Fairy tales are often considered to be for children. However an analysis of the collection of stories by the Brothers Grimm shows that they all have message to deliver, even to young adults. In today’s rat race, young adults often forget the importance of little things that we learnt as children. Everyone knows what morals are, however theoretically. People today, are always in a great hurry. More often than not when someone’s in trouble, they would do anything to get out of the situation.
Under such circumstances people make false promises. The story of the Frog King touches upon this aspect of human behavior. The princess promises the frog that all his demands will be met if he retrieves her golden ball. However on receiving the ball, she blissfully forgets her promise and runs away without the frog. However, when the frog turns up at her door, she has to fulfill her promise at her father’s insistence. This story highlights the fact that promises are meant to be kept and not broken. It emphasizes the point that people should learn to honor their word, for a promise breeds trust and trust should never be broken.
Young adults also put too much by store on the appearance of things. This many a times proves to be a booby trap, as expectations are rarely met in such circumstances. This aspect is touched upon in both the stories, the Frog King and Hansel and Gretel. In the latter, the brother and sister are in awe of the candy house and trust the old woman to be nice. It’s only a little later that they realize the witch’s wicked intentions. Their false judgment of the witch on the basis of the house she lived in put their life in danger.
In the Frog King the princess was reluctant to fulfill her promises because she found the frog repulsive, who later turned out to be a handsome prince. The stories teach us that not everything thing that glitters is gold and that we should never judge a book by its cover.
Fairy tales enthrall not only ones imagination, they also serve the purpose of delivering important messages. The subtlety with which the message is delivered is plausible. The use of metaphors is most common in the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. The style in which the message is delivered is both entertaining and instructive. In the story of Little Red Cap, the message that people who commit evil deeds can never escape their fate is beautifully stated by the following statement –‘They filled the wolf’s body with them, and when he woke up and tried to run away, the stones were so heavy that he fell down dead.’
This states that one’s evil deeds weigh down upon him/her and become the cause of their death in the end. This line uses a beautiful metaphorical sentence to convey the message, where the stones are the evil deeds committed. In the story flowers and emotional attachment are shown as distractions that steer people away from their path. The wolf realizes that Little Red Cap greatly lover her grandmother and in order to delay her distracted her with the beautiful flowers she could take for her grandmother. Greed can never be satiated and always leads to something unwanted are stated in the story of Rapunzel.
The object of greed in the story is the rampion that Rapunzel’s mother craves for. Despite her husband satisfying her cravings once she wants more. This ultimately leads to her losing her daughter in a bargain to the wicked witch.
To summarize, the stories of the Brother Grimm use beautiful imagery and metaphors to deliver yet important messages that many seem to forget in a hurry.
Courtney from Study Moose
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