Lately, we’re surrounded by a fantasy world. Books and movies all center around ancient classics that we’ve grown up with, and so have generations before us.
Those magical stories that kept us awake, bewildered, till the wee hours of the night. Those peculiar characters that reincarnated among us when we played Barbie dolls, dress up, or role play. Stories our parents read to us, mostly to entertain us or to put us to sleep, but also to teach us a valuable lesson. That’s perhaps why the big movie screen and authors go back to fairy tales and incorporate them in their new novels and films. Some examples of modern remakes are Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror, Mirror, and Cinder, Book One of the Lunar Chronicles, only to mention the most recent ones.
Why this fascination with fairy tales? Well, I can give you my reason. As a child you lose yourself in a fake, magical world and it’s perfectly okay. Things don’t have to make sense but better yet, the confusing feelings of selfishness, love, hate, jealousy are intensified ten times fold. Fairy tales taught us that there is a strong sense of justice, that the bad guy always gets ‘his’ at the end. Then there’s the happy ever after, the one where the princess finds her true love, gets the castle (and the money), and of course what every little girl dreams of…gowns and tiaras! But there’s more hidden under the veils of fantastical purpose. There’s an intricate weaving of mystery, of lunacy, of courage. That’s where we truly experienced what we’re made of, indirectly of course. We pictured ourselves walking in the thorny woods, late at night, shadowed by the cloud of night….and the big, bad wolf. We darted through a majestic ship, swords in hand, waving our bravery and mockery against a hooked pirate. Then of course, we waltz into the late hours of night, while a mean stepmother danced in heavy iron shoes, paying for the pain and humiliation she inflicted.
Fairy tales were our first mental playground and whether we turned out to be doctors, writers, or musicians we have all taken from it. We’ve all borrowed a small piece of that bravery, sense of justice, or twisted humor. It’s not that hard to believe that even as adults we are still drawn to those fairy tales. They bring us back to a safe heaven, a place where we can identify with. They are a part of us and they don’t leave.
So for generations to come, we read the same stories to our children. Selfishly we indulge in the story telling as we narrate, but we bask in the glory of passing them down. We know their importance. We understand their meaning. We welcome them back in our lives, in traditional forms or modern remakes, and hope to take out of it the same feeling we did as a child. It’s our comfort zone, our security blanket, and why shouldn’t they be idolized and welcomed? Don’t they deserve that for everything they’ve taught us? Even the darkest of tales can teach us an important role in life. What magical, twisted or adventurous path will we choose?