I actually had a conversation with my mother about Grimm tales this week, expressing my thoughts about how the tales are overly negative and void of any lesson or message. Throughout the conversation, I found myself saying, "I don't think I could ever enjoy reading them as long as I view them as stories they shared for enjoyment". Hmm...
It had me thinking, wondering if really they were not intended to be so from the start. I mean, we have wonderful books we read, or stories we share that are pure fun, and then we have our own legends or creepy tales that we seem to share for a completely different reason. I mean, if you reach your car, late at night and find that your car was unlocked, do you have the hairs on the back of your neck rise up until you thoroughly check through your car to be sure you are the only one in it? Doesn't just about everyone go to great lengths to be sure their identity doesn't get stolen? Don't all of us (good) parents make all efforts possible to keep our children safe from predators? Why? Because we have had similarly creepy things occur in our own world, tales from the news that we pass on as cautionary tales to others. Lock your car doors. Only purchase from a reputable, secure sites online. Tell your children about stranger danger. Maybe Grimm tales were not the stories they gathered around to hear, but the tales they told one another in passing. The tales one mother gossiped about to another as she was bringing over a freshly baked pie, or the tales that spread like fire in a work environment...all to force people to take caution, to be aware, to keep safe.
I also came across this thread on Goodreads discussing Grimm tales. The participants were diving into a lot of aspects of these tales, highlighting possible symbolism and all that good stuff, that were more of bringing awareness to ones station or role in life. I honestly think that my literary mind approaches fairy tales for the literary creative brilliance, like our society does today. I think the way we now approach fairy tales is much different from how people approached them way back then, and that they had completely different intentions.
To me, this 100% changes what this challenge is about, and pulls it into a much deeper and heavier realm than what I was expecting, and I'm possibly not in the right frame of mind to do so at the moment. But, for today....
The Giant and the Tailor
'"Thunder and lightning," cried the tailor, "what is that?" and as he was strongly goaded by curiosity, he went boldly towards it."
I chose this quote basically because I loved it. I love the phrase "thunder and lightning" being used in such a manner. After reading it, I found myself thinking it would be so incredibly awesome if people replaced "wow", or "OMG" with "thunder and lightning", on a daily basis. Aside from this quote, I felt this tale was very ambiguously written. I don't even know if I fully understand what happened in this short little tale. Apparently the tailor wanted to branch out and explore life, and found himself in the land of a giant. He simply told the giant he was looking for a new way to earn bread, so the giant just as simply informed him he will do everything he says and will be paid with keeping his life. Then the tale goes on with the tailor saying strange things with every request from the giant, and the giant thinking to himself that the little man must be a sorcerer, and therefore, dangerous. At the same time, the tailor is also realizing he got the bad end of the deal, and both are no longer wanting this strange partnership. Eventually, the tailor is free (through an odd situation that I cannot tell if it was the tailor's doing or the giant's). And, like all of the Grimm tales...that is it! The end.
I guess if I were to look at it as a cautionary legend of sorts, I would say it is warning people to not be explorative out of fear of what dangerous beings you would encounter. Beyond where you live and what you know, all manners of crazies could be present!