Fairy Tales From Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

brother grimm“Swiftness is a great virtue in the fairy tales. All we need is the word ‘Once’ and we’re off!”

I’ve always like fairy tales, probably because of watching the  TV series Once Upon a Time, and falling in love by how twisted the plots become. And in a second, this book landed in my hands. I’ve reread the stories many many times, and it always ends with a happy ending.

Philip Pullman, who had joined all these fairy tails together was born on 19 October 1946. His most famous books were the His Dark Materials series, a trilogy that I had read some time ago, and his fictional book about Jesus called Jesus, The Good Man Jesus and Scoundrel Christ.

All kinds of fairy tales makes sure of one thing. Good always win, and that good will always be rewarded. It also mentions to follow as much positive qualities as possible. What about bravery? Or honesty? Innnocence as a very good quality, and what about being adventurous? Curiousity? Almost the main character in the fairy tales are recognized for their innocence and positive qualities, almost immediately.

Most of the bad guys die in the end of every story. They are the greedy ones, the gloomy ones, the ones who prefer outer beauty then inner beauty. Their death is very painful and hard, like being rolled in a barrel full of nails, or told to dance with iron shoes until they drop dead, or killed. All villains will die in the end. That’s a lesson inflicted in every fairy tale story. To think about this, I beliave all fairy tales are dark and cruel.

“The number 3” is also a very popular motive in fairy tales. Three tasks and obstacles are there to stop the heroes–a golden horse, golden bird and golden princess. Snow White faces death three times, before dying in the apple at the third time.  The princess dances with the king three times, before her true identity is shown. It happens in almost every fairy tale I’ve read. There’s no such thing as the second brother who gets the princess, or at least five tasks are given. Snow White doesn’t die in one attempt by the Evil Queen, does she?

Every fairy tale has its own moral. What about Little Red Riding Hood? She does learn her lesson, doesn’t she? After being manipulated by the big scary wolf, and almost getting herself kills in the process, the lesson is to never listen to strangers. That’s what our parents would say everytime; this same story is told and retold. Take a look at Snow White and the Evil Queen; about the queen’s jealousy on the beautiful maiden. Its moral is about inner beauty, retold again and again.

I always love Little Red riding Hood, and drew some pictures about her. But I find fairy tales kind of too stuck to a certain point. It’s too obvious that the good will win. Why can’t it be twisted around a little bit? I’ll find that kind of ‘twisted story’ is very interesting because I know there are always two sides of the coin.


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