Sunday, April 28, 2013

myths and legends of the Ādivāsīs in India

This week we had a guest speaker come in to talk about the myths and legends of the Ādivāsīs people in India. I thought that the presentation was good and the Ādivāsīs people are very interesting to learn about. The Ādivāsīs are considered the first inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. They are considered to be the Untouchables because they are very poor. They celebrate their stories and they have many stories. The stories are different from the ones we have been reading in class. They do have similar motifs but their stories are kind of confusing to follow and sometime like in the story of the tiger and the cow it runs too long. Also in the tale Babo Pithoro there are many motifs. Like the stories we have read there are motifs but they are not making up the entire story. In Babo Pithoro the story is made up of only motifs. A similarity that they have with the stories we have been reading is that they explain things that happen to everyone in their life and and have religious aspects to them. The story of Babo Pithoro is almost like the story of Moses. They have similar story lines and motifs like the river. I liked the lecture and thought it was very interesting to learn about a culture so different from our own.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Native American Folk Tales

Personally I have always had a real appreciation and love for Native American culture. That’s why this week when we were leaning and reading folktales from Native American culture I was so happy and extremely interested. The tales of Native Americans are like many fold tales because their point or moral is to give meaning to events or moments that happen in everyone’s lives. Also like many folk tales their tales are passed down from generation to generation as part of their traditions, ancestors, and religion. These tales are distinctly different from stories of English origin in some ways. The tales that we red from How men and women got together to Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden all are very wondrous and filled with religious and magical aspects that make them unique. In English origin fold tales there is aspects of religion and magic but in a very different way than the Native American ones. In these tales the gods that they worship are actually called spirits and they are more human and they come down to earth to help their people. In many English origin tales there are religious symbols like a bird but their god never comes down and actually helps people and works with them.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


This week we learned about the tales of Cinderella. The tales of Cinderella are considered “rise tales” who, feature the main character going from “rags to riches” by either marriage or magic.  The rags to riches motif is something that many people would want to happen in their own lives. Everyone wishes to be saved from their struggles and hardships and be magically be transformed from a normal person into royalty.  This motif is seen in the film “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. It is about a hooker who meets a businessman and falls in love. In the end they both rescue each other to rise and become happy and fulfilled.  I believe that people can reach success with charm, wits, and smarts. I think that it is realistic to believe that if you have the drive and the smarts you can rise to the top of whatever profession or situation that you want to.  There are many examples these people maybe a movie actor or a businessman or politician who starts in poverty or had many troubles and by their drive to follow their hearts and passions they were able to beat the odds and rise to riches and success.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


This week we read tales about the villain character of Bluebeard. The tale I liked the most would be the Brothers Grimm "Fitcher's Bird". I liked this tale because it was different from the others but it also had the female character outsmart the evil character of the man she is betrothed too. This is different form the original Charles Perrault's "Bluebeard" tale which has the wife saved from Bluebeard by her brothers. This tale is different because after her sisters are murdered by the sorcerer the smart sister is captured by the sorcerer, she outsmarts the sorcerer and brings her sisters back to life and saves them as well as herself and defeats the sorcerer all on her own. This story is also different because the man who marries the girls is not just a man like in the other tales, he is a sorcerer but like the other tales he is rich. This tale has a feminist point of view which i liked as well. The curiosity that the sisters have about the locked room and their discovery of the truth shows that they aren't afraid of the orders given by the man and that they are willing to go along with their impulses. Also what I found interesting about the story is once the sorcerer came back to the last sister and seen that she did not drop the egg he decided to trust her and she became in charge. She started ordering around and telling him that before she would marry him he must take gold to her father (the basket which carries her sisters is covered in gold). She orders him not to take a rest on his journey and that she will be looking out her window. When he puts the basket down for a rest the sisters say "I'm looking out my little window, and I see that you're resting. Get a move on".  The fact that he would immediately do what she says was interesting to me he just gave all his power to her. I really liked all the tales but this one stood out to me because it was so different from the rest.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Snow White

This week in class we focused on the “Snow White” fairy tales. We watched the music clip “Sonne” by Rammstein on YouTube and I found that there were many similarities and differences in the story and persons, motives and symbols in the music video. Some parts of the story are different from the actual fairy tale “Snow White”. For example in Sonne SW is more of a villain she bosses around the dwarves and when they don’t bring back enough gold she will spank them. Also in Sonne SW seems to be a drug addict and when she over doses they put her in a coffin and she is awaken by an apple falling from the tree over the coffin in stead of a prince. However with their differences there are some similar symbols in these two stories. In Sonne there are the 7 dwarves who are working in the mine. We also see the apple in a couple of scenes all in which SW is in. Also in the end when she “overdoses” the dwarves put her in a glass coffin and bring her to the top of a mountain, which is similar to the Grimm’s tale.  I personally prefer the original fairy tale by the brothers Grimm because it is more classic to me. I do think the Sonne music video story was an interesting, more modern take on the tale but I still prefer the original.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Jungian View of Fairy Tales

