Fairy tales are important because they serve as tiny windows into many aspects of life that are hard to see. Stories such as The Beauty and the Beast and Donkey Skin bring heavy topics like arranged marriage and poverty/wealth into the spotlight – themes which are normally difficult to approach in society without experiencing them firsthand. While the fairy tales themselves are rarely referenced in day to day activities, the principles contained within them can be. This is why many fairy tales, both centuries ago and now, are told to children so that they become familiar with difficult or troubling issues that could potentially become obstacles for them one day. What surprised me the most was learning about just how much Walt Disney edited and changed the original versions of many fairy tales. The action scenes his animated movies contained, as well as the similar patterns of romance found in most of them – it makes sense as to why he changed the stories the way he did, but I hadn’t ever given it much thought until reading Jack Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”. I thought studying the way original fairy tales have been altered, developed and re-imagined since their creation was the most interesting aspect of this class. As someone who wants to create his own stories someday, seeing how others have done just that by drawing upon previously established works has been inspiring. I feel that if one thing could be built upon to make this class better, it would be to introduce more fairy tales in different forms of media other than the readings for the textbook. I believe that looking at familiar fairy tales presented as movies or in other ways would have offered a fresh perspective and a nice change of pace from the reading assignments.
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