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Running head: Fiction Anaylisis “Story of an Hour” 1
Fiction Anaylisis “Story of an Hour” 5
When diving deep into the character Louise Mallard in the
short story “A Story for an Hour” written by Kate Chopin. The
story is told through the perception of Louise Mallard after
hearing the tragic news of her husband’s death, Louise began to
show a rather unusual reaction to Mr. Mallard death. Instead of
grieving, she instead shows an overwhelming sense of joy and
freedom. Chopin paints Mrs. Mallard as a content women who
feels trapped within her marriage to Brently Mallard.
Throughout the story the narrator makes sure to give hints and
clues about how trapped Louise felt about her marriage and the
audience begins to sympathize and understand that Brently’s
death was not a devastating news, but more of a liberation of
her life. Over joyed by the news, she can finally assert herself.
But ironically Louise is the one who untimely dies from extreme
happiness.
Throughout the story, the audience aren’t giving to much
information about the Mr. and Mrs. Mallard marriage, but learns
that she was repressed throughout the marriage and she feels
trapped. The audience is sort of force to use their imagination
on the marriage. After Louise’s sister Josephine gives the news
of her husband’s death. She of course begins to weep into her
arms of Josephine. “When the storm of grief had spent itself she
went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow
her. There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy
armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical
exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her
soul she could see in the open square before her house the tops
of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The
delicious breath of rain was in the air” (Chopin). From this line
the Louise uses the open window as a form of symbolism in
which she has the ability to free herself from the confined
marriage and is able to see the world again. Chopin gives a
great analogy of Louise being a prisoner to her own home and
marriage. “There were patches of blue sky showing here and
there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the
other in the west facing her window” (Chopin). Chopin uses the
blue sky as an underlying symbol for freedom.
Louise begins to have that thought that she can finally be
able to live for herself now. “She then begins to utter the words
"Free! Body and soul free! She kept whispering” (Chopin). The
narrator emphasizes that Louise realizes now that in the next
upcoming years she will finally be able to make decisions and
“no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with
which men and women believe they have a right to impose a
private will upon a fellow-creature” (Chopin). Chopin done a
great job illustrating the suffering within Louise’s marriage to
Brently. Since this short story was written 1894, marriage had a
more tradition “till death do us part” aspect to it with divorce
not being as prevalent and common thing as of today. During
the late eighth and early nineteen century women it was didn’t
have as much freedom and power within the household and
society. It is safe to say that society had a more tolerance of
women being subject to spousal abuse, domestic violence, little
to no property ownership, and limited rights. Even though the
narrator fail to give any specific details of the Louise marriage,
it is safe to say that she may have been subjected to a sort of
abuse, in which Chopin leaves to the imagination of the
audience. “And yet she had loved him--sometimes. Often she
had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved
mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-
assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest
impulse of her being”! (Chopin). The narrator expresses that she
was young and beautiful, which Louise feels that she is wasting
her youth and beauty being in a marriage that she feels like a
prisoner being trapped behind four walls.
After locking herself in the confines of her room in which she
can privately express the way she truly. Josephine assumes that
her sister Louise is sobbing and potentially going to harm
herself and begins to talk to her through the keyhole: "Louise,
open the door! I beg; open the door--you will make yourself ill.
What are you doing, Louise? For heaven's sake open the door”
(Chopin). But on the contrary Louise is expressing the opposite,
in fact she is celebrating life that she was drinking in a very
elixir of life through that open window. Josephine continues to
try to convince Louise to open the door, but Louise who is
annoyed replies: “Go away. I am not making myself ill"
(Chopin). Louise finally opened the door and collapsed at her
sister’s waist in which they both began to walk down the stairs.
Louise then collapsed on the floor, then suddenly the front door
key latched began to open with Brently Mallard walking in to
the house unharmed and unaware that there was a train accident.
Later, the doctor pronounced Louise dead she had died of heart
disease--of the joy that kills.
Throughout the story it seems as if Chopin made the character
Louise Mallard is somewhat of a metaphor for women in the
18th and 19th century who may have been feeling trapped
within the confines of their marriage. Chopin done a great job
illustrating Louise suffering marriage to Brently, that ironically
when she was finally free that her emotions ultimately was the
thing that killed her. I believe the Chopin’s underlying message
of the story is to paint Louise as every woman who ever felt that
they were trapped by society views of women being oppressed
by men. Even though Louise was the only one who truly died
instead of Brently Mallard, she finally is able to escape the
grips of her marriage.
Reference:
Chopin, K (1894). The Story of an Hour. In X.J Kennedy and D
Gioia (Eds.) The Literature Collection: An E-Text [VitalSource
digital version] (p.149 ). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Essays, UK. (November 2013). Mrs Mallard Character Analysis.
Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english-
literature/character-analysis-of-mrs-mallard-english-literature-
essay.php?vref=1
Abstract—Once upon a time…Magic slippers, dwarfs, glass
coffins, witches who live in the woods, evil stepmothers and
princesses with swan wings, popular stories we’ve all heard and
we have all grown with, repeated time and time again. So, the
main aim of this article is on the theoretical implications of
fairy
tales as well as the meaning and importance of fairy tales on the
emotional development of the child. Fairy tales have immense
psychological meaning for children of all ages. They talk to
children, they guide and assist children in coming to grips with
issues from real, everyday life. Here, there have been given
general information concerning the role and importance of fairy
tales in both pedagogical and psychological dimensions.
Index Terms—Children, development, everyday issues, fairy
tales, psychological perspectives.
