chapter  8
23 Pages

The Liberating Potential of the Fantastic in Contemporary Fairy Tales for Children

Our views of child rearing, socialization, technology, and politics have changed to such a great extent since World War II that the classical folktales and fairy tales appear too backward looking to many progressive-minded critics and creative writers. Not only are the tales considered to be too sexist, racist, and authoritarian but the general contents are said to refl ect the

concerns of semifeudal, patriarchal societies. 1 What may have engendered hope for better living conditions centuries ago has become more inhibiting for today’s children in the Western world. The discourse of classical fairy tales, its end effect, cannot be considered enlightening and emancipatory in face of possible nuclear warfare, ecological destruction, growing governmental and industrial regimentation, and intense economic crises.