The Function of Animals in Fairy Tales and Fables

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GRIN Verlag, 13 янв. 2014 г. - Всего страниц: 12
Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject English - Genres, grade: 1,7, University of Paderborn, language: English, abstract: Plenty of fairy tales contain talking animals as characters and these talking animals always have an important function in fairy tales and fables. This is the topic I will concentrate on in this paper. The first fairy tales and fables emerged more than thousand years ago. Almost as long as fairy tales exist, animals play a role in them. Of course there are fairy tales without animal characters but in most fairy tales, at least one talking animal or mythical creature – like a beast, a dwarf or a unicorn – appears. Because of the oral tradition of fairy tales, there are frequently several different versions of certain fairy tales but the fact that specific animals play an important role in these tales never changes. The circumstances just mentioned raise questions about the significance of animals in fairy tales: Why do fairy tales and fables contain talking animals? Why are not humans instead of animals the characters of the tales? And why are the emerging animals not mentioned casually, but play such an important role for the development of the tales? These questions constitute the topic I want to deal with and I will try to find answers to these questions in this term paper. I will approximate the above-mentioned issues by first explaining the main differences between fairy tales and fables, because I want to make it accessible to the reader that there is an important differentiation between fairy tales and fables. This serves to avoid confusion, problems of comprehension or the like. Additionally, it makes clear why the title of this term paper involves both fairy tales and fables. Moreover, I will briefly introduce the genre of Animal Tales, because it is similar to fairy tales and fables. Second, I will thematise and answer the questions mentioned above by expounding the function of talking animals in fairy tales and fables. To demonstrate the results of this part of the paper, I will illustrate them using the examples of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” and the fable “The Fox and the Crow”. Finally, I will analyse the results of the main part of this paper by summing up the most important aspects and reflecting them critically.

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