I. INTRODUCTION
Stories are important in everyone’s lives and most
important to children’s lives. They gain a sense of who they
are through narratives, the telling of stories to themselves and
others about what has happened to them. By extension, they
form their identities through integrating their unique, personal
family histories with the legends of the culture. Because fairy
tales and myths follow the heroine or hero as they go through
periods of darkness to transformation, these classic stories
may be said to encode patterns that enable the restoration of
vibrant functioning. This article major purpose is to provide
the reader with vital information as far as the significance of
fairy tales is concerned and show the impact of fairy tales
through the lens of psychology.
II. DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAIRY
TALES
It is true that at times there have been attempts to define
children's literature, a branch of literature, which now has a
separate existence, despite the reciprocity pointed out
between adult literature and literature for children. Each
definition takes into consideration the special characteristics
of childhood. Rebecca J. Lukens [1], starting from the
principle that children differ in terms of their experiences and
not in form, concludes that the difference is based on the
degree and not in kind. This is the reason that literature for
children differs from the literature for adults in terms of the
degree and not in kind. Besides, children's literature offers the
same pleasure as that of adult’s literature. Children need to
enjoy a story, but the source of this pleasure is more limited
Manuscript received August 23, 2016; revised December 5,
2016.
Koutsompou Violetta-Eirini (Irene) is with University of East
London,
UK (e-mail: [email protected]).
given that their experience is more limited, since children fail
to understand some concepts because of their complexity. For
this reason, the expressions should be simpler, both in
language and format. The stories have an immediacy, much of
the digressions are avoided and the relationship governing the
acting persons with the action is quite evident. The
relationships that govern the acting persons, whether these are
the acting or situational subjects or values are also more
distinct. Children prefer the literal discourse more than adults,
while they are more receptive and prone to imaginary
situations. Having found that there are distinctive features in
books for children, Peter Hunt [2] concludes that textual
features are unreliable. In fact he believes that children's
literature is inferior to adult literature.
It has been certainly clarified that, when we talk about
children's literature, we do not mean the total number of
books that are marketed for kids, because Para literature or
texts of low or of questionable aesthetic value, can also be
included in these. These texts have presumably a meager
vocabulary and no specific purpose, apart from the fact that
they intend to please and incidentally to have a kind of an
emerging didacticism. They are often fond of profanity. On
the contrary, it is the art of writing, which is cultivated by
adults and aims principally at children-whether this is
something being consciously sought by its creators or not. In
other words, it is the set of aesthetically justified texts, which
can contribute to both children's entertainment and spiritual
cultivation, i.e. the development of the ability to perceive
beauty, the maturation of personality and shaping the freedom
of thought. Besides, children's literature includes
a) Texts of original production,
b) Critical texts, which are part of the wider field of literary
theory and criticism and c) Tasks, which are interpretatively
and instructively close to the original production of children's
literature. This special branch of literature has seen a
significant growth over the last years on a global scale, either
as an original production or as a study of this production. The
term inevitably leads to a partition of literature. Thus, on the
one hand, its two sections seem to be independent: Children's
literature or better Literature for children, as it is preferred,
and Literature for adults. On the other hand, however, it seems
that these two areas are in constant communication and close
relationship, because children's literature is also read by
adults, who often act as censors and they accordingly allow or
prohibit children from a particular reading and they feed into
one another to establish a reciprocal relationship, since texts
that are written for children can be transformed into texts for
adults and vice versa, texts for adults can be adapted for
children. A classic case is that of the Homeric poems, whose
adaptations are of unreliable quality or the Tale without a
The Child and the Fairy Tale: The Psychological
Perspective of Children’s Literature
Koutsompou Violetta-Eirini (Irene)
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics,
Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016
213doi: 10.18178/ijlll.2016.2.4.98
Name by Pinelopi Delta and the homonymous theater play by
Iakovos Kampanellis. At least most scholars, in their efforts to
define the term Children's Literature, follow the same path.
They initially identify the general term of Literature, they
continue in exploring the question “What is a child” and,
finally, they attempt to define children's literature. In the
second question, they attempt to detect childhood
characteristics, which are long-standing and intercultural.
Therefore, according to Isabelle Jan [3], literature for children
exists only from the moment that the child – adult distinction
has been made. According to this practice, Hunt [2] detects
some distinctive features such as spontaneity, acceptance of
intellectual excellence, psychological compulsions,
emotional attachment to mature persons, inability to abstract
thinking, the degree of distraction that differs from the adult
counterpart. These features make children more easily
adaptable than adults.
In fact, McDowell Miles [4] resorts to the features of a
children's book, as he attempts to define children's literature.
In particular, he writes "children's books are generally shorter
and tend to favour active rather than passive behavior with
dialogues in episodes rather than in descriptions and
introspections. The child-protagonist is the norm.
Conventions are greatly used. The story develops in clear (=
strictly defined) ethical formations that many adults are
unaware of. Children's books tend to be optimistic rather than
discouraging. The language is child oriented. The plot is
shaped under a distinct order and the probability is often
rejected. Finally, one could talk about a magical and
imaginary atmosphere, as well as simplicity and an
adventure". In his efforts to identify the features of the
literature for children, Perry Nodelman [5], finds that
children's literature
• is simple,
• focuses on action,
• addresses childhood,
• expresses the views of the child,
• is optimistic,
• tends to be imaginary,
• is a form of a sacred romance,
• involves innocence,
• is instructive,
• is repetitive,
• tends to balance the ideal and instructive.
III. THE AESTHETIC AND PEDAGOGICAL ROLE OF
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Teaching children's literature is obviously in direct
connection with its content, in other words, how it is defined.
