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All posts for the month February, 2012

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 5 – The First Challenge

Published February 26, 2012 by srsfairytales

As Sammi wandered about, her nose buried in the pamphlet, it suddenly occurred to her that it had gotten quite dark. When she looked up, she was shocked to discover that she was no longer in the town, but rather in a dark, silent woods.

“Well,” she thought, “this is odd. I suppose I ought to find someone who can direct me back to town.”

She continued on and soon came across a little house. Being one well-versed in fairytales, Sammi knew that little houses usually housed witches, ogres, and other terrifying, horrible beasts that haunt the nightmares of children everywhere. …she knocked anyway.

When the door opened and revealed a horrifying creature, our brave heroine did the bravest thing she could do – she dropped to the ground and curled up into the fetal position.

“Please don’t eat me!” Sammi cried.

“I will not eat you,” the beast growled, “if you can answer a question about fairytales.”

This heightened our heroine’s courage. She peeled herself apart and faced the creature. “Lay it on me, betch, I got this.”

“Compare for me the story of Cupid and Psyche to one version of Beauty and the Beast.”

Immediately, Sammi’s brain kicked into high gear. She thought of De Beaumont’s version of the tale, and realized that the two had much in common. In both tales, the daughter (or “Beauty”) gives herself up to the beast because she feels it is her obligation to do so. In both stories, she is given lavish living conditions and is waited on by magical servants. Though in De Beaumont’s story, Beauty gets to know the Beast, Psyche does not; however, both seem to have the utmost faith in their respective keepers. Additionally, both women have this faith poisoned by jealous sisters, who aim to ruin the happiness of Beauty/Psyche. Finally, in the end, after almost losing the Beast, Beauty and Psyche are able to be reunited with their loved one.

However, Cupid and Psyche deals with gods, while Beauty and the Beast with mortals. Additionally, Psyche is put through many trials to be reunited with her husband, Beauty does not have to undergo the same strain to be reunited with one who is not yet her lover.

All in all, though, Sammi realized, the two were quite alike. And she told the horrifying monster so.

As soon as the words passed her lips, the monster shrunk and became, not a beast, but a kindly young gentleman who was only too happy to show her the way back to the town. So Sammi learned the moral of the story: doing the right thing pays off.

That, and Beasts are nearly always secretly attractive.

To be continued…

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A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 4 – The Town Crier’s Jest

Published February 20, 2012 by srsfairytales

The next day, as Sammi moved about the kingdom in search of more information about fairytales, she came upon the Town Crier, who was yelling something about “fairytale slander and hilarity,” Curious, Sammi stepped up and took one of the pamphlet scrolls the Town Crier was waving. This is what she saw:

One Mark Parisi  was using a modernized version of the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood to get a laugh by pointing out the current societal issue of overwork by relating it to the Wolf!

“Fairytale slander and hilarity indeed!” she thought. “By meshing two stories of the Wolf, Parisi is able to poke fun at the stress and overwork pushed onto people by the current economy!”

Sammi was interested to see that the particular cartoonist had a lot of funny cartoons, but Sammi thought this one was one of the funniest. Although she had to say, she felt bad for the Wolf… it must be difficult to be intimidating dressed as an old lady!

Taking the pamphlet with her, Sammi continued on her way…

To be continued…

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 3 – The Charters

Published February 13, 2012 by srsfairytales

One day, while Sammi was exploring the castle, she came across 2 large books. Charters, she was told. The charters of the Lost Kings, Jung and Freud. King Esa of the class referred to them frequently for counsel, so as to better understand the fairytales over which he governed.

Sammi decided that, to truly learn, she must make short work of the tomes. For fairytales could be deciphered and better understood through the use of the psychology of the Lost Kings.

She first perused the Charter of Freud, who focused on the Three Knights of the Psyche, Sir Id, of the impulse, Sir Ego, of the reality, and Sir Superego, of the moral conscience. The Charter described how each were always present in fairytales, struggling against each other within the story. Freud also described how there were Three Princes of the Psyche, Lord Preconscious, Lord Conscious, and Lord Unconscious. These Lords all worked in conjunction with the Three Knights to allow Freud to analyze stories based on the psychoanalytical perspective of the individual, and to express and share in the underlying conflicts of any given individual.

She then read the Charter of Jung. Unlike King Freud and his focus on the individual, Jung focused on the “Collective Unconsciousness,” or the memory of all humanity passed through genetics. This included the powerful wizard Archetype, who was able to shape-shift into the many “energy centers” of the collective unconsciousness, symbols that hold meaning for all of humankind.

Each of these Charters could be used to analyze fairytales. A neighboring King, King Mazeroff, was also fond of using the Charters in this way. He was able to explain to Sammi in depth about each Charter and clear up the points about psychoanalysis that she didn’t fully understand. He was also able to explain about the Hero’s Journey (Sammi’s own journey, perhaps?) and give examples of all (there is more to Hansel and Gretel than Sammi could have guessed!).

Sammi was really gaining in her understanding now. Perhaps now she could even begin to make her own analyses…

To be continued…

 

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 2 – A Working Definition

Published February 5, 2012 by srsfairytales

Class was in session.

No sooner had Sammi sat down than a discussion began as to the true nature of her beloved fairytales. Truly, Sammi had never stopped to think about what really defined a fairytale. They were great stories, sure, and the element of magic was definitely one of our heroine’s favorite parts, but was there more to it than that?

Then, King Esa of the class made note of something that really struck a chord with Sammi. He distinguished between the myth and the fairytale. Sammi had always been enamored by both, but only then did she see the distinction the King was talking about. Fairytales, which originated from local folk tales, she realized, were “flatter” and much less detailed than myths, so as to allow the reader to better relate to the hero or heroine, and to allow the story to transcend time and culture, as fairytales do. Of course, this then made her wonder if maybe her own fairytale-of-a-blog was too detailed to really fall into this category, but necessity dictated she shrug it off.

Sammi also learned that fairytales were universal in the sense that they not only transcend culture (variations of the same story were actually found all over the globe!), but that they also use certain images and “primal memories” to create universal archetypes intrinsic to stirring emotion in the reader. The universality joins the readers together and sometimes helped them to cope with their own unconscious anxieties.

“What a curious discovery!” Sammi thought. “I had guessed that there was more to fairytales than a simple story, but who could have suspected there was so much more!”

Armed with this new knowledge, our heroine set forth to see what more she could learn…

To be continued…