The Truth Behind Fairy Tales

By Helena F.

Everything about a fairy tale seems magical and perfect. The birds are always singing a  “song” or the girl falls in love with a prince and they live happily ever after. Or the girl gets married and rides off in a silver carriage into the sunset with her prince charming. Although, are fairy tales as innocent as they seem? Or are they much more gruesome than anyone could ever imagine?

Let’s look at what happens in two of the most beloved fairy tales of all time, Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  First in Cinderella, Cinderella’s two stepsisters cut off their own toes just so their feet can fit into the glass slippers. Cinderella’s mom dies when she is a young girl. Cinderella’s evil stepmother does everything in her power to make sure that Cinderella does not find her Prince Charming. She wants her biological daughters to have a chance to marry him.

Second, let’s look at Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. If you closely examine the plot of the fairy tale, you will see that there are a lot of interesting things going on. For instance, Snow White’s stepmother is an evil queen who lives elsewhere. Snow White has never done anything to greatly affect her stepmother yet her evil stepmother orders people to murder her Snow White! The evil stepmother is jealous of her daughter’s beauty.  Once a couple of evil plans to have her stepdaughter murdered fail, the evil stepmother disguises as an old woman and takes a poisonous apple to her. Personally, it is unbelievable that an evil stepmother would try to poison her stepdaughter with a poison apple, but that is just my opinion.

I asked some other middle schoolers what they thought of the gruesome aspects of some of the most beloved stories of all time.

One sixth grade girl said, “I think Disney modified them to create happy endings and kid-friendly stories.”

A seventh-grade girl said, “I do like some fairytales though I do not think some are appropriate for a children’s story. I think in Cinderella, they could have found another way to make a slipper fit on their foot.  Instead, they had their toes chopped right off! It’s basically a happily ever after story but with a half murder involved!”

An eighth grader said, “I think that these stories have been appropriate for generations of children. However, more recent kid’s movies involving fairy tales are too gruesome for children these days.”

I think that since fairy tales have been around since the 1800’s, they are perfectly great stories and are an important aspect of a lot of people’s childhoods.

Photo by Helena F.

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