This class was very interesting and I think that I learned a lot from it. In addition to the common Western fairy tales I was familiar with, mainly due to the Brothers Grimm and Disney’s adaptations, I also was introduced to Jewish, Native American, African, Indian, and Spanish versions of folk tales. This was interesting to me because it helped me understand cultures and places I might not ever have known about without the lectures and readings we had in this class. One author I didn’t expect to like, but actually have become interested in is Oscar Wilde. I’d heard of him before this class, but I’d never read any of his work before. I loved the Christian motifs and symbolism in his work and now am interested in reading some of his other writings.
I enjoyed reading all the typical Western tales. It was interesting to read some of the lesser known versions of the same stories. I also liked many of the modern comparisons we were able to make with the tales. It is neat that many of them can still be made relevant in today’s world. For instance, I liked comparing the Pretty Woman movie to Cinderella. I always knew they had connections, but I’d never really thought about which characters paralleled those in the animated version.
I found all the material challenging and appropriate for the class. Some of the non-western works were a bit hard to read and understand since the writing style was a bit different from conventional Western manners of writing. One of my favorite aspects was being able to compare the original Grimm stories with the Disney versions. We didn’t touch on this a whole lot in class, but it spurred me to think about it on my own. Having now discussed the hidden meanings and symbolic motifs in many of the tales, it will be hard for me to watch and see the Disney versions in the same way. I enjoyed the Jack Zipes article we read about Disney, the man. It gave me some background into his life that I never knew before. I read additional Zipes writings in my research for the term paper and I really enjoy the way he interprets the tales in relation to Disney’s ways.
It was very interesting to analyze the stories from a variety of viewpoints, including psychological, feminist, and social. These ways introduced me to think about the tales in ways that I never had before. I think I’ll always be interested in this genre of literature, so it’s nice to have new ways to think about it. We covered a good variety of fairy and folk tales throughout this class and I really enjoyed taking it.