Sunday, February 24, 2013

She Loves Wolves

Betty Boop Cartoon- 'Dizzy Red Riding Hood'

I found this cartoon very amusing. It spins a different story of Little Red Riding Hood, where although it begins with a rhyming introduction (the ruse of rhymes is common in fairytales) it does not leave a ‘good’ message to the viewer. The lesson of the story is unlike Perrault’s version that tells young women to be weary of the wolf (gentleman) in the world (the forest), and also the Grimm brother’s version that depicts a young women learning a valuable lesson. This cartoon seemed to have a very different lesson. From what I took from the clip was that a truly ‘good’ gentleman has to appear as an aggressive, manly, man (wolf) for a girl to like you.
Not exactly a lesson boys should learn but maybe it’s sadly true since it’s a common belief that ‘nice guys finish last’.

The nice guy even states, while he’s putting the wolf’s skin on to trick the naïve girl, that “she Loves wolves”. So he tricks the girl who goes on and on about his manly appearance while in the wolf’s skin. He gets the girl and the girl is just as naïve as she was in the beginning. The girl learns no lesson about the dangers of an aggressive sexual predator that wants to eat her up, instead it seems like she doesn’t have to really because there’s always going to be a ‘good guy’ that will save her from the bad boy.

In the spirit of Perrault’s need to add a ‘moral’ to his stories, here’s one for this old cartoon:

Do not worry about going into the world with wolves around every tree.
A true gentleman will be there to protect you as you can see.

Girl’s want one thing, a strong muscled man.
To have her heart, act tough and manly as much as you can.
You can trick a pretty girl with this very simple plan.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Child as a Hero

In high school, I used to be a nanny for a young boy. He loved listening to fairy tales, and I just assumed he liked the stories. However after this past week of classes, I began to realize that the stories he liked to hear were all the stories about a boy or children that were depicted as the heroes, who in some way were rewarded for their accomplishments.
Children viewed as the hero in fairy tales, according to a Freudian allows the young reader to put themselves in the hero’s shoes and help the reader deal with problems they could be dealing with in their subconscious that might be bothering them-even if they do not even realize it.
The role of the children in ‘Hansel and Gretel’ where the heroes in this story because they demonstrated how children must grow away from dependency, and begin to apply intellect and skill to a more independent life. It tells children that read/ are read this story that they must surpass dependence from their mother and grow developmentally. Basically, that children will eventually need to ‘leave the nest’ and fly on their own if they want to properly develop. 

The child in the tale ‘Rose Tree’ showed that if a person (stepmother) is cruel to you, they would get a sour end. Also, it shows the importance of seeking team work or help from your peers, like the brother did by being kind to his sister and his sadness of her demise. It tells children that you can overcome what ever may happen to you if you stick together with others.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What is a Folk/Fairy Tale?


When I consider what a folk or fairy tale is, I think about how my grandmother described them. She did not like many of the other children’s books that filled bookstores with sappy or hollow short stories. She used to say that only fairytales could ignite the little spark inside children that let them grow into smart and kind people. I think that the idea of this ‘spark’ inside is the same idea that is mentioned in certain theories we have discussed in our reading.
I like Jung’s theory on fairytales about the unconscious and how it affects the conscious thought. I think that the ‘spark’ is the unconscious; and when ignited it illuminates resolutions of the unconscious’s conflicts. It also activates a person’s ability to understand the different aspects of life and appropriate responses with morals in mind.
Fairytales consist of resolving dilemmas either directly or indirectly which gives each tale a diverse ability to aid a young child’s unconscious struggles unlike shallow stories found in many children’s books. Most tales guide the reader towards the hero/heroine by giving that character more depth to relate to, which leads the reader to invest in that particular character. So when the main character is rewarded at the end, the readers themselves feel rewarded. The reader is rewarded with greater insight to understanding the ‘collective unconscious’ that Jung had discussed and moral undertones that are viewed as positive based on the morality (or lack there of for the villain) of the hero/heroine.
For myself, folk or fairy tales are stories that nourish many factors of both the conscious and unconscious mind by igniting the ‘spark’ inside the individual that connects with all people’s unconscious to one moral archetype that fits into an array of issues and scenarios throughout one’s life.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Entry 1: Love for Folklore


My grandmother took a lot of pride in preserving our family history and important heirlooms. There was only one heirloom she let the children even touch- a very old book that always had a musty smell but all the kids in our family loved it. It contained old tales from where my grandmother’s grandparents lived- Germany. My grandmother said it was very old, it wasn’t until I was older did I find out it was a first edition that has been passed down the family! Although the book was written in German, my grandmother could translate it to us- even teach us a few German words along the way. Listening to my grandmother read those stories are one of my favorite memories of her.
I always liked listening to the story of Rumpelstiltskin. I thought it was so tricky and clever. I thought about how I would try to figure out his name-would I be able to out-smart him? I hope I can learn why the ending was changed from what I remember my grandmother telling me as a child.  
Once I found out about this class, I thought about my grandmother teaching her grandchildren the stories that she was read as a child herself. I chose this class to learn more about something I already love so much. Hopefully I can learn about fairytales or folklore that I never knew before, and find an even greater appreciation for the stories I do know. I want to develop a better understanding about something that I know first-hand has such an effect on those that listen to such tales, and discover many of their rich history, origin, and purpose.