The “Magic” of Fairy Tales

BY JAZMIN VIAYRA

Fairy tales take us to far away magical lands and introduce us to magical creatures. If you’re like me, you grew up with, or at least heard of classic fairy tales such as “Cinderella” and “Snow White.” These classic tales have been around for centuries and continue to be remade. I have always wondered why these tales continue to be so loved by so many, including myself.

The whimsical wonder of fairy tales comes from their connection between nature, magic, and humans. The name “fairy” tales is already intriguing due to its inclusion of a magical creature. Most, if not all fairy tales are set in a magical place such as an imaginary kingdom or an enchanted forest. The fictionality of the settings allow people to be easily immersed in a world that is not their own. In addition, the animals in fairy tales is one of my favorite aspects of them. Magic is often related to the animals in the tales, which can be shown in the form of animals speaking, turning into humans, or being half human and half animal. One of my favorite fairy tales that display those qualities is the “Swan Maiden.” The “Swan Maiden” is about three magical swans that shed their swan pelt to become human women. One day a human man sees the swans transformation and become smitten with the youngest swan.  This prompts him to steal the swan’s skin, which would prevent her from transforming back into a swan, and he marries her. However, as beautiful as the woman her natural form is to be a swan. My favorite aspect of the fairy tale, is that the woman doesn’t think twice in leaving the man when her swan pelt is returned. This is demonstrated in the quote, “…she was transformed once more into a swan, and instantly took flight through an open window.”  The woman is no longer tied down to a man who took away her opportunity to be her natural self. The magical elements mixed with nature in fairy tales makes them entertaining.

Another reason why I enjoy reading fairy tales, is their accessibility to all ages. Fairy tales, for the most part, are short and use techniques such as repetition or recurring motifs, which makes them easily recognizable, memorable, and consumable to read. This means that adults and children alike can both enjoy and be immersed in the tale. I think part of this also has to due with these fairy tales being passed down for generations. There is a sense of nostalgia and adoration for these stories because most of us, especially if you grew up in a Western country, grew up with these fairy tales. These tales in many ways have brought generations together. With all of this said, I am aware of the dark origins of the tales and how some may not always be suited for children. However, with the remakes such as Disneys,’ they have become more available to children to equally enjoy.

Fairy tales’ magical elements and how they have brought together people for centuries has contributed to my and other’s continual love for them.