The belief that fairy tales and fantasy narrations encourage and instruct the moral imagination of the society is, of course, not new. Therefore, in considering this notion, the Victorians certainly brought the fairy tale into the contemporary teaching and learning institution. In support of this idea regarding the role of fairy tales in
What gender roles do traditional fairy tales promote?
Over time, fairy tales have encouraged gender roles through female characters in many perfect narratives personify women following traditional female roles and who also possess qualities of worthiness. For instance, traditional fairy tales instill gender responsibilities upon women through glorifying passivity self sacrifice and dependency as imperative virtues to motherhood and domesticity.
According to Flannery O'Connor traditional fairy tales spoke a simple but profound truth. These renowned fairy tales and fantasy narratives capture the meaning of morality through brilliant depictions of struggles between good and evil. In this cleverly thought fairy tales characters must make exceptional difficult choices between right and wrong, or villains and heroes contest the very destiny of invented worlds.
Through promoting female gender roles, the great fairy tales avoid didacticism and supply the imagination with important symbolic information about the shape of a woman and appropriate responses of her actions. According to Gould, these fairy tales also provide brilliant reflection on unethical actions by females in order to restrain the larger female society. Chesterton also observes that by musing on the wisdom and ethics of fairy tales offers the women and society a special way of insight that is indispensable to morality.
However, a compelling apparition of the goodness of goodness itself requires to be presented through a mode that is attractive and stirs the imagination. A superior moral education tackles both the cognitive and affective dimensions of human nature and therefore female roles are instilled. Fairy tales and narratives are an irreplaceable tool of this kind of moral education. This is the education of character in females’ roles.
According to research it is through hearing narratives regarding wicked stepmothers and other such stories that helped to shape females character. This is because the depicted character traits that are criticized could be weeded out of the person that the narrative is given to. This argument is supported by the idea that depriving the society of stories and you will leave it anxious and unscripted in their general behavior.
The renowned fairy tales and fantasy stories attractively depicted character and virtue. In these stories the virtues sparkle as if in a looking glass, and wickedness and dishonesty are unmasked of their pretense to goodness and truth. These stories made females face the unvarnished truth about themselves while compelling them to consider what kind of people they would want to be.
However, there are those who are opposed to the belief that fairy tales and fantasy narrations encourage and instruct the moral imagination of females and their roles in the society. These people observe that moral living in females is about being responsive and responsible towards other people. They argue that virtues are those qualities of character that enable females to use their freedom in morally responsible ways. Those opposed cite that traditional fairy tales and fantasy narratives allude that these stories transport the reader into unknown spheres that are fresh with danger, surprise and wonder. However, most people believe that the role of fairy tales was to challenge traditional female to make sense out of those spheres, to navigate their way through them, and to imagine themselves in the place of the heroes and heroines who populate the depicted position or person.
The assurance and safety of these imaginative adventures was to show that risks can be taken without having to undergo all of the consequences of failure. And that the joy would be in ascertaining how these risky adventures might result into satisfactory and happy endings. The concept of self was also transformed through traditional fairy tales and stories therefore exerting female roles in females and the general society. The depicted pictures and metaphors in these stories stayed with the listener even after the individual has returned to the "real" world thus making her to practice acceptable norms.
Therefore, this group opines that the mere ability to use fairy tales to instill moral values to roles and actions in females does not justify or make a virtuous person. Mere instruction in morality is not sufficient to nurture the virtues in females. For doing this might even have fatal repercussions especially when the presentation is heavily exhortative and the females will is coerced.
For instance, research provides that for the past several years modern fairy tales have produced highly successful anthologies that include ample samplings of classic fairy tales and modern version stories that continue to highlight feminism. However, this could be attributed to these authors’ ability and commitment to tap tremendous insights to earlier fairy tales that depicted females. These modern stories have aroused thirst among parents and teachers for literary resources that they might use in promoting the moral imagination of women. However, it is surprising to me how little has been written on the moral meaning in fairy tales.