A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 8 – Summons In Regards to the Neighboring King

Published March 9, 2012 by srsfairytales

Over the course of our heroine’s travels, she had gotten into a routine: she attended the ministrations of the kingdom on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she cataloged her adventures on Sundays. However, on this particular Friday, Sammi was abruptly summoned to King Esa.

“I declare,” said the King, “that because break is approaching, and because of the recent visit of the neighboring King Rust, you shall record your adventures today instead of on Sunday!”

Now, Sammi didn’t mind this declaration so much; after all, she could write while King Rust’s teachings were still fresh in her mind, and besides, if she had been required to write over break, she would likely forget to do so. So she sat down at ye olde computer two days early and began to write.

Sammi wrote that she had very much enjoyed the teachings of King Rust. In fact, the lesson had made Sammi want very much to take an ASL class. It had been very eye-opening for Sammi to be shown just how different the language and history of ASL were to the auditory language. She had had no idea that the grammar was so different, let alone that they had their own methods of conveying stories and music! They made poetry and told riveting stories with their hands, faces, and bodies, and Sammi thought it was beautiful.

Sammi particularly enjoyed learning about the different types of narratives, especially the personal narratives and the folktales, which were often linked. It was news to our heroine that these personal narratives often became the stuff of folktale, and that they were not simply told, but told in a way that made the stories more visually appealing. There were also so many ways to tell stories in ASL (number stories, anyone?)! ASL, she realized, truly was its own language with its own culture and stories, just like the other cultures that had their own fairytales. And if it was the case that folktales often became meshed into fairytales, who knew? Maybe the stories of ASL would make their way into the other fairytales of the world!

In reflection, Sammi realized she had really enjoyed this lesson on the stories of ASL. She was glad it had occurred, and she felt enriched for the experience. Now, though, she was REALLY looking forward to her week of vacation. She packed her bags and left the kingdom for a brief trip to the kingdom of Sleepytime. She knew she would return, but in the meantime, she had some serious Zzzs to catch up on.

To be continued…

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 7 – The Second Challenge

Published March 5, 2012 by srsfairytales

As Sammi left the theatre, she was stunned to see that the town madman was desperately trying to get her attention. When she approached him, he whispered, “Follow the posts,” handed her a piece of paper, and ran off.

When Sammi opened the paper, she realized that it had a web address, http://nataliefairytales.blogspot.com/

“How interesting,” Sammi thought. “I wonder what I will find here?”

To her surprise, she quite soon learned that the address linked her to an account of the fairytale exploration of her personal friend, Natalie. Sammi knew it was her second challenge to read what Princess Natalie had written, and to give an account.

She read over the posts and was delighted with what she found there (surely, this was much easier than conquering the beast of two posts previous!). She was particularly impressed with Princess Natalie’s verboseness and explanations, all of which, whether they were opinions or analyses, were top-notch pieces of work. Sammi also laughed when she read one post that began with one word: “Wow.” It sounded very like the Natalie she knew!

Sammi also admired Natalie’s keen use of comedic and poignant images. Sammi loved the comedy in the fairytale cartoon Natalie had added to her “Psychology and Fairy Tales” post. Additionally, she was thrilled to realize that Natalie and herself had picked the same image to represent Cupid and Psyche (as seen in her post, “Comparison of Two Beauty and the Beast Stories”), although Sammi had to admit that the image she added of the transformed Beast in that post was still a face that disturbed her (by no fault of Natalie’s own!). Natalie’s array of images made Sammi herself consider that, perhaps, she, too, should endeavor to add more. So Sammi found the silliest fairytale-related comic she could and added it to her story.

Having done so, Sammi decided that she owed it to her King and, indeed, her fellow members of the Class, to touch on the things she wished her friend Natalie had done.

Firstly, Sammi had immediately noted that in one particular post, specifically “Psychology and Fairy Tales,” Natalie asked some very thought-provoking questions that Sammi had been intrigued to read. Seeing this as a strong facet of Natalie’s personal style, Sammi was hopeful that Natalie would continue to question things, for, indeed, she made Sammi think of things that had not crossed her mind before. Sammi also wished that Natalie would put more of her voice into the posts, as she did with the “Wow” post, for moments like those really made the blog her own!

Sammi smiled as she finished reviewing her friend’s blog. She was proud of her friend for writing such a thoughtful blog, and Sammi herself was thrilled to have completed her second challenge! But it would not be the last challenge Sammi would face…

To be continued…

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 6 – An Interlude of Weird

Published March 4, 2012 by srsfairytales

Finally having made it back to town, Sammi was surprised to see that all was not as she had left it. Everyone in town was inexplicably singing the same, repetitive, catchy song. When asked what the song was, the townspeople pointed her in one direction: the theatre.

When Sammi went in a sat down, she was surprised to see that the music video was all about Snow White. However, it was distinctly different in several ways. Firstly, the story of Sonne was told by the dwarves, which was odd, since, for the most part, the dwarves appeared as very minor characters in the tales Sammi had read. Additionally, these dwarves were not as Sammi knew them. They were not lighthearted, nor were they figures of authority over Snow White, as Sammi had known them to be; they were in awe of Snow White, submissively allowing the dominating, sexual, and drug-addicted female to do as she pleased with them (namely, spanking them, abusing them, and having them worship her). The Snow White Sammi knew was not nearly so powerful, or so sexual, but she supposed that was meant to speak to the underlying themes in the original stories.

Sammi also noted that the Queen was never introduced in the music video, and that the apple was present, but it was something Snow White bit into with obvious sexual relish, rather than trepidation. Snow White’s death was thus not the doing of any evil Queen: she did herself in by overdosing on what appeared to be golden heroin. The apple appeared again after Snow White’s death when it shattered her glass coffin and woke her up.

Sammi found the lack of some of the very important characters (namely the Prince and the Queen) very significant. She felt that it made the story more about Snow White being her own undoing (thus contributing to the theories that, in the old tales, Snow White and the Queen are two sides of the same person), and that the apple represented, not Eve’s essentially fatal bite, but an awakening of sorts.

This take on the story was very interesting to Sammi, although she didn’t necessarily appreciate how easily the song got stuck in her head, and she had to say she liked the original tales better (they were a little less… disturbing to her). As she walked out of the theatre humming, she didn’t realize just how rapidly her next challenge was approaching…

To be continued…

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…

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…