Strange as it may seem, February 26th was National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. While reading “Once there was a time,” I was reminded of a radio show that I was listening to on my way to school on the 26th. This radio show, “Bobby Bones Show,” was discussing National Tell a Fairy Tale day, and the cast of the show brought up the fact that many of the fairy tales we know and love today, the ones that we expose to our children without thinking, actually originated from gruesome, disturbing stories that came about long before these stories became innocent, beloved fairy tales. This ties in immensely with something “Once There Was a Time” mentions:
“Folk tales were rewritten and made into didactic fairy tales for children so that they would not be harmed by the violence, crudity and fantastic exaggeration of the originals. Essentially, the contents and structure of the saccharine tales upheld the Victorian values of the status quo.”
So, relating to what I had heard on the radio the morning of the 26th (National Tell a Fairy Tale Day), the excerpt we were assigned to read was oddly enough, about fairy tales. Not only was this excerpt about fairy tales, but it also supported one of the ideas that were mentioned on The Bobby Bones show- that fairy tales originate from gruesome, violent, and disturbing stories.
I actually found the stories from which some of the most famous and well-known fairy tales originate. For example, Cinderella’s sisters actually cut parts of their feet off to be able to fit them into the glass slipper that only Cinderella’s feet could fit in. Also, at the end, doves peck the sisters’ eyes out. In Sleeping Beauty, a prince does not wake Sleeping Beauty up by giving her a kiss, but the twin babies that she gave birth to whom resulted from her getting raped by a king while she was sleeping do. Lastly, in the Little Mermaid, a girl sells her voice for legs in order to marry a prince, but the twist is that every step, every movement of her legs is extremely painful. If the prince does not fall in love with her, but someone else, she will turn into sea foam. Also, if this happens, she can somehow get the prince to bleed on her feet to turn them back into fins. So, the prince makes her dance around and do very athletic things, which are excruciating for her, and still the prince, of course, falls in love with someone else. The girl gets a chance to kill him and have him bleed on her feet, but she cannot get herself to do it, so she dies and turns to sea foam.
Some stories are worse, but this gives everyone an idea of where some of the innocent children’s fairy tales come from. This idea really associates with what we are reading in Stardust because stardust kind of includes both sides: the innocent side (Wall) and the strange, not-so-innocent side (Faerie). Wall would be the innocence of the children’s fairy tales because of the propriety that is well practiced there, and the almost-normalcy that the town experiences. Faerie, on the other hand, would express the original stores of fairy tales because of the sexual mishaps, gruesome actions (eating the hearts of animals, or in this case, a human [star] for the purpose of gaining youth, for example), and slavery, among other things, that take place there.
I hope everyone else finds the origins of these famous fairy tales as interesting and disturbing as I did!