Fairy tales still spark ‘happily every after’ feel
Being a hands-on reader of books and newspapers, I recently purchased a bargain-priced copy of “Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales” at a local bookstore. I wondered if rereading the tales would match my youthful impression of them — and how they would hold up in today’s society.
Many of the tales reminded me of the valuable life lessons learned in childhood literature: Being kind, helping people in need, making wise choices and exercising caution. I was surprised, however, to note how much violence, mayhem, class warfare, cruelty and inhuman behavior I missed — or dismissed as a young reader.
As far as holding up in today’s political and social scene, the time period has changed but the setting and human condition is much the same. As civilized humans, we are exposed to both good and bad experiences — in literature and life.
I highly recommend the rereading of Grimm’s brothers fables, as a study in context, a buzzword often heard these days. Examining situation, background and environment allows for better understanding of principles and motivation expressed in times past. It also can serve as impetus to alter— or discard — long-held beliefs and opinions.
To conclude on a happy note, I was glad to reread the child-pleasing familiar ending: “They lived happily ever after” in many of the stories. May we all attain that happy ending in our lives.