Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beauty and the Beast vs. Cupid and Psyche

       The story of “Cupid and Psyche” reminds me of two of the versions of Beauty and the Beast. When I first started reading I thought that it seemed a lot like Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s version of “Beauty and the Beast”. Both stories have a “beast” or a “monster” living  off away from society, either deep in the woods or on top of a mountain. Then, both the castles are full of riches and wonders that surprise the beauty. Even in both stories, the beast does not approach beauty immediately, but rather has his servants talk for him from a distance or does not get close enough for her to see him. It is after this point where the stories differ. In Jeanne-Marie’s story, Beast is known to ugly and stupid, while in “Cupid and Psyche”, the beast is revealed to have been a beautiful god. Both endings are similar with them both living together happily.
      The aspect of beast being a god, reminded me of “Urashima the Fisherman” where the beauty is a god who falls in love with a mortal. In both stories, the god wants to be loved as an equal, rather than to be praised. Then, in both stories, a box seemingly causes a downfall in both relationships. Urashima opens the jeweled box and loses his love forever, while Psyche opens the box out of curiosity and falls asleep. The difference here is that Cupid rescues Psyche from this eternal sleep while Urashima never meets his love again.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

        This cartoon depicts “Little Red Riding Hood” with a new storyline. Instead of having the wolf viewed as a snarling beast wanting to eat the girl walking through the forest, he is seen as an officer of the law wanting to protect her grandmother from being brought phallic symbols. Meanwhile, Little Red Riding Hood is still depicted as the same girl who is just bringing her grandmother some food and drinks but could also be viewed as wrong for bringing these phallic symbols to her grandmother. 
I liked this cartoon because it brought up the fact that everything in fairy or folk tales can essentially be called a phallic symbol. A tree, a tower, a loaf of bread, pretty much anything in a fairy or folk tale can be viewed as this symbol. In the case of this cartoon, the wolf claims that some beard, a banana, and a bottle of wine are different phallic symbols. Another reason I liked this cartoon is because of how it switches the roles of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf in the story. Instead of eating Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, the wolf is protecting her from inappropriate images seen in children’s tales.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Psychology and Fairy Tales

        Last Tuesday, Dr. Mazeroff came in and talked to our class about psychology with fairy tales. In his lecture, he talked about how fairy tales can affect a child’s psychology by teaching him or her certain lessons within each story. The example Dr. Mazeroff used was the tale “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. Freud stated that this tale addressed development and conflicting issues while Jung stated this tale helped a child with growth and development. This story and practically every other tale can teach a child lessons which can help them progress through childhood. 
These two psychologists have theories on fairy tales and how they can affect children. Jung believes that people have a collective unconscious which is passed down genetically. This collective unconscious possess certain images and lessons, known as archetypes, which are known throughout the world. These archetypes also appear in fairy tales, which according to Jung influence the unconscious. Freud does not agree with the collective unconscious theory, but rather he theorizes that fairy tales can affect a child’s growth and development.
Both Freud and Jung use their theories to help explain why a child may act a certain way. Jung goes to say that if you have no emotional affect towards something, then you feel nothing towards it. Therefore, if you have no emotional affect towards a certain tale then you feel nothing towards it and may not have influenced you. All of this information was discussed during Dr. Mazeroff’s lecture and I would recommend talking to him if you have any further interest in psychology and fairy tales.


Mazeroff, Paul. “Fairy Tales and Psychology.” Westminster. 7 Feb. 2012. Lecture

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fairy Tales vs. Folk Tales

Folk and fairy tales have many similarities and many differences. Both are short stories which were originally passed down through an oral tradition. Eventually, both tales were written and spread through books. One of the similarities these tales have is that there is a hero or main character which must accomplish some goal. Another similarity with these two types of tales is that children were taught lessons through indirect means. For example, with the Grimm’s version of Hansel and Gretel, the two children are thrown into the woods and and encounter a witch living in a gingerbread house. After eating part of her house, the children are captured and are forced to eat and work. After killing the witch and traveling across a lake one at a time by a goose, the children are able to make it back home. This fairy taught a child to be responsible with food and it also showed that children can leave home and still be fine. Lastly the crossing of the lake one at a time shows that a child can be independent. All of these things are taught to the child through the stories without having parents explain it. Similar lessons are taught this way in other fairy and folk tales. 
The main difference between fairy and folk tales is the use of magic. Folk tales deal more with everyday life, but may have out of the ordinary things such as some animals with human characteristics. However, fairy tales often have things such as witches, magic animals, plants, curses, spell and other sorts of magic things. Fairy tales even have such things as fairies which often influence the fate of the hero or villain.