Saturday, January 1, 2011
Cinderella turns out to be the most universal fairy tale, appearing everywhere from the Middle East, to Russia, China, Egypt, Zimbabwe and the American Southwest. The image of the abandoned child, especially female, a "throw-away" kid with no one to care for them, resonates across cultural boundaries. The wish for a bit of magic, to be glamorous and loved - if only for an evening- carries as much potency today for lonely little girls as it did a thousand years ago. And who with a sister hasn't felt green, ugly jealousy towards her once in a while? (Admit it girls!) As for that wicked step-mom...well, mean people come in all genders and roles, and I try to keep my distance from them whenever I can. This blog is just a bit of fun with fairy tales, intended to inspire teachers, parents and kids to read more of them. As for the symbolism of Cinderella, Carl Jung, Marie Louise von Franz, Bruno Bettelheim and others believed that it can be deciphered, follows a pattern, and is generalizable to other fairy tales and literature. Story elements such as the character of the step mother, the prince, and the sorrowful child are archetypal, meaning they come from deep within the human brain. No one made them up: they've been around as long as the human race. Helper animals, magic shoes, rings of power and flying carpets have special meanings too, for similar reasons. This blog will explore the meaning( relying on definitions by von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, Jung and Stevens )connect it with other children's literature and offer thoughts and suggestions for bringing more fairy tales into your lives in the New Year! Happy 2011 everyone! May all of your wishes come true.