Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog Post #4: Little Red Riding Hood Cartoon

This cartoon deals with the environmental problem of deforestation.  It could be both an environmental, political, and social cartoon because environmental problems tend to be involved in politics and society.  The cartoon centers on the part of the story where Little Red Riding Hood travels through the forest to make it to her Grandmother's house.  However, instead of having to navigate through trees, deforestation has made it easier for her to find her Grandmother's house because all the trees are cut down.  It makes fun of the fact that deforestation makes it easier for Red to find her way.  I do like this cartoon because it addresses a serious social problem, but it puts it in a humorous light.  By making it into a cartoon, it is more appealing.  Putting deforestation in a cartoon about a popular and adored fairy tale may make people think about the problem in a more personal way and take action.  The website I found this cartoon on didn't list an author, it just said "Spikey's Studio".

URL for cartoon:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #3: Child as a Hero

      In both Hansel and Gretel and The Juniper Tree, children are portrayed as the heroes.  They either save themselves or another person and defeat the villain.  In Hansel and Gretel, both Hansel and Gretel show act of heroism.  In their journey, they prove to be more clever than their parents and the witch.  Bettelheim would say that these acts of heroism are a result of becoming more mature and independent.  They are learning to rid themselves of their connection to their mother figure.  Instead of making childish choices, they are now making more intelligent and mature choices.  An example of the childish choice would be Hansel scattering bread crumbs on the ground in order to find their way back to their house.  However, they did not think about the birds eating the bread and ruining their chances of returning home.  As the story continues, they become smarter.  This can be seen when Hansel uses a bone instead of his finger and when Gretel tricked the witch into looking into the oven and then shutting her in there. These latter choices are what makes them heroes.  They save themselves from being eaten by the witch.  Bettelheim believes that in order for the children to become more independent, they must face these challenges and make the right, and heroic, choices.
      In The Juniper Tree, child heroism is still apparent, but it is not as obvious as in Hansel and Gretel.  The girl, Little Marlene, can be seen as heroic when she buries her brother's bones under a tree.  When she did this, he came alive once again, but this time as a bird.  This decision allowed her brother to enact the true act of heroism in this story, which would be the death of the wicked mother.  The brother, as a bird, sings a song to people who give him things.  When he has collected all he needs, one being a millstone, he returns home.  At his house, he drops the millstone on his mother, who was the one that killed him, and she dies.  He returns to being a human and the family lives happily.  Killing his unloving, murderous, and revengeful stepmother was what made him a hero.  Bettelheim would say that the child was learning not to rely on his mother.  The brother was taking action into his own hands and learning to grow up.  By defeating his mother, he was able to overcome any problems that he had and is now able to live a normal and happy life.  He swapped his unconscious desires for more intellectual ones.  Hansel and Gretel and The Juniper Tree are good examples of the child as a hero.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blog 2: What are Folk and Fairy Tales?

         Fairy tales and folk tales are fictional stories that contain magic and fantasy.  They contain various motifs and archetypes, which are shared ideas and symbols.  Folk and fairy tales are always changing.  People can add details to the ones they hear.  These changes can reflect the current culture, time period, or location.  Fairy tales transmitted orally and have no author.  In order for the fairy tale to be told, some one has to tell it while another person listens.  Most fairy tales have been collected and created by many different people, such as Perrault and the Grimm Brothers.
         Two men, Aarne and Thompson, created a system of cataloguing and organizing fairy tales based on possible similar events that occur in each fairy tale.  All things that happen in fairy tales fit into Vladimir Propp's 31 Functions of fairy tales.  This is a list of all the different things that could happen in fairy tales, such as the hero leaving home, the villain being defeated, and the hero being married.  There are also a few types of characters called Dramatis Personae that can always be found in fairy tales such as the hero, princess, and helper.
         According to Bruno Bettelheim in his book The Uses of Enchantment, fairy tales are meant to enrich children's lives.  When reading these stories, children are faced with similar problems they may be having in their real life and the solutions to these problems.  Fairy tales give meaning to children's lives.  They identify with the hero and want to be more like him/her while they don't want to act like the villain.
         In Marie-Louise Von Franz's book, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, she examines the theories of fairy tales and folk tales and where they came from.  Fairy tales can originate in one place and then spread around the world, or they can come from different places at the same time.  It all depends on the experiences the originator is going through.  Fairy tales could also come from dreams or local stories that have expanded.  Fairy tales will always continue to be present in society.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #1: Introduction

     Out of all the SIS classes that I had the option of enrolling in this year, this one sounded the best.  This year, I transferred to McDaniel from Mount St. Mary's University, so I had to sign up for classes in the summer, which was later than the rest of the sophomore class.  There was a limited number of 
SIS classes left, and most of them were for the Spring semester.  This one, the Folk and Fairy Tale class, was the only one I was interested in.  It seemed like a fun and interesting class.  Also, I've always wanted to learn more about fairy tales and folk tales.  In this class I hope to gain an understanding about these types of tales and the culture surrounding them.  I want to learn and read about different fairy tales from different areas of the world.  

     My favorite fairy tale is Rapunzel.  This is mostly because I love the movie Tangled, which is based of Rapunzel.  I know movie doesn't closely follow the actual fairy tale, but it is still a good fairy tale by itself.  I think it's a very beautiful story, although it ends fairly sadly.  It is a good love story, showing both the love of Rapunzel and the Prince and her real mother and father.  Although it is short, it shows many classic fairy tale motifs, such as the hero, princess, and villain.  However, when it comes down to it, the main reason I like the fairy tale Rapunzel is because I love Tangled.