A fairy tale or magic tale is a folklore genre that contains imaginative stories. It is often meant for kids, featuring wonderful characters like wizards, goblins, dwarfs, dragons, giants and sometimes fairies. The term “fairy” refers more to the fantastic settings of the stories influenced by the magical characters of the story. Being a literary genre, they take root in the oral tradition and were passed down from generation to generation before being recorded in books.
But why do fairy tales matter? Do they matter because they bring magic into a world that needs, ultimately, a lot of saving? Or, maybe because the world needs more superheroes so that little boys and girls grow up believing they can change the world? Since the beginning of time, humans have been telling stories. To stay safe and cozy at night, to chase the storm away. We like stories about a different world, a world larger than ourselves, about heroes and heroines. We like stories with characters that we can look up to. I believe that with every generation a new “superhero” is born, a new “power” that drives us through everyday life. The same goes for fairy tales, with every generation, a new version of a fairy tale is born, a version that fits the needs of a new society. Times change, and we change with them, what works for us now will not be functional in a few years. Fairy tales are a pure form of escapism, by reading them people seek for comfort. They can help us see parts of ourselves otherwise invisible or perhaps even unimaginable, parts that we are unaware of but want to release. Reading is a way of thinking about yourself. You become a better person because of it and it aids in maintaining your intellectual and moral integrity. To me, the most fascinating aspect of reading or watching fairy tales is the “snowballing” effect of it, no matter how many times you’ve read or watched a certain fairy tale you’ll always learn something new about it and about yourself through it. That’s why we should all revisit fairy tales from time to time. For the sake of the adventure and for making the impossible seem possible again.
The great C.S. Lewis said, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” I came across this quote a few days ago, and it really stuck with me. We look for answers in stories, not in textbooks. They are not only for children, they are for all of us. Fairy tales can teach us valuable lessons. They have great impact on the choices we make and present life from a different perspective. Because, sometimes, you need a happily ever after to remind you that happiness still exists in the world, and that goodness has an impact on an imperfect world.