Here, we encounter two views. The first includes those
definitions that converge and accept the priority of the artistic,
aesthetic element in texts, therefore they have the sole
objective to please the child-reader (and the adult). The
second gives priority to other educational goals and accepts
the pedagogical character of children's literature. In her
transactional theory, Louise Rosenblatt [6] describes the
experience with literature as an aesthetic situation, an
interaction with literature, in which experience is the
interesting factor. At the same time, she also touches on
effective reading, whose main objective is acquiring
information. F. J. Harvey Darton [7] believes that children's
literature was created in order to offer children a source of
pleasure and not necessarily to teach and nourish them.
Margery Fisher [8] also rejects the social functioning of
children's literature, arguing that we should not expect books
for children to include social considerations and moralistic
lectures, because they are artistic works, which should touch
on their imagination under their own terms. Peter Dickinson
[9] also takes an evaluating stand, as he does not accept that
all readings that do not involve some obvious aesthetic or
pedagogical value is rubbish. Sheila Egoff [10] maintains the
same notions, when she expresses the view that the children's
literary book should aim at offering pleasure and not
education to the child-reader. She accepts that modern
children's literature, as it is primarily represented by High
Fantasy texts and by the best realistic novels, has a wide range
of topics and a philosophical depth. However, she claims that
the main aim is to entertain rather than to educate the child.
Thus, the final conclusion is that the aim of children's
literature is purely recreational and not pedagogical. Nicholas
Tucker [11] also opposes the view that the children's literary
book communicates knowledge and educates. He argues that
literature, according to others theoreticians, is free from the
pedagogical features it must be governed by. However,
despite these observations he does not exclude the
"pedagogical conventions', which are mainly due to the
children’s limited perceptual ability. John Donovan [12] also
highlights the social and pedagogical role of children's
literature. Maria Tatar [13] also accepts the pedagogical
nature of children's literature. Moreover, both Perry
Nodelman [5] and Rebecca Lukens [1] accept the pleasure the
reader feels while reading children’s literature. The first one,
who refers to the delight of a literary text, draws up a list of '
pleasures '/cases of delight in literature. Basically, he detects
the pleasure of the text in the dialogue among readers and the
texts and among readers and other readers with reference to
the texts, without referring to the pedagogical role of
children's texts. Rebecca Lukens [1] admits that literature (in
general) informs, but it also offers much more. She
specifically writes “We choose literature that promises fun
and often provides us with the possibility to escape”. In
general, literature offers emotion and knowledge. Referring to
the role of literature, she argues that literature captures the
human emotions, equips with experiences, reveals the
fragmentation of life, helps focus our attention on the
essential aspects, reveals the social institutions and clarifies
our reactions to them and manifests the nature as a force that
affects humans. In contrast, several theorists, such as Michele
Landsberg [14], accept the pedagogical role of the children’s
literary book, identifying a moral and emotional dimension.
Aidan Chambers [15] identifies the pleasure of the text in the
discovery of standard events, in understanding of the
characters and ideas, in the perception of images and in
deciphering the language interaction, therefore in a total
conception of the text both as format and as content. John
Stephens thinks that the children’s text aims at fostering
positive thoughts of some social and cultural values in a child
that are shared by the author and the audience. The views
expresses about literature by Richard Hoggart [16], who does
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics,
Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016
214
not discern any pure aesthetic value in literature, but identifies
human experience in the texts, are quite interesting. Joan I.
Glazer [17] supports that the children's book contributes in
the psychological development and education of the child, but
also in the formation of aesthetic criteria. However, Grigorios
Xenopoulos [18] supports the coexistence of the emotional
and pedagogical purpose of the children's book. In the preface
of the direct edition of "My Little Sister", he mentions that the
book is not just an educational novel, but also a literary work".
We also share this view, alternatively the children's book
would be a kind that is becoming obsolete. Moreover, Loti
Petrovic-Androutsopoulou [19] also supports that children’s
literature “like it or not, functions in an educational way”.
IV. THE IMPORTANCE OF TRADITIONAL LITERATURE
FOR
CHILDREN
Traditional children's literature (legends, myths [and tale])
offer children a better understand the world. Each story is
based on a culture and the world of the culture is unlimited
[20]. The narration or reading of legends, myths, and fairy
tales is a way of nurturing the child’s soul and humanism. The
understanding of the world grows as children understand the
early cultural traditions, learn about the culture and read a
variety of myths, learn to appreciate the culture and art of
other people, according to Donna E. Norton [21]. Without
spiritual knowledge, children-readers may not realize the
dissemination of the culture. The similarities found in texts of
traditional children's literature indicate movements of people
(migration and conquest). They even show that all people
have the same needs and the same problems. In fact, some
tales are almost the same. At the same time, traditional myths
encourage children to imagine that people from all over the
world care about the good, the courage, the benefaction and
the industry. In his book “The Magic of Fairy Tales” (“The
meaning and importance of fairy tales”) Bruno Bettelheim [22]
strongly argues about the use of traditional myths by children.
In his psychoanalytical approach to myths, Bettelheim [22]
argues that nothing provides greater wealth to children as
traditional children's literature. To support his view, he argues
that traditional children's literature help children learn about
human progress and possible problem solving. This is
because myths undoubtedly and briefly involve some
problems that the child can understand. In addition, myths
involve a moral behavior of heroes. Thus, children can learn
that it is inevitable for one to fight against the difficulties of
life and that these can be overcome. Traditional children's
literature also includes characters that are good and bad.
Simple and good characters allow the child to identify with
the good and reject the bad. The child sympathizes with the
deserving characters, "participates" in his fights, learning that
while he/she may encounter difficulties or be rejected by
someone, he/she would be helped and guided when needed
[23]. Traditional children's literature, tales in particular,
which are rapidly developed and include a dramatic plot and
an easy identification with the good character, belongs to the
type of literature that "speaks" more to listeners or readers and
gives pleasure. They believe that the environment of this
literature’s heroes/heroines is similar to their own
environment.
