The Truth Behind Fairy Tales

Growing up, we all have stories that we are told. From Cinderella to Red Riding Hood, these cautionary tales of romance and adventure can be seen throughout much of Western culture. Many people accredit these stories to the Grimm Brothers, but many do not know the other classic fairy tale author: Charles Perrault. Perrault, much like the Grimm Brothers, wrote many of the beloved stories that we know today. Though both created some originals, Perrault paved the way for many of the popular stories that are attributed to the Grimm Brothers.

Both of the authors wrote their own versions of some of the great fairy tales. These include Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Perrault used Little Red Riding Hood as a cautionary story for girls to be wary of strange men that could prey on them. In this telling, both the grandmother and girl die. The Grimm Brothers took that story and changed it so that both the grandmother and girl survive. Though changes like these were made in the story, all of them still have the same characters and a loosely similar story line. What is even more similar is the morality of each tale.

The Grimm Brothers and Perrault have morals that are associated with their fairy tales. Stories like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella had something for the reader to learn from so that they could navigate the world. Whether it be “goodness is repaid with goodness” or “always be alert of the people around you,” both authors wanted their readers to remember the stories. They crafted them to be easy to remember, a simple guide on how not to be tricked.

These authors should be celebrated as the founders and trailblazers of the fairy tale genre. Each story captivates the reader and leaves a lasting impression on them. So go out, crack open your favorite fairy tale, and jump down the rabbit hole.

What’s your favorite fairy tale? Leave a suggestion in the comments or tell us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Published by

Jillian Murphy

Jillian Murphy is the Assistant Managing Editor of the UNG Press. She is a UNG alumna, class of 2016.

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