10A01, Wong Siew Jean, Literature

Validity of Fairytales in society today.

Fairy tales typically feature folkloric characters as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. Often the story will involve a far-fetched sequence of events.

In less technical contexts, 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). Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale.

- From Wikipedia.

Almost every child grows up knowing at least one fairy tale, be it perhaps the happy ending of Cinderella, where the fairy godmother shows up, and helps Cinderella to the ball where she meets her Prince Charming, or the one where Snow White ends up kissed and saved by yet another Prince on a white horse to the rescue. However, how much of these fairytales are actually applicable in society today?

Fairytales are told to little girls, and maybe even little boys, and they grow up thinking all these are true, wishing for their prince charming to one day arrive and sweep them off their feet, carry them off into the sunset and live happily ever after. For a lucky few, this is true. They meet prince charming, who is rich and handsome and they live happily ever after.

In real life though, these cases are few and far between. Life, harsh reality often interferes with these. Couples end up quarreling, stock markets crash, people go bankrupt, affairs and infidelities happen, divorce rates increase rapidly. Happily ever after seems like a far hope to have, impossible.

In the face of all these, can it really be said that fairytales are still valid and relevant to society today? After all, all it gives are false hopes and dreams to little children, before they grow up and become cynical and jaded, after they lose the innocence of childhood.

And yet, some of the lessons and morals taught in fairytales are still applicable. As in Hansel & Gretel, we learn not to talk to or take sweets from strangers. In Snow White, this lesson is also apparent. And in the darker versions of these fairytales, the versions that had not been modified by protective parents for the sensitive ears of their children, even more lessons are apparent, albeit slightly gorier lessons. These stories told to entertain children, to put them to sleep, they all hold a lesson. And more often than not, in these fairytales, good usually triumphs over evil, despite the magical powers evil usually has, Good usually prevails.

So despite everything, and despite the increasingly cynical attitude that adults hold towards fairytales, I still believe that fairy tales are valid in society today, as lessons learnt from them are still valid and true, especially in today's more and more dangerous world. Moreover, in this bleak world, do we all not need a little happiness and hope that these tales can bring us?

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