V. FEATURES OF THE FAIRY TALE
The folk or alternative fairy tale is the most preferable type
of discourse in children. It is a comforting discourse intended
for narrative or storytelling designed to distract someone from
any concerns. Gradually, the word came to mean what we
actually mean today, since all the imaginary narratives aimed
at entertaining the listeners and carrying them to dark away
lands were included [23]. We can therefore define the fairy
tale as an imaginary tale, which moves into a supernatural and
magical world and is designed to satisfy the listener. Given
that fairy tales differ from other types of literature, their
features are found mainly in the plot, characters, setting,
theme and genre [23]. Specifically:
1. Its world: The fairy tale is a completely imaginary
narrative, whose key objective is to satisfy and to entertain. Its
world is completely fictional, it lacks plausibility and neither
natural laws nor human determinism apply. When the hero is
in danger, he/she is saved by intervening supernatural powers:
The symbolic scenography found in fairy tales is not
described in detail, because there is no need for a detailed
description, if, for example, someone immediately knows that
something will happen in the magic forest. Space and past
tense are soon outlined, with space indicating a natural stage
setting and time a distant and elusive past. After the
description of scenery, the heroes are immediately identified
and conflicts are soon developed.
2. The folktale is distinguished by the generality of people,
place and time. The “fairy” story unfolds in an indefinite time
and place. The virtually anonymous heroes have been named
based on their characteristics or their attire, etc.: Little Red
Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, Tom Thumb, Little
Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) etc. They are clearly symbolic
names, which reflect the world of folktale heroes, or they are
descriptive, as we have seen, and rely on the heroes’ external
or natural qualities.
3. Everything that happens in a fairy tale ranges in extreme
situations. Everything is either too big or too small or too ugly
or very beautiful etc
4. More often than not its heroes are described by
monstrous features and physical malformations and their
physical attributes reflect their inner world. These
teratogenesis and malformations certainly reflect a social
reality, full of anxiety, fear, prejudices and superstitions. In
fairy tales, the characters are not described in a
comprehensive way as compared to other respective texts
(novels), because the narrator doesn't have the time to develop
them in a global way. Therefore, the characters in fairy tales
are virtually of a symbolic and shallow nature, i.e. they have a
limited range of personal characteristics and do not show any
change during the development of the fairy tale. They are
quite easily standardized into good and evil. Young heroines
are polite and amiable. The youngest son is honored, is gentle
and not selfish at all, if not considered inept. Indeed, children
easily identify the good and bad character in fairy tales.
5. The story is basically structured around the archetypal
figure of good and evil, where evil temporarily outweighs the
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics,
Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016
215
good only to prevail in the end.
6. Its aim is not to teach, advice or urge, as opposed to myth
and proverb, whose aim is learning a moral lesson. Its moral
nature is certainly distinct, because it stems from the moral
conscience of people, but the main purpose of the fairy tale is
the delight and the entertainment through narration.
7. Conflicts and action abound in fairy tales. The nature of
oral tradition gives them an imperative feature, while heroes
are quickly transferred into action and this is present from the
first lines of a fairy tale. The conflicts between characters
representing the good and those representing the evil are
totally classic in fairy tales. The action that is observed in
fairy tales has drawn the attention of many scholars. All fairy
tales have a similar end, beginning and plot.
VI. CATEGORIES OF FAIRY TALES
The study of the fairy tale led to their categorization.
According to Loukatos [24], the Greek fairy tales are divided
into the following categories
1) Magic Tales: refer to giants, dragons, witches, etc.
having profound magical evidence.
2) Narrative Tales: their world is the human society. They
resemble novels that are known to us.
3) Religious or Canonical Tales: they are inspired by the
lives of the saints.
4) Jocular or Satirical Tales: They refer to the sufferings of
inept characters, outwitting dragons etc.
Vladimir Propp [25] is the first who studied the tripartite
structure and technique of the Russian fairy tale:
• A brief introduction, which prefigures and prepares the
listener or the reader.
• Then, there is the narration of the fairy tale itself, which
consists of a variety of motifs.
• The end and the conclusion of the story follows, which
always contains the hero's victory.
In his work "Morphology of the Fairy Tale", Vladimir
Propp [25] finds 31 functions, as he defines the fixed and
unchanged time features of folktales. He indicates that the
structure of folktales is organized on the basis of these
functions. These functions are allocated in cycles, based on
the acting persons,
• Circle of the competitor,
• Action cycle of the donor,
• Action cycle of the assistant and
• Action circle of the Princess (the intended person) and her
father,
• Action cycle of the sender,
• Action cycle of the hero and finally
• Action cycle of the false hero.
The function of violating an order plays a key role in the
development of the story of the fairy tale, which is considered
to be the relating disobedience of Adam and Eve in our Holy
Bible.
VII. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAIRY TALE
It is true that children, particularly those of younger ages
prefer to read folktales. This is due to the fact that:
• They cultivate the imagination,
• They bring the child in contact with folk tradition,
• From a pedagogical point of view, the tale is suitable for
the education of children, because primitive people’s way of
thinking, as it has been proven by anthropological studies, is
very close to the introductory thought of children,
• The tale nurtures both the national as well as the global
and, universal thought. These are supported by the distinctive
features of super-localization and continuity.
The tales consist of universal truths and reflect the values of
the time periods and societies from which they are derived.
