Folktale Essays

The Genre Of Folktales Essay

Introduction:
Folktales are stories told from generation to generation. They are usually fiction stories. Each story focuses on traditions of a culture or group. A folktale is part of an oral tradition. It’s a tale or legend that originates around a certain group. The original story of Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) is a folktale I’ve heard before. A folktale can be made up by anyone, like the one about “Bloody Mary.” If you say “Bloody Mary” multiple times facing a mirror in pitch-blackness, an evil biblical character will come out of the mirror and kill you.
I’m writing this paper because stories impact our lives everyday. Stories give us life advice and tell us morals. We tell stories everyday to tell others about our lives. Stories aren’t just in writing, but also in out words. They are passed down through generations either for a message or for our entertainment. Stories have impacted me by telling me more about my grandmother. I never got to meet her, but through the stories my dad or grandfather tell me, she lives on. Stories are the way you become immortal. Once a story is created, it can be told many more times. In this way, someone can live forever.

The Search:
If I could go back to the day where our class chose our genres, I would have chosen another one without a doubt. Finding information about folktales was definitely a harder task than finding info about fairytales or fables. On the first day of researching in our media center, I used an online encyclopedia to find out the basic structures behind a folktale. As easy as that sounds, it took me a while to finally find an article with useful information. When it came time to read a few folktales I was ecstatic. But once I started reading some, I realized I didn’t understand the meaning of a mnemonic device. Mr. Boardman was there to save the day! He explained to me how a mnemonic device is when a word/words is used in a way that helps you remember it better than its original form. For example: the name “Teach’s Hole” is used to address a location in the story Blackbeard’s Ghost. The author of this story repetitively calls Blackbeard’s hideaway “Teach’s Hole” to show importance and to help readers remember the name. The best part of all my research was interviewing my grandfather. We sat next to a fire on a cold winter night talking for a good few hours about folktales of Denmark. Besides all of the questions I made up for him to answer, he had lots of other input.

The Find:
Folktales are passed down through generations to explain why things happen, to pass along good morals, or to just tell a story. The line between belief and unbelief of folktales varies from culture to culture/person to person (“Folk Literature,” par.1). Even though folktales are told to be true stories, some include fictitious characters or events. In the story I read titled “Sasquatch”, a skeptical hiker doesn’t believe his buddy spots a Sasquatch…until he comes face to face with it himself. The Sasquatch is a...

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Fairytales And Folktales Essay

Fairytales and folktales have been told around the campfire, in the living room, the class room, and before bedtime for centuries. First told orally, the “… stories had to have remarkable features in order to remain memorable (Nodelman 246).” These stories were passed down from storyteller to audience until they were eventually written down and collected for consumption by the public. Due to the passing of time and fallibility the stories have changed throughout the years and slightly differ from culture to culture, however, “Stories similar to “Cinderella” can be found in historical records from as far back as the seventh century, and from a variety of places around the world (Nodelman 246).” Although the classic tales differ in various ways from their modern counterparts (such as Disney films, etc.), the characters and their journeys are still very much identifiable.
For centuries, fairytales have been used for instruction; to teach children what is expected of them as they age and what terrors behold them if they do not comply with the guidelines laid out for them by their culture/society. Many of the tales were purposely frightful in order to scare children away from strangers, dark corners, and traveling off the beaten path into the dark thicket. Charles Perrault first began writing fairy tales in the late 17th century to educate his children. The morals of those tales often center on what is expected of young women; that they should remain ‘pure’ and ‘docile’. He wrote the tales in a time period when fairytales or ‘jack’ tales were looked at as instructional lessons. They were also widely told around the fire, as entertainment, for adults. Angela Carter adapted Perrault’s classic tales in the 1970’s; changing the victim into the heroine, with sex as reward for bold action, instead of the cause of her eventual downfall. Both authors’ collection of tales can be viewed as anthropological and sociological descriptions of their respective centuries, instruction/education, and gender politics
Charles Perrault wrote for children; as means of instruction, gender role enforcement, cultural pride, as well as for entertainment. He collected most of his stories from the French people and added his own unique flourish to each. However, Angela Carter (much adored by feminists and college students, alike) adapted Perrault’s tales 300 years later for adults; they are highly sexual tales, certainly not meant for moral instruction but to encourage feminine sexual revolution. These adaptations hardly resemble Perrault’s moral/instructional tales; only the skeleton of the original story remains. Though appreciated for different reasons, both authors and respective collections of works were able (and are still able) to define their cultures and belief systems through disrespected, oft overlooked “children’s’ stories.”
Perrault invented the fairy tale, children’s stories, in a time period in France in which feminine chastity was honorable, respected,...

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Aesop's Fables

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Zora Neale Hurston: The Woman and the Writer

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Hase-Hime Monogatori and the Japanese Model Woman

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