Saturday, June 12, 2021
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Fairy tales need not be kids’ best friends

Fairy tales are perhaps the first stories that we read out to kids when they are young. However, by doing so do we realise that we are transporting them to a dream world? A world where fairies exist, good always wins over evil and physical beauty is worshipped? Parents might realise the influence such ideas have on young minds. Our mythology and perhaps all mythologies of the world have many tales to narrate to the young minds. These stories have immense potential to influence children as kids are curious, gullible and can easily believe them to be true.

It is not for nothing that children’s literature finds place in the curriculum of English literature and is extensively studied, analysed and debated upon and is subjected to criticism. Research is carried out in this area also. This enlightens people about the prejudices such stories can instill in our minds. Besides, such stories can transport one to a dream world. If detaching from such fantasies and ideas becomes difficult for the child, there lies the problem. Reality and truth is different from the realm of virtues and fantasies and once this bubble of our dreamland breaks, we find ourselves lost, confused and bewildered at all that is coveting our world of dreams.

While dreams can give you strength, they can even threaten your happiness and question your beliefs. In the rigmarole of life, we are bound to compromise with our ethics and happiness. In doing so, we are making a sacrifice. We might not be doing it according to our willingness. Sometimes we find it difficult to detach ourselves from our world of dreams. This might lead to serious problems later on during our youth and adolescence. Besides, one might develop many views which are difficult to change and later become prejudices engrained in one’s psyches. For example, Snow White teaches one to have longing for fair skin. Similarly, Cinderella teaches one to be prejudiced towards good looks. The concept that a pretty girl is always virtuous and vice versa is disgusting.
One day I was having a vital conversation with one of my teacher’s and through our discussion, realised that most of the cartoons showed in cartoon network were not really meant for children. On the contrary, they were made for adults who could understand the concept. Take for example X-Men Evolution. Such cartoons are widely watched by children whereas it is actually made for a little older people who can understand it. While all children’s books are good texts from the point of view of deconstructing a text, parents should be very careful of what they aloe their kids to read and watch. It is better if a child goes and plays a sport than live in a dream world by reading all kinds of stories which are harmful for kids.

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