Many of these have still have a significant value, even
nowadays. The characters, their actions and their reward lead
to the development of moral issues. The good defeats the evil,
justice triumphs, the non-arrogant is lucky in love,
intelligence overcomes physical strength, while kindness,
diligence and hard work leads to reward. The jealous queen,
such as in the alternative tale of Eugenios Trivizas “the Dona
Caries and the wedding cake” (Η Δόνα Τερηδόνα και η
γαμήλια τούρτα), is punished, the foolish King loses part of
their property or a child, usually his daughter etc. The
universality of these issues demonstrates that people all over
the world maintain similar ideas and beliefs, such as, for
example, wit is superior to physical strength or fools lose their
property.
VIII. THE FUNCTION OF FAIRY TALES: THE
PERSPECTIVE OF
PSYCHOLOGY
The majority of fairy tales deals with a series of recurring
concerns, such as socialization, emotional independence and
the problematic relationships each child faces in the
environment during his/her psychosocial development.
According to the psychoanalytic approach, the thematic areas,
which most fairy tales deal with by using a symbolic language
and transfer are the following [22]:
− Fear of being abandoned by parents
− Conflicts within the family, sibling rivalries
− Social maturity, process towards autonomy
− Acceptance of negative and positive traits of self and
parents
− Acquisition of gender identity-problems in puberty
− Parent-child relationships – (mother-daughter, father-son,
daughter- father)
− Emotional integration
All good tales are meaningful on many levels and help the
child build his/her internal and external reality.
Without the need of rendering a moral lesson or
interpretation, the child intuitively discovers the hidden
meanings of the fairy tale on his/her own, which are
meaningful to him/her at a given moment, depending on the
stage of his/her psycho-emotional development [22]. In an
almost magical way, we dare say, fairy tales identify the
maturational processes in the individual development of each
child and provide a fertile ground that allows the connection
with the facilitative environment [26] of the child. As the fairy
tales deal with key issues and emotional childhood
experiences, they easily stimulate the mechanisms of
projection and identification [27]. These emotional processes,
operating at a symbolic-imaginary level, play an important
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics,
Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016
216
role in the structuring of the child’s psycho-emotional
experience. The stories of fairy tales expressed through
language by transfer and symbolic representations, facilitate
the development of symbolic thought, the representative
abilities and the mental processing of life events at a
fantasy-level [28], which form the basis for the development
of creative thought and emotional intelligence [29]. The
narration of fairy tales contributes highly to the development
of children's creative imagination, which is fundamental to
their psycho-emotional health. Having imagination means
enjoying inner wealth, a relentless and spontaneous flow of
images and viewing the world in its entirety [30]. In the
dreamy world of the fairy tale, where everything unfolds in an
intermediate space between fantasy and reality, the child’s
magic thought finds an appropriate way out. The structure of
fairy tales allow children to move into a dreamy world without
restrictions and cancellations. At the same time, through the
mechanisms of identification and projection, the child has the
ability to identify, express his/her negative feelings, to give
importance to personal traumatic experiences and, ultimately,
to look for and find a meaning in his/her life [22]. In a
comprehensible and clear manner, the fairy tales answer the
fundamental questions of children and keep their initiatory
character, as they transfer important knowledge and
information about life [28].
The stories of fairy tales enhance the children’s faith in
their ability to build their own personality rather than the
external adversities, inner conflicts or deadlocks experienced.
The enchantment of fairy tales lies in this very potential.
Among the multiple functions they perform, fairy tales offer
an effective way for children to express and illustrate their
existential-developmental anxieties, the inner and external
conflicts and their doubts [27]. Fairy tales give meaning to the
inner and external conflicts experienced by children in a
complex, incomprehensible and hardship-filled world. With
the positive outcome of their stories, fairy tales help in
appeasing the fears experienced at various developmental
stages, in reassuring that the unknown can become known and
contribute to the establishment of a wider, positive
perspective about life, while answering a child’s deep need
for justice [22].
The complexity of human nature, in which both good and
evil coexist, is well identified in fairy tales. The figures in
fairy tales are good and bad at the same time, as we all are in
reality. But since polarization dominates the child's mind, it
also dominates fairy tales. A person is either good or bad,
never anything in between. For example, one sister is virtuous
and industrious, the others are vile and lazy, one parent is
good, the other evil. The juxtaposition of opposite characters
permits the child to easily comprehend the difference between
the two, which he could not do if these figures were closer to
real life. Furthermore, a child's identification choices are
based, not so much on right versus wrong, but mainly which
person they like and which they dislike. The simpler and more
straightforward a good character is, the easier it is for a child
to identify with it and to reject the bad character. Typically,
the child identifies with the good hero not because of his
goodness, but because the child is positively attracted to the
hero. However, due to the abundance of fairy tales with
various heroes (good and bad) and the complex conditions
they experience, the child is also able to identify with negative
models-heroes, who escape from their parents’ moral
limitations, since this identification answers to certain needs
of their psycho-emotional development.
Some of the children’s basic desires, feelings, impulses and
needs, which are often not expressed and are suppressed into
the world of everyday life by the parental standards are
favorite topics of fairy tale stories. In the safe space of
imagination, children can come in contact with this wide
range of 'banned', dark emotions-reactions and negative
expressions of life, of their self and others, without having to
suffer the painful consequences of everyday life or disrupting
the sense of reality and the relationship of children with
significant persons by the adult world.
IX. POSITIVE EFFECTS OF NARRATIVE FAIRY TALES
The different narrative means such as stories, metaphors,
myths and fairy tales have a significant psycho-educational
effect in child development. The storytelling techniques can
contribute by activating a variety of psychological processes,
such as imagination, memory, attention to the expansion of
listener’s active socio-moral receptivity [31]. Egan [32]
argues that the classic fairy tales have an important effect on
engaging the imagination of young children in the classroom,
while the dramatization of stories can function as an early
form of teaching and learning within the school context.
