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Fairy Tales Journey to a New World
Elements of a Fairy Tale • A fairy tale is a fictional story that may feature folkloric characters (such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, and talking animals) and enchantments, often involving a far-fetched sequence of events. • The term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending) or "fairy tale romance," though not all fairy tales end happily. • Fairy tales are a genre in literature. They have their roots in the oral tradition. • Fairy tales with very similar plots, characters, and motifs are found spread across many different cultures.
Fairy Tale Checklist • Does it have a special beginning/ending? – Once upon a time...and they lived happily ever after. Sometimes, there is even a surprise ending.
• Is there a good character (protagonist)? – Often possesses the characteristics of being kind, innocent, etc. – Is the good character helped by others or show extreme cleverness despite his/her situation?
• Is there a bad character (antagonist)? – Evil stepmother, witch, demon, sinister gnome – In the end, the evil character loses somehow.
Fairy Tale Checklist, cont’d. • Is there some sort of royalty displayed? – Castle, prince, princess, king, queen?
• Is there poverty within the story? – – – –
Poor working family Poor working girl Poor shepherd Do you see people trying to make a living just to survive?
• Do you see magic enchantments? – Fairies, trolls, talking animals, magical events taking place
Fairy Tale Checklist, *deep breath* still cont’d. • Are there reoccurring patterns or numbers? – Do you see any patterns? – Do you see things, phrases, or tasks appear in “threes,” “sixes,” and/or “sevens”?
• Is there a universal truth? – What universal experience (coming of age, getting married) or hopes (experience love, have enough food/shelter) is displayed throughout the piece?
Pause and Reflect #1 • What have you learned in these first few slides that you didn’t know about fairy tales already?
Back to the Basics • As the first slide stated, fairy tales are a combination of plot, characters, and motif. To completely understand how a fairy tale functions, we must completely understand what each of these pieces contain.
Plot • Plot is not only present in short stories, but also in fairy tales (which are a form of short stories…more on that later). • Elements of plot: – – – – – –
Exposition Inciting Incident Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution
Characters • Character list in a fairy tale: – Royalty – Poor – Evil (antagonist) – Good (protagonist) – Magical
Pause and Reflect #2 • What is something new that you learned, or what is something that you already knew about plot and characters in a fairy tale?
Motif • There are several types of motifs found in fairy tales. – Character – Place – Objects – Style
Character Motifs A. Elder 1. Usually a king or a father 2. Stationary 3. Sometimes disabled B. Hero (Male or Female) 1. Person who gets the most out of the story 2. Moves, often vertically C. True Love (Male or Female) 1. Object of hero's affections 2. Hero often does battle for his/her True Love D. Villain 1. Opposes hero 2. Force of evil
Character Motifs E. Helper 1. Often a powerful, magical person 2. Gives advice or a valuable gift to the hero ( 3. Often tests the hero F. Friend 1. Friend or companion of the hero, often of lower social class, a servant 2. Binding/unbinding relationship with the hero G. Messenger 1. Brings news
Place Motifs A. Home 1. An ordinary place, not magical 2. Often the starting or ending place of the story B. Paradise 1. Where the hero gets his/her heart's desire 2. Often a monster here to overcome first C. Bad Place 1. Escape desired D. Limbo 1. Seems dangerous, but isn't 2. Shadowy, mysterious 3.Transitions occur, deals are made
Motifs of Object A. Objects in groups usually make a pattern. Patterns can be of: 1. Size - Increasing or decreasing 2. Material 3. Power B. Ordinary objects with magical powers such as objects of: 1. Transportation 2. Weapons 3. Supply 4. Medicine C. Objects that serve a special function in the story 1. Token of Recognition - by which the hero/true love recognize each other a. Often has some relationship to water or liquid
Motifs of Action A. Actions of the Hero 1. Quest 2. Endurance test 3. Tasks to perform, usually 3, involving a. food or water b. wood c. fire or stone B. Means of success for Hero 1. Cleverness or wit 2. Virtue 3. Courage and strength C. Rewards of the Hero 1. Wealth 2. Love 3. Status
Motifs of Style A. Use of numbers: 3, 7, 12 B. Opening and closing lines 1. “Once upon a time…” 2. “…happily ever after.” C. Chante Fable, the inclusion of a song, change, incantation, etc. in story
Pause and Reflect #3 • What is something new that you learned about motif?
Assignment • Think of your favorite fairy tale. – What is the plot? – Give me a character list. – Think of as many motifs as you can that are represented in the fairy tale (must have at least five). – Complete in a Word doc, attach and send to me, via email.
Works Cited • "Cap O'Rushes." Fairy Tale Motifs. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. • "The Elements of a Fairy Tale." The Elements of a Fairy Tale. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013.