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.