Research has shown that storytelling as well as the children’s
contact with a wide range of texts from the traditional
literature, contributes to:
− Better self-awareness and awareness of others,
development of emotional intelligence [33]
− Development of healthy self-concept, sense of identity [34]
− Enhancement of imagination [35],
− Development of human morality [36]
− Enhancement of cultural sensitivity [37] when children are
exposed to storytelling from various cultural contexts
It is noted, however, that few surveys have been conducted
in this area, since it is difficult to study the influence of the
ancient tradition of the storytelling art form on the mental
development of children and the development of learning
skills strictly by using scientific criteria [28]. If we review the
overall history of oral storytelling, in a broader perspective,
we will see that two kinds of storytelling emerge, with the
purpose of mental health: one that seeks to maintain mental
health and acts in a preventive level-and a second that aims at
restoring mental health and functions as a therapeutic mean
[38].
X. CONCLUSION
Summing up, we would say that the fairy tale is the
foremost form by which the child learns to read his mind with
the language of the images-symbols which is the only
language that allows the understanding before mental
maturity is achieved. As reported by Campbell [39], the
folktale is the primer of the image of the soul. The special
contribution of fairy tales in the psychosocial development of
children is seen in the timeless message they convey: the
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics,
Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016
217
difficulties, often unexpected and unfair, inevitably
accompany the human path, but if one could face them with
courage, then he dominates the obstacles and is declared a
winner.
Understanding the dynamics occurs in the fairy tale
hero/heroine’s journey, which typically leads from misery to
the highest development, could reveal to us as therapists and
youth workers, some ways to help children but also adults, in
their uphill path of their life. However, it is necessary to
remember that no technique or method can fully answer the
multidimensional needs of children whether these are social,
educational, emotional, cognitive or biological. Hence, fairy
tales are supplementary to the range of methods used in
psycho-educational or therapy intervention framework. At
this point, it should be mentioned that the above study is part
of a research on storytelling/fairy tales and its benefits in
changing unhealthy eating habits in children. In fairy tales
there is rich information on food which can help parents
control themselves as well as finding ways to bond positively
with their children through food practices.
REFERENCES
[1] R. Lukens, A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature,
HarperCollins College Publishers, New York, 1995.
[2] P. Hunt, International Companion Encyclopedia of
Children’s
Literature, London: Routledge, 1996.
[3] I. Jan, On Children's Literature, Schocken Books, First
Edition, 1974.
[4] M. McDowell, “Fiction for children and adult: Some
essential
differences,” Children’ s Literature in Education, 1973.
[5] P. Nodelman, The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, New
York &
London: Longman, 1992.
[6] L. Rosemblatt, The Reader the Text, the Poem. The
Transactional
Theory of the Literaty Work, Carbondale and Edwardsville:
Southern
Illinois University Press, 1994.
[7] F. Darton, Joseph Harvey Children's Books in England: Five
Centuries of Social Life (Cambridge Library Collection -
Literary
Studies), Cambridge University Press, Reissue edition, 2011.
[8] M. Nikolajeva, The Rhetoric of Character in Children’s
Literature,
Maryland: Scarecrow, 2002.
[9] M. Nikolajeva, Aesthetic Approaches to Children's
Literature: An
Introduction, Scarecrow Press, 2005.
[10] S. Egoff and J. Saltman, The New Republic of Childhood:
A Critical
Guide to Canadian Children's Literature in English, 1990.
[11] N. Tucker, The Child and the Book: A Psychological and
Literary
Exploration (Canto original series), Cambridge University
Press,
1990.
[12] J. Donovan, I’ll Get There; It Better Be Worth the Trip,
40th
Anniversary Edition, Woodbury: Flux, 2010.
[13] M. Tatar, Off With Their Heads!. Fairy Tales and the
Culture of
Childhood, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1992.
[14] M. Landsbergs, Michele Landsberg's Guide to Children's
Books,
Penguin Books Australia, 1986.
[15] A. Chambers, The Reading Environment, How Adults Help
Children
Enjoy Books, Exeter: Thimble Press, 1999.
[16] R. Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy, Penguin Books Ltd.,
1969.
[17] J. Glazer, Literature for Young Children, New Jersey:
Prentice Hall,
1991.
[18] J. I. Glazer, An Introduction to Children’s Literature, New
Jersey:
Prentice Hall, 1997.
[19] L. Petrovic-Androutsopoulou, Children’s Literature in our
Times,
Athens: Kastaniotis, 1990.
[20] D. Wolkstein, Treasures of the Heart, Random House Inc.,
2002.
[21] D. E. Norton, Through the Eyes of a Child, An Introduction
to
Children’s Literature, MacMillan, 3rd edition, 1991.
[22] B. Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning
And
Importance of Fairy Tales, New York: Vintage Books, 1989.
[23] J. Glazer, Literature for Young Children, New Jersey:
Prentice Hall,
1991.
[24] D. Loukatos, An Introduction to Greek Ethnography,
Educational
Foundation of National Bank, 1992.
[25] V. Propp, The Morphology of Fairy Tale, Trans. Aristea
Parisi. Athens:
Kardamitsas.
[26] D. Winnicott, Maturational Processes and the Facilitating
Environment: Studies in the Theory of Emotional Development,
Karnac Books, 1996.
[27] M. L. Von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales,
Boston:
Shambhala Publications, 1996.
[28] H. Kourkoutas, Psychoanalytic Approach of Fairy Tales
and the Use
of Children's Stories in Psychotherapy and Special Education,
Athens:
Topo.
[29] J. M. Gottman and J. DeClaire, The Heart of Parenting:
How to Raise
an Emotionally Intelligent Child, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC,
1997.