Wise old man ex. Gandalf

Normally you wouldn’t think that psychology and fairy tales would have much in common or have any kind of relationship with one another but they do. Fairy tales and Jungian psychoanalysis have a relationship with each other that includes many things. For starters Carl Jung said that between all people is a collective unconscious, which is shared by all people and contains the universal experiences of humankind throughout revolution. This has to do with fairy tales in particular because fairy tales are an example of the collective unconscious. Many fairy tales came about at the same time but in very different places of the world with the same kind of story lines. Also according to Dr. Mazeroff Jungian psychoanalysis includes many archetypes that we see in most if not all fairy tales. For example some of those archetypes are the wise old mad, the primeval forest, the trickster, the shadow, etc. All of these archetypes are what we see in many fairy tales. Also another one of the Jungian psychoanalysis relationship to fairy tales is the themes that we see in fairy tales such as the family romance which means that the child is living with a family that is not her real family, he hero’s journey, and the departure to call. All of these themes we have seen in fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Cap, and Beauty and the Beast.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood

This week we learned a lot about Little Red Riding Hood and read different versions of the tale. This cartoon I found on the Internet is about Little Red Riding Hood.  After watching the cartoon I found that it was more of a social cartoon because it had lots of morals in it. The cartoon did not try to hide the usually hidden moral of LRRH which is to listen to your parents and don’t trust strangers. This cartoon was longer then some of the others I looked at. I liked it because the drawings seemed like they came from a book of fair tales and the fact that it had more dialogue then most of the other videos I looked at. Also the story went more a long with the story than most. Of course it wasn’t exactly like the Brother Grimm one but it had its elements such as the woodcutter and how he used the axe to get our Little Red Riding Hoods grandma. It was different though, in the fact that the wolf didn’t also eat Little Red, instead it was just the grandmother.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Child as a Hero

This week in class we read stories like “Hansel and Gretel” and “Molly Whuppie”. These stories have a lot in common but what matters most in their similarities is that the hero in these stories were a child. In “Hansel and Gretel” and “Molly Whuppie” the children play the role of dependent at first and then by the end they have matured and become independent from their parents. In both of these stories the children start out living with their parents and depending on them for food, shelter and love. When there parents decide to abandon their children that is when the children must learn how to fend for themselves and try to overcome their anxieties about being abandoned. According to Bettelheim “Hansel and Gretel” is about a child’s anxiety about being abandoned by their parents. Also Bettelheim says that the story is about oral fixation and how the children get over it and become mature in the process. In both stories the children are abandoned because their parents cannot feed them anymore which is an anxiety that most if not all children fear. Bettelheim said that most children cannot this past when their next meal will be so when they are abandoned because their parents cannot feed them this presents a problem. Because of their oral fixation they cannot think logically and plan how to get back to their parents. In “Hansel and “Gretel” they finally overcome their oral fixation and outsmart the witch and by overcoming the oral fixation they have matured and therefore can come home to their parents and not only be more independent but can also no contribute to the household.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Defintion of a fairy tale

A Fairy tale or folk tale can have many definitions. Some people like Max Muller, who studied fairy tales, believes that they are myths as travesties of natural phenomena. Ludwig Laistner and Karl Van Der Steinen believe that fairy tales can be the works of dreams and that they can mean real things in reality. To me a fairy tale is all those things. It incorporates all aspects of life from our nightmares and good dreams (which can be about love or loss) to believing that we have seen something that we cant explain or that seems supernatural. Folk and fairy tales might seem like children’s stories but they are much more then that. Throughout the centuries people from all over the world from South America to China have created myths and stories that all have the same kind of archetypes and ideas even if they were created in different times.  A fairy tale is made up of many things such as fantasy, magic, motifs, and never-never lands. All of these things are what make up a fairy tale. They are the places we grew up in as a child in our imaginations. These fairy tales no matter if they are for children can still affect us today and can shape who we are.  All of these different definitions all make up what a fairy tale is. I don’t believe that there is one true definition for what a fairy tale is because fairy tales affect us all in a different way. Fairy tales are what we grow up listening to as children and cherish in our memories as growing adults. I will always love fairy tales and will love reading them no matter what age I am.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why I chose this course


I chose to take this course because I have always loved fairy tales. I grew up with my parents reading them to me every night before I went to sleep and then when I got older I would read them to my younger brother. Also I grew up watching all those lovely Disney versions of fairy tales, as I’m sure many of my classmates have and fell in love with them. I have always loved the adventure and romance that you find in fairy tales as well as folk tales. In this course I hope to gain good interpretive and analytical skills that we will be using to read these fairy tales and find the hidden meaning in them.  My favorite fairy tale of all time would be Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, no question. Of course the actual written story is a little different from Disney’s but I will always prefer the film version. I love the idea of redemption and true love and how someone as beautiful as bell fell for someone as ugly physically as the beast. It is really a unique and wonderful story to me.  I love all fairy tales and I cannot wait to learn as much as I can about all of them.