Fairy Tales and Childhood Development

Fairy Tales and Childhood Development

Fairy Tales and the Childhood Development An Influential Bond

Fairy Tales and Childhood DevelopmentEvery movie is developed to satisfy the taste of a specific target group and therefore, Fairy Tales and

Fairy Tales and Childhood Development

distinct backgrounds and story development patterns. Children are also one of these target groups and the movie makers try to satisfy this specific group by producing movies that are based on popular fairytales and folklores. But it has been observed over the years that such kind of movies try to ensure that the contents are appropriate for the children psychology as the mental status and stature of the children far more different from that of the adults (Warner 96). This is the reason why the movies present the popular fairy tales in a developed and revised manner to suit the target audience. This paper aims to discuss that fairytales have a huge importance both in the film making industry and in the development of the child psychology, and it also tries to establish the fact that revisions are appropriately made within the original storylines so that the movie does not have any negative effect on the psychology of the children.

Fairy tales exist in every culture and language. They are being narrated to the children from ages beyond. But it has to be understood carefully and critically that the fairytales are not only the mediums of entertainment but they are also the significant agents that have a great influence on the psychological development of a child. Most of the tales have similar patterns in the development of the plot and therefore, the fairytales are considered as the distinct set of stories. While most of the fairytales have storylines and images having a positive impact on the childhood development, there are a lot of stories that contain inappropriate images of violence and other negative traits that consequentially have a negative impact on the childhood development (Betterment 207). Every fairytale is designed to convey some sort of moral message. The principal character usually goes through a lot of hardships and battling times to conquer the goal and hoist the flag of positivist and heroism. Thus, these tales help in developing a moral and ethical sense in the human beings right from the childhood period. According to a number of experts, the narration of the fairytales produces an immediate effect on the psychology of the children that leads them to behave according to the rendered and supposed belief they developed from hearing the tale (Crain et al. 13). The stories of heroism help the children to become ethically stronger and develop a strong sense of self-belief. But the effects of these tales are not always positive. Violent and negative images have immense effect that deconstructs the psychology of the children in such a way that they may even confine themselves within the constraints of their own self for the rest of the life (Cashdan 186). Moreover, the apparently non-harming contents can also have negative effects. For example, the popular of the prince charming may affect the girls to develop a notion which leads them to find the qualities of the portrayed prince in the real life characters. The images of injuries, bloodshed, and evil characters may boost the sense of fear already present in the children. It can never be rejected that the storylines of the fairytales have minimal or no connection with the real life and therefore, the children should be made aware of this fact so that they can interpret the meanings of the tales in their own ways (Campbell 122). Fairy tales are written with a sense of positive purpose and the children should be made enough capable to find it and interpret it. But there are some portions of the fairy tales that symbolically intensifies the sense of fear and deconstructs the moral development. Therefore, it is pretty clear that the fairy tales do have an important role to play in the childhood development either in a constructive way or through a deconstruction process. Similarly, the movies adopted from the fairy tales also have similar sort of effect on the childhood development. This is the reason why the movie makers try to improvise in the original story line to make the plot more appropriate for the children.

Fairy Tales and Childhood Development

Fairy tales are not anymore limited to the medium of verbal narration on a personal level. The popular and famous fairy tales are being adopted in the form of movies to specifically satisfy the audience base of the children. But the movie makers are being increasingly made aware of the fact that the adults are also hugely interested in watching movies based on fairytales. Therefore, the movie making job has become more difficult because the movie makers have to keep a balance in the storyline so that the plot satisfies the taste of every kind of audience. But leading children films makers like Disney have carefully and properly analyzed the fact that the fairytales have a greater impact on the childhood development than the adult psychology. Whereas the adults consider such movies merely as another source of entertainment, the children try to relate themselves and their lives to the storyline and the characters. Thus, the plot seems to affect them even to such a level that they develop a obscure sense of an assumed relation between the fairy tale and the real world. Therefore, the developers of the movie try to change some portions of the original fairytales and exclude the seemingly inappropriate contents that can have an negative impact on the childhood development. It can be observed that the plots of a number of movies differ from the original storyline in some portions to suit the psychology of the children. Cinderella is such a movie that was produced and distributed by the Walt Disney Productions in 1950. The developers changed the ending of the story. The movie ends with showing that Cinderella and the Prince got married and then they lived happily ever after. It is also shown that the stepsisters had to move on in their lives with the sense of jealousy and rage they had developed toward Cinderella. But in the original version of the story presented by the Brothers Grimm, the stepsisters met a different end and a pathetic consequence. The images of the original story are filled with bloodsheds. One of the stepsisters eventually sliced off her heel and the other one cut off her toes so that the toes could fit in the coveted and much desired golden slipper (Zipes 467). But the pathetic and brutal representation continued in the original plot. The prince and Aschenputtel were getting married. During that time, doves flew down to the earthily atmosphere from the abode of the heaven to punish the stepsisters and prolong their misery in a bitterly cruel manner and finally the doves brutally pecked out the eyes of the stepsisters (Zipes 468). It is a rough image and a reckless presentation of violence. The fairy tales should positively contribute to the childhood development and so should the movies. Therefore, the developers of the movie had to change the ending of the original plot. The violent images of the bloodshed and the tortures could intensify the sense of perceived fear and eventually deconstruct the psychological development of the children. There are a lot of critics who question the ethical validity of changing the plot of the story that is originally written by other writer but it should be kept in mind that this ethical consideration can be sacrificed in order to ensure the positive construction of the childhood development that can determine the shape of the future (Franz and Crossen 63). Disney assessed this fact properly and changed the storyline a bit to exclude the scenes of violence in order to keep the movie ethically strong and morally suitable for every kind of viewers especially the children. This is the reason why every original plot of the fairy tales is given a touch of change so that the contents of the movie become not only harmless but also constructive and helpful in the process of childhood development.

Fairy tales are immensely influential in childhood development. Whereas the positive images of heroism and morality helps in a constructive development, negative presentations of violence, evil characters, and bloodsheds may have a negative impact on the development process. Therefore, the movie makers need to think responsibly and change the plot of the original storyline wherever applicable in order to suit the psychological aspects of the children. Most of the movie makers responsibly and sincerely take care of this matter and fulfill their obligation to the society with a special attention to the childhood development. The film titled Cinderella is an appropriate example of this case. It is evident that the fairy tales have importance in childhood development but the movie makers also have a great role to play and as far as they sincerely meet this responsibility, the society will be ethically entertained.

Works Cited

  • Bettelheim, Bruno . The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.         New York: Vintage Books, 2010. Print.
  • Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. San Francisco: New World Library, 2012.    Print.
  • Cashdan, Sheldon. The Witch Must Die: The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales. New York: Basic    Books, 2000. Print.
  • Crain, William, D’alessio, Esterina, McIntyre, Brenda, and Smoke, Leslee (1983). ‘The Impact of Hearing a Fairy Tale on Children’s Immediate Behavior’. The Journal of Genetic      Psychology, 143 (1): 9-17.
  • Franz, Marie-Louise von, and Crossen, Kendra. The Interpretation of Fairy Tales. Boulder:           Shambhala Publications, 1996. Print.
  • Warner, Marina. Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale. Oxford: Oxford University    Press, 2014. Print.
  • Zipes, Jack. The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Princeton: Princeton          University Press, 2014. Print.

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