[30] M. Elliade, Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious
Symbolism,
Harvill Pr, 1st edition, 1961.
[31] L. S. Vygotsky, Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-
Historical
Approach to Play, Meaning Making, and the Arts, Peter Lang
Publishing Inc., 2010.
[32] K. Egan, Children's Minds: Talking Rabbits & Clockwork
Oranges,
NY: Teachers College Press, 1999.
[33] R. Mello, “The power of storytelling: How oral narrative
influences
children's relationships in classrooms,” International Journal of
Education & the Arts, vol. 2, no. 1, 2001.
[34] V. G. Paley, The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter: The
Uses of
Storytelling in the Classroom, Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University,
2001.
[35] K. Gallas, The Languages of Learning: How Children Talk,
Write,
Dance, Draw, and Sing Their Understanding of the World, N. Y:
Teachers College Press, 1994.
[36] J. Zipes, Fairy Tale as Myth, Myth as Fairy Tale,
Lexington:
University of Kentucky Press, 1994.
[37] A. McCabe, “Cultural background and storytelling: A
review and
implications for schooling,” The Elementary School Journal,
vol. 97,
no. 5, pp. 453-473, 1997.
[38] S. Pelasgus, The Secrets Fairytale, An Apprenticeship in
the Art of
Oral Literature and Storytelling, Athens: Metexmio, 2007.
[39] S. Doulamis and A. S. Antoniou, “The charm of fairy tales:
Their Use
and Importance in the field of special education,” in Proc. 2nd
Hellenic Conference of Educational Sciences, Athens, May
2010.
Koutsompou Violetta-Eirini (Irene) holds a
bachelor’s degree in English language/literature and
psychology from the State University of New York,
USA, a master’s degree in English and comparative
literature from University of Indianapolis, USA, an
accredited certificate in TEFL from Hellenic
American University, a professional diploma in
counseling psychology from City Unity College,
Athens, Greece and a master of science degree in
psychology from the University of East London, UK. She has
attended
seminars and specializes in psychoanalysis and Jungian
psychology at the
Carl Gustav Jung Institute, in Zurich. Ms. Koutsompou has
taught as an
invited lecturer in colleges in Greece where she presented her
thoughts and
theory about children’s literature and development and loss in
every aspect
of life. Her areas of interest and concentration are psychology
of child
development, children’s literature and its impact on the
cognitive and
emotional development, depression, grief and loss, second
language
acquisition, postmodern literature, women’s psychology and
writings, book
editing and writing. She has worked in private language
institutions in
Greece since 2005; she was interested and worked with children
with special
learning difficulties such as dyslexia, as well as with children
with
behavioral problems in the language classroom. She has
presented her work
in many conferences in Greece and abroad and in 2013 she was
awarded a
Certificate of Excellence for her research in postnatal
depression from the
committee of the 2nd psychology conference of City Unity
College in
Greece. She is a graduate member of the British Psychological
Society, an
Affiliate International member of the American Psychological
Association,
member of the TESOL Greece, of the IRED.
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics,
Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016
218

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Running head Fiction Anaylisis Story of an Hour”1Fiction Anay.docx

  • 1. Running head: Fiction Anaylisis “Story of an Hour” 1 Fiction Anaylisis “Story of an Hour” 5 When diving deep into the character Louise Mallard in the short story “A Story for an Hour” written by Kate Chopin. The story is told through the perception of Louise Mallard after hearing the tragic news of her husband’s death, Louise began to show a rather unusual reaction to Mr. Mallard death. Instead of grieving, she instead shows an overwhelming sense of joy and freedom. Chopin paints Mrs. Mallard as a content women who feels trapped within her marriage to Brently Mallard. Throughout the story the narrator makes sure to give hints and clues about how trapped Louise felt about her marriage and the audience begins to sympathize and understand that Brently’s death was not a devastating news, but more of a liberation of her life. Over joyed by the news, she can finally assert herself. But ironically Louise is the one who untimely dies from extreme happiness. Throughout the story, the audience aren’t giving to much information about the Mr. and Mrs. Mallard marriage, but learns
  • 2. that she was repressed throughout the marriage and she feels trapped. The audience is sort of force to use their imagination on the marriage. After Louise’s sister Josephine gives the news of her husband’s death. She of course begins to weep into her arms of Josephine. “When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her. There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul she could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air” (Chopin). From this line the Louise uses the open window as a form of symbolism in which she has the ability to free herself from the confined marriage and is able to see the world again. Chopin gives a great analogy of Louise being a prisoner to her own home and marriage. “There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window” (Chopin). Chopin uses the blue sky as an underlying symbol for freedom. Louise begins to have that thought that she can finally be able to live for herself now. “She then begins to utter the words "Free! Body and soul free! She kept whispering” (Chopin). The narrator emphasizes that Louise realizes now that in the next upcoming years she will finally be able to make decisions and “no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature” (Chopin). Chopin done a great job illustrating the suffering within Louise’s marriage to Brently. Since this short story was written 1894, marriage had a more tradition “till death do us part” aspect to it with divorce not being as prevalent and common thing as of today. During the late eighth and early nineteen century women it was didn’t have as much freedom and power within the household and society. It is safe to say that society had a more tolerance of women being subject to spousal abuse, domestic violence, little
  • 3. to no property ownership, and limited rights. Even though the narrator fail to give any specific details of the Louise marriage, it is safe to say that she may have been subjected to a sort of abuse, in which Chopin leaves to the imagination of the audience. “And yet she had loved him--sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self- assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being”! (Chopin). The narrator expresses that she was young and beautiful, which Louise feels that she is wasting her youth and beauty being in a marriage that she feels like a prisoner being trapped behind four walls. After locking herself in the confines of her room in which she can privately express the way she truly. Josephine assumes that her sister Louise is sobbing and potentially going to harm herself and begins to talk to her through the keyhole: "Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door--you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven's sake open the door” (Chopin). But on the contrary Louise is expressing the opposite, in fact she is celebrating life that she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window. Josephine continues to try to convince Louise to open the door, but Louise who is annoyed replies: “Go away. I am not making myself ill" (Chopin). Louise finally opened the door and collapsed at her sister’s waist in which they both began to walk down the stairs. Louise then collapsed on the floor, then suddenly the front door key latched began to open with Brently Mallard walking in to the house unharmed and unaware that there was a train accident. Later, the doctor pronounced Louise dead she had died of heart disease--of the joy that kills. Throughout the story it seems as if Chopin made the character Louise Mallard is somewhat of a metaphor for women in the 18th and 19th century who may have been feeling trapped within the confines of their marriage. Chopin done a great job illustrating Louise suffering marriage to Brently, that ironically when she was finally free that her emotions ultimately was the
