What is a Fairytale? September 6 2015

Depending on who is asked, the definition of a fairytale may be altered drastically or interpreted differently.  When I am asked what a fairytale is the answer is simple.  A short story with a single storyline, limited characters and a dramatic plot.  These stories have a hero that makes a dramatic move and goes through desperate measures to, usually, save the princess.  The hero is normally someone that is isolated from the rest of the story.  This may be because they were moved to a remote location or because they were kidnapped from the rest of the characters.  Fairytales always have a degree of unrealism or in some cases magic.  Fairytales also normally have a hidden message or some type of underlying plot to teach a story.  The message is taught by the many different symbols, motifs and colors that are repeated many times throughout the story.  Fairytales are known for repetition that helps it become known for something special.  For example, in Snow White there is a repetition of the mirror and the evil queen asking it questions like “who is the fairest of them all?”.  Sleeping Beauty has a common repetition of the colors blue and pink.  Another common factor of fairytales is that they have numerical symbolism.  Many of the stories have sets of a certain set number that actually means a longer or shorter amount of time.  In Sleeping Beauty, Aurora falls asleep for 100 years but that is actually to mean that she fell asleep for a long time.  Many different contributions go into creating a fairytale but the all have the same components.


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