Parables are Godly Fairy Tales

Ok,

Don’t take this the wrong way. But if Fairy Tales compile to give us an understanding (picture/idea/grasp) of the human condition. Then parables give us a God’s eye view of the human condition. Noting not only life as it is, but also, at the same time, life’s potentials…[think Prodigal Son]

Compiled together, the parables–The Mustard Seed, The Widow’s Mite, The Lost Sheep, The Seven Bridesmaids.

Reading these stories over and over provide windows to the self–clarifying the relationships in our lives. It plants the seeds of knowledge, it gives us the broad scope of life, while allowing us to fill in the details of our own lives.

This is why I read fairy tales theologically, parables practically and reread as much as possible….

The Thing about Fairy Tales Is: Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever Afters and Meta

Ingredients of A Fairy Tale=

1 Upon a Time

4 or 5 Stereotypes

3 or 4 Stock Characters

1 simple plot

Good versus Evil

True Love Manifested (depressingly or not)

and possibly ending with Happily Ever After

Told and Retold, Reshaped and Reworked: I LOVE reading all of the versions of fairy tales!

But the thing about fairy tales is that that they are a collection of data on the human race. The more versions you read, the more insight you build about the human race, and the more you allow the stories to interact, the more you start to understand who we are, and how we work!

That’s what is amazing about fairy tales–the more they are stock the more true they are, the more versions exist, the more the human condition is explained…That is what is SO META about fairy tales!!!

Fairy Tale Addendum

Books with Good Movie Adaptations

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Comic Fairy Tale (same tone as the movie, with more plot) same writer as the movie. (actually thought S. Morgenstern wrote this growing up)

Stardust by Neil Gaiman: A star fell to earth, a man vows to retrieve her to win his bride. Stars, Lovers, Quests. Read it in story or comic form (another good movie adaptation)–oh and it has been filed as a kids, young adult, fantasy and adult book, hows that for the power of a fairy tale!!

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: Way more a fairy tale than Lord of the Rings, yay quests!

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle: The Last unicorn goes on an adventure to try to find her kind and save the world

Children’s Fairy Stories (which are even better when you are an adult)

The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame and Earnest H. Shepard (Illustrator): Dragons and Knights don’t quite fight, and its awesome (and the cartoon is fun if you skip the live action stuff)

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye Princess Amy is gifted with ordinariness–and finds her own way to special happiness

(totally think Enchanted Forest series is a brilliant combo of The Reluctant Dragon & Ordinary Princess)

The Little White Horse: by Elizabeth Goudge and Walter Hodges (Illustrator) Maria Merryweather comes as a orphan and finds the Moon Princess, and a way to help the entire Valley (an inspirational story for most fantasy writers today)

The Light Princess & Other Fairy Stories and The Golden Key and Other Stories by George MacDonald: a favorite of C. S. Lewis. Longer than Grimm’s fairy tales the characters are SO engaging and very traditional fairy tales!

Various Book Reviews or My Hero(ine)

Note the riveting chart of young adult heroines below–what do they have in common (getting over the fact that Hermione was NEVER part of a love triangle)–they are all young fighting women white (sad-day), virgins (probably) with low self-esteem (except Julie from Warm Bodies) and are shy/quiet. Most of them have brown hair, protectors (male of course).

First I need to note the GROSS (and probably sexist) oversight, that Intelligence or smartness was not a factor–whereas I bet if it was about males it would have been!!!!!

That’s it next novel I write (i.e. if I ever get around to writing) it should have a nonwhite (although I am white, maybe I could do a Korean-American girl…I have some cultural experience there), assertive (not quite, even if she likes books…I’m bookish and I am SO not quite), with no Protector (LIKE CIMORENE), who is SMART, has good Self-Esteem, No love Triangle (ugh), don’t know about the virginity thing–I think young heroines tend to be virgins on principle (unless abuse is involved), with black hair (which the Korean thing would totally take care of). Hmmm….Who’s up for cooler Heroines…I think my favorites of the list below are Katniss and Hermione, I have even cooler ones following the chart. YAHeroineInfographic-650dpiWidth4

original article here

Cool Heroines not included here are Robin McKinley’s heroines (yes all of the them-I’m not going to list them), All of Tamora Pierce and Kristen Cashore (DITTO)  Patricia C. Wrede’s Cimorene, Dave Duncan’s Inos, Harry Potter Hermione (who is not a title character, but deserves a better rep then what we have here), Scott Westerfield’s Tally Youngblood, Madeline L”Engle (who was so ahead of the time her feminist characters sound forward thinking even today 30years later), Anne of Green Gables, etc. for more see my fairy tale lists–my classic and my alternative (not well-known) list.

