbs 16:5
G.K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936) says this in the biblical story Voyage.
“…an apple is eaten, and the hope of God is gone” (p. 259). And so these tales teach us the lessons of character we need to pick up and keep on going..”
C.S. Lewis – in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – the great Aslan represents both the triumphant Lion of Judah, Root of David and the Lamb – the ultimate sacrifice for all man kind.
This wonderful Aslan tells Edmund and Lucy, “This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
Good literature is dangerous!!! And can be frightening!!!
Editors of “Excerpts Complete Book of Everyday Christianity” Robert Banks and R. Paul Stevens say this about fairy tales… “…Any good literature is dangerous and often frightening, because it forces us to deal with these questions-and thus more deeply with spiritual issues.”
I would have to agree.
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Watch Once Upon a Time –
Pencil sketch & colored with Photoshop