Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wishful Thinking // my own speculations

 Some fairytales have similar elements. Often these elements seem bizarre or unrealistic to us. Here's some wondering about maybe why. (Oh, and a picture dump. I tried to make it relevant, but you know. *shrugs*)


Amanda Cass - Ilustraciones:
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1. Was the love at first sight element people’s wishful thinking? Arranged marriages were what part of the culture and society back then. People often married for advantage and monetary reasons. When it came to romance they had to tough it out. True love was impractical. Love at first sight would have been a comforting hope. 


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2. The rags-to-riches could be another wishful hope. People from lower classes rarely married anyone of a higher class.So perhaps beauty and kindness was thought to transcend even class? Or perhaps even that was wishful thinking? There are many fairytales where a poor person would may into royalty, like Cinderella simply for beauty or a virtue. Or perhaps it was the hope that one could be married for something more than status or money. That their character might actually be attractive. 


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Dragon:
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3. Most stories are clearly told during eras where women were suppressed. Yet some of these tales have many different versions. 


Calvin and Hobbes:
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Take Red Riding Hood for instance. Charles Perrault first wrote it with a very clear message. And it did not end well for the leading girl. But these tales were also often told by women, as they were spinning and weaving or sewing. It was meant to keep time with the spinning of the wheel.


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 This also is why a lot of fairytales have related elements in them. Rumpelstiltskin spinning gold. Rapunzel pricking her finger on a spindle. Etc. Perhaps this is where the term “wives tales” comes from? Anyhow, there’s another version of Red Riding Hood (The Grandmother) where the little heroine outwits the wolf and escapes. Which version do you think the ladies told? 



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4. The Grimm brothers get a lot of criticism for altering their original edition of fairytales. They get a lot of criticism for many things actually. I understand this, but to a certain point. 


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If you look at the big picture of the all fairy tales from around the world, you'll notice a lot of them are similar. It seems to me that fairytales have been retold again and again. Each storyteller told their own retelling of it. They altered it and made the story their own to fit a specific culture or set of beliefs or their audience. People are still doing that today. So yes, the Grimm brothers changed things. But we're still changing even what they've changed, so do we really have a right to critique them?


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5. In most fairytales, you rarely find gray characters. Most characters are archetypes that either represent everything good or everything evil. Sometimes I wonder if this stems from our desire for transparency. Who wants to question people’s motives all the time? To always wonder if someone was telling you the truth? Why can’t people be who they say they are? 


Once Upon A Time:
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Sometimes I just ask why are you asking before considering to give an answer:
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Also, there’s always that one person who seems really good. And although you know that no one is ever perfect, you still imagine that person as embodiment of all things good.  


Adorable Rumbelle fan art:
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 In a world where there's constant lawlessness and pain, you want something that is pure and untainted. You want to believe that a perfect, incorruptible person exist (personally, I suggest God as the answer).  

Similarly, there are times we want to blame someone for all the bad things that have happened. And when someone does something wrong, we don't always want to try understanding why


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We don't want to consider that maybe they're human too. When they’ve hurt us, we don’t want to put them on a victimized level. They are the villains here, right? (I'm not saying these points of view are a good idea, I'm just saying sometimes we tend to do this; I fall into this pitfall, at least.)


Dilemma circle:
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Fairy tales do this for us. They give us indestructible goodness and irrational evil. 


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Fairytales, in some strange way, are stories of hope. The people who told and wrote this stories lived in dark times. (Ever heard of the Dark Ages? And I wonder if perhaps this is why some fairytales are so dark.) People found comfort and excitement in these stories. When a group of people gather around a fire at night there's always that one person who wants to hear the same story, or sing the same song, over and over. That person finds something in the story or song to grasp onto, be it happiness or thrill or just plain hope. 


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That's what fairytales were for people then. Fairytales are still around today, still evolving. I think that's because humanity will always be in need of hope. Therefore we will always need fairytales. 


whatcha think? All the way?:
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 What do you think?

9 comments:

  1. Love this, I think your right fairy tales are about hope, and the battle between light and darkness. I think most of them are supposed to be allegory of real life and the things we face in reality, but painted as nothing more than a story. A fable.

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    1. Yes! They are like allegories. I like how you put that.

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  2. I think wishful thinking is the perfect title for this post, because that's exactly what fairytales are. They are the blandest, two dimensional, black and white stories ever told - maybe because we wish the world were this simple in reality. Maybe it's because we want to believe that we, as the main characters of our stories, really are perfect, and that whatever is standing in our way is evil. It's a little delusional for children, but we grow up.

    -M
    http://thelyfoflittleme.blogspot.com

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    1. You're right. They are very black and white, well, most times at least. And wouldn't be nice if life was that easy? If true love was just one look away? If being nice to everyone no matter what actually got you a happy ending and justice for your enemies? I think as we grow up though we begin to have a more mature take on fairytales. I think that's way there are a lot of retellings nowadays that fill in all the blanks. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Ooh, first of all, I love all your pictures/quotes--they added very nicely. *nods*

    I agree--I do think fairytales carry a heavy dose of wishful thinking, especially if a lot of them originated in the dark ages. I can imagine they would have made difficult lives more easy, both through hope and through distraction. I also think it's interesting how much these tails reflect the way culture has changed and evolved over the years, how the various versions reflect the changing ideals over the generations.

    I also wonder if there's a dual reason for why the characters are so clearly evil and so clearly good, with no/few morally ambiguous characters. I wonder if sometimes they were used to teach symbolism and values, and if maybe the characters were kept simple so as not to distract from the symbolism being taught? *shrugs* I bet it has more to do with wishful thinking, though. It would seem it would have to have been because people are always wishing that other humans were easier to understand and label. *nods*

    Once again, this was a fabulous post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us! :)

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    1. Yes! I love to see how the stories reflect the ideals of its time. For instance there's this one story called The White Cat, and you can tell it was written by a French feminist.

      Oh, that makes sense. Actually it makes way more sense than what I said (I always take the hard way of looking at things). A lot of fairytales (like Perrault's Little Red) were used for teaching, so it makes sense to have an obvious evil and a clear good.

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  4. This is so right! It is wishful thinking... people can criticize and call it unrealistic saying, " oh, it's just a fairy tale" but maybe that's what we need.

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  5. I love that unicorn illustration so much. Fave thing ever.

    It's interesting how different stories reflect different cultures' views of what is right/necessary/heavenly. A desert people tells stories of streams of water. An icebound people tells stories of finding warmth. We write the stories we want to read. What does that say about us, me and you individually? What does my book or yours say about us? What do we want?

    The grey character thing is interesting. There is a massive backlash against that today, and most people profess to prefer nuanced characters. I don't know what that says about us as a society? Are we more reflective and self-aware? Or are we less ready to draw lines between and evil?

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    1. Yes! I love the unicorn. I had to dig it up from some large pin board because I've been waiting forever to use it. XD

      It really is interesting. Different cultures tell stories that explain phenomenons that they see everyday. Or that emphasize qualities that are important to them as a society.

      I do think about that, as an after thought. What is my story saying about me? I have this shortish dragon story on hold and I've realized that it says so much about me right now. About what I want, how I view the world as opposed to how I used to view the world, etc.

      Hm, I don't really know? I mean, gray characters are more realistic. Because real people are like that. A person may do something terrible to someone else and turn around and do something good. Someone may do something good with wrong motives or vice versa. People are so complex; it's mind-blowing. So in a way, I think gray characters are more relatable. But at the same time, I notice that, on a moral level, people are willing to let the black and white matters slide and prefer to quarrel over the gray areas that in truth don't matter half as much in the end.

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