The Influence of Fairy Tales on Young Minds

by 高莫娜 Mona
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I, like other girls of my age, grew up watching fairy tales. Cinderella was my all-time favorite but somehow Prince Charming’s character was not much convincing to me. As a young happy child, I used to get fascinated by the glitz and glams of the Disney movies but believe you me, every time lots of questions used to arise in my mind. 

Since very young age I used to ponder as why Cinderella’s happiness was dependent on Prince Charming? Are all step-mothers evil? Why snow white as a child is overly virtuous and the Queen as an adult is extremely wicked. How Belle as an ordinary yet pretty girl fell for a beast? Why the true love has to be between a man and a woman when no one can love you more than your parents? These and many more questions always kept me encaged and when I tried to find the answers in my surroundings I was always disappointed. My living context was entirely in contrast with the Disney movies.

I have been a realistic person who lives with the facts so I never got carried away with the world’s fantasies but normally the young minds are very tender. Fairy tales are crucial to the development of child’s imagination as her mind often gets deeply affected by the story’s content. At the same time, fairy tales play a vital role in child’s emotional, physical and mental development. Old Disney stories undoubtedly nurtured good moral values but at the same time always gave the concept of happily ever after. 

Over the period of time, Disney has grown a lot as well. Their movies have adapted to the changing environment, scenario and the requirements of time. Disney is presenting women in far better roles; it is focusing on realities of life rather than happily ever after. Mulan showed woman as a strong warrior, Moana displayed extra courage to save her village, and Frozen proved that the true love can be between two sisters as well; Inside Out was an outstandingly intelligent movie about our emotions. 

These few movies and more are a fresh start and a gateway to changing minds and behaviors. Leilani VisikoKnox-Johnson wrote in the article “The positive impacts of fairy tales for children” that Children’s literature helps a young child make sense of what it is to be human and helps them understand the world around them. The fairy tale genre provides ways for children to receive important messages. Based on the Jungian interpretation, fairy tales teach children how to deal with basic human conflicts, desires, and relationships in a healthy way; acquiring these skills can ultimately impact a child’s health, quality of life, or even influence its values and beliefs in the future. 

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