A lot of people have mentioned that they enjoy my literature and language rants, so I’m quite happy to share my response to a recent survey of parents who found that some fairy tales are too scary for kids via Mamiverse.
I’ll admit – as far as children and fairy tales are concerned, the analysis should stay pretty shallow. I mean, “Little Red Riding Hood” upon close examination is a coming-of-age-tale wherein Red more often than not dominates and uses the “Wolf.”
“OHHH, Grandmother, what a big tail you have!” Ugh.
Sleeping Beauty is desirable BECAUSE SHE’S SILENT. The Prince or King can impose whatever fantasy of a woman he wants upon her. Same thing with Snow White. The Prince falls in love with her after he finds her IN A COFFIN. What creepers. Disney worked around this by having the princes meet the princesses before they “died,” so it wasn’t as creepy, but still. It’s creepy.
BUT. That’s not how I explain the stories to my kid. I still tell him fairy tales, disturbing though they are, BECAUSE they’re didactic. There are greater lessons to be learned from them. “Little Red Riding Hood” moral, though quite contrived, is to follow directions, don’t stray from the path, and don’t talk to strangers. Actually, a lot of the morals of fairy tales are to follow the darn directions or else bad things will happen.
So I just wanted to put that out there. As adults, what do you think? Are you bothered by fairy tales or do you even tell them to your kids?