The 10 Most Badass Cartoon Heroines of the ‘80s

Katy’s Ultimate Fairy Tale List

First off if you need to know anything about fairy tales I recommend references by Maria Tartar, Jack Zipes and www.surlalunfairytales.com, Jane Yolen is fairly good as well (although she is focused on feminist fairy tales)

Secondly, here are all of the fairy tale things I love

Please note that fairy tales are meant to be oral i.e rewrites are not only allowed, they are within the VERY essence of what makes up a fairy tale–so even bad fairy tales are valid

TV:

Disney: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Tangled (although they are Disney-fied they are still valid)

Once Upon a Time (obviously),

Jim Henson’s StoryTeller

10th Kingdom (which is usually only about $15 to buy),

Fractured Fairy Tales in Rocky & Bullwinkle,

Nickelodeon’s Grimm Fairy Tale Classics, Fairy Tale Theater

Ever After (Go DaVinci)

Belle and La Bete (The Original French movie in Black and white)

Books

Golden Book of Fairy Tales http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Book-Fairy-Tales-Classics/dp/030717025X (my first love of fairy tales)

The Color Fairy Tale Books by Andrew Lang (of course), my second love fairy tales

Gateway books

Alice and the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Peter Pan by James Barrie

Wizard of Oz L. Frank Baum

so-called-adult-fairy-tales

“The Golden Ass” The last myth and the first fairy tale

“Fables” the comic book (precedes Once Upon a Time the TV show with some similarities)

Enchanted Forest Series & Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede

Deerskin, Beauty, Spindle’s End, Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli (excellent)

Beastly by Alex Flinn (pretty good)

Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (so amazing and better than the movie)

Just Ella Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Godmother’s Apprentice by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (the sequels aren’t as good)

Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey (inconsistant, but fine)

Ash & Huntress by Malinda Lo

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl

A Well Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde

Other

Arthur Rackham’s Illustrations

Maxfield Parish’s Illustrations

Kingdom Hearts video games

Wicked “the musical”

Into the Woods “the musical”

Beauty and the Beast on Broadway

Huffington Post article disappoints (takes fairy tales at face value)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-carl/once-upon-a-time_1_b_2214370.html?utm_hp_ref=books

and

and my comment for said article…

I agree fairy tales are important and told early. However, I feel it is flawed to say “who wants to hear the tale again.” The whole point of fairy tales is their oral nature (short, not many details so we are able to fill in). That’s why we tell the story over and over again. When we retell these stories we are doing what the genre begs us to do…so please don’t discount the power of the fairy tale

 

Sigh…seriously they are SO missing the point

Beauty and the Beast

I may or may not own a billion different versions of Beauty and the Beast. (Plus some figures, snowglobes and plastic McDonald’s toys)

Why? Because its my favorite fairy tale. Why? Because its the first/best fairytale and it is so TOTALLY theological!!!! (did I put too many exclamation points there?)Image

Things to know about Beauty and the Beast which I have disseminated from years of study (no seriously I have been convertly studying fairy tales for 8 years. First as an “English” major at Oberlin, then as a theological student at Princeton)

1. It is the FIRST fairy tale we know of

2. It evolved from what is the last myth we know of: Cupid and Psyche (in “The Golden Ass”) written a couple of hundred of years after myths were in styleImage

3. Before Christianity, the “happily ever after concept” did not seem to exist in stories….In fact the theological differences between Cupid & Psyche and Beauty and the Beast are amazing but I will write my thesis on all that later (hopefully). Today we’ll stick to B&B

Next thoughts

If you haven’t read Beauty and the Beast, I invite you to do so on literally the best Fairy Tale Resource today (I mean literally, I’ve done the research) at Sur La Lune http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/index.html

1. The prince/beast is a fallen man somehow either through his own or his parents brokenness. Usually his outer ugliness mirrors his inner ugliness (The Fall from Grace Anyone)

2. His Salvation/Transformation into his former/real/best self is through Love

3. Beauty Loves Beast even in his ugliness

4. Beast regains his life/and is transformed through the pure love of Beauty

(PS how cool is it that the Christ figure is a girl in this one)

1. Humanity falls and is ugly

2. Humanity’s hope lies in God’s grace through God’s Love

3. God loves us, period.

4. We are born again/from above and transformed

And we all will live happily ever after!

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.–1 Col 19-20

All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.–Ps. 86:9

(PS concerns and questions about the every knee shall bow language will be addressed in another post, so don’t worry)

Now that I’ve blown your mind (or at least reminded you to hear “Be Our Guest” again) I invite you to read any/all of the following, and if you know another Beauty and the Beast that you like let me know in case I haven’t read it.

(This may, perhaps, possibly in the Disney version make Gaston into the devil…hehehehehehehe)

Good Versions of Beauty and the Beast

1st John 4:7-18 (I’ve copied it below)

C.S. Lewis Voyage of the Dawn Treader Eustace’s Story

Beauty by Robin McKinley & Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (yes she wrote 2 good ones)

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli

Cupid and Psyche in the Golden Ass (Hi, Chloe! I love you!)

La Belle et La Bete directed by Cocteau (black and white one of the 1st films, look at the effects, I mean this was before computers)

Beauty and the Beast the 80s TV show

10th Kingdom (in a lighter vein)

Donkeyskin/Tattercoat/Alleirauh are very similar (though different)

Deerskin by Robin McKinley (I know, but I couldn’t help myself)

Fables Comic Series (note: main characters)

and of course the Disney movie/play

1st John 4:7-18; Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

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