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cyg88
Registered User
(3/5/07 8:25 pm)


re: portrayal of evil creatures/monsters
Do you think that evil monsters/creatures in fairy-tales (i.e. Rumpelstiltsken or the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk) are inaccurately portrayed towards children?
Also, do you think that all evil monsters/creatures have a significant meaning to the story as a whole? or are they merely for entertainment?

RoseRed81
Registered User
(3/5/07 10:48 pm)


Re: re: portrayal of evil creatures/monsters
As far as accuracy in portrayal, my first response is that they are fictional characters - it's not like they're going to sue for libel. There are plenty of modern retellings and re-examinations of fairy tales from the villains' point of view, so there are very different portrayals of villains. Offhand I think of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and there are more I'm sure, though not all are for children.
Of course "evil" characters serve a purpose, or multiple purposes. They serve as warnings, as challenges, foils, symbols...it just happens that evil makes stories more interesting and easy to relate to.

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AliceCEB
Registered User
(3/6/07 7:57 am)


Re: re: portrayal of evil creatures/monsters
Portraying evil characters as monsters rather than other humans adds an extra inhumanity to their actions--because they are not human they do not hold the same morals/goodness/humanity/etc. That understanding of monsters is used for dramatic effect in stories, such as Beauty and the Beast, or other transformation stories where someone has been turned into a monster but is really a human underneath. The surface is one of evil (because it's a monster) but underneath the person is good because sh/e is human.

There are the occasional "good" monsters, but in traditional tales they are rarer. Modern fairy tales, however, often turn this stereotype on its head, making the monster "good" and the human "evil". In Holly Black's TITHE, she reverses the transformation story, making the human shell be the cover for a monster, who is the good protagonist.

Edited by: AliceCEB at: 3/6/07 8:02 am
Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(3/8/07 4:20 am)


who
So who are the monsters? Dwarfs (Rumple, the dwarf whose beard was caught in a log, the Yellow Dwarf). Jack's giant. Ogres (sometimes a mysterious term). Bad fairies that curse a baby.

Northern tales have dragons (which sometimes have human forms). Riding Hood's wolf (sometimes werewolf, sometimes ogre).

But the most wicked villains in the popular Grimm/Lang/Perrault tales are humans: wicked stepmothers, jealous mothers-in-law, jealous ladys maids ... kings who try to kill an inconvenient suitor ... cannibals ... the witch of Hansel and Gretal....

A 'little wildman' is good, and has a cave of treasure besides. The sevan dwarfs are sometimes robbers, but still kind to the heroine. Many (most? ) monstrous-appearing creatures turn out to be good.

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