  • 4. thing that killed her. I believe the Chopin’s underlying message of the story is to paint Louise as every woman who ever felt that they were trapped by society views of women being oppressed by men. Even though Louise was the only one who truly died instead of Brently Mallard, she finally is able to escape the grips of her marriage. Reference: Chopin, K (1894). The Story of an Hour. In X.J Kennedy and D Gioia (Eds.) The Literature Collection: An E-Text [VitalSource digital version] (p.149 ). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. Essays, UK. (November 2013). Mrs Mallard Character Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english- literature/character-analysis-of-mrs-mallard-english-literature- essay.php?vref=1 Abstract—Once upon a time…Magic slippers, dwarfs, glass coffins, witches who live in the woods, evil stepmothers and princesses with swan wings, popular stories we’ve all heard and we have all grown with, repeated time and time again. So, the main aim of this article is on the theoretical implications of fairy tales as well as the meaning and importance of fairy tales on the
  • 5. emotional development of the child. Fairy tales have immense psychological meaning for children of all ages. They talk to children, they guide and assist children in coming to grips with issues from real, everyday life. Here, there have been given general information concerning the role and importance of fairy tales in both pedagogical and psychological dimensions. Index Terms—Children, development, everyday issues, fairy tales, psychological perspectives. I. INTRODUCTION Stories are important in everyone’s lives and most important to children’s lives. They gain a sense of who they are through narratives, the telling of stories to themselves and others about what has happened to them. By extension, they form their identities through integrating their unique, personal family histories with the legends of the culture. Because fairy tales and myths follow the heroine or hero as they go through periods of darkness to transformation, these classic stories may be said to encode patterns that enable the restoration of vibrant functioning. This article major purpose is to provide the reader with vital information as far as the significance of fairy tales is concerned and show the impact of fairy tales through the lens of psychology. II. DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAIRY TALES It is true that at times there have been attempts to define children's literature, a branch of literature, which now has a separate existence, despite the reciprocity pointed out
  • 6. between adult literature and literature for children. Each definition takes into consideration the special characteristics of childhood. Rebecca J. Lukens [1], starting from the principle that children differ in terms of their experiences and not in form, concludes that the difference is based on the degree and not in kind. This is the reason that literature for children differs from the literature for adults in terms of the degree and not in kind. Besides, children's literature offers the same pleasure as that of adult’s literature. Children need to enjoy a story, but the source of this pleasure is more limited Manuscript received August 23, 2016; revised December 5, 2016. Koutsompou Violetta-Eirini (Irene) is with University of East London, UK (e-mail: [email protected]). given that their experience is more limited, since children fail to understand some concepts because of their complexity. For this reason, the expressions should be simpler, both in language and format. The stories have an immediacy, much of the digressions are avoided and the relationship governing the acting persons with the action is quite evident. The relationships that govern the acting persons, whether these are the acting or situational subjects or values are also more distinct. Children prefer the literal discourse more than adults, while they are more receptive and prone to imaginary situations. Having found that there are distinctive features in books for children, Peter Hunt [2] concludes that textual features are unreliable. In fact he believes that children's literature is inferior to adult literature. It has been certainly clarified that, when we talk about children's literature, we do not mean the total number of
  • 7. books that are marketed for kids, because Para literature or texts of low or of questionable aesthetic value, can also be included in these. These texts have presumably a meager vocabulary and no specific purpose, apart from the fact that they intend to please and incidentally to have a kind of an emerging didacticism. They are often fond of profanity. On the contrary, it is the art of writing, which is cultivated by adults and aims principally at children-whether this is something being consciously sought by its creators or not. In other words, it is the set of aesthetically justified texts, which can contribute to both children's entertainment and spiritual cultivation, i.e. the development of the ability to perceive beauty, the maturation of personality and shaping the freedom of thought. Besides, children's literature includes a) Texts of original production, b) Critical texts, which are part of the wider field of literary theory and criticism and c) Tasks, which are interpretatively and instructively close to the original production of children's literature. This special branch of literature has seen a significant growth over the last years on a global scale, either as an original production or as a study of this production. The term inevitably leads to a partition of literature. Thus, on the one hand, its two sections seem to be independent: Children's literature or better Literature for children, as it is preferred, and Literature for adults. On the other hand, however, it seems that these two areas are in constant communication and close relationship, because children's literature is also read by adults, who often act as censors and they accordingly allow or prohibit children from a particular reading and they feed into one another to establish a reciprocal relationship, since texts that are written for children can be transformed into texts for adults and vice versa, texts for adults can be adapted for children. A classic case is that of the Homeric poems, whose adaptations are of unreliable quality or the Tale without a
  • 8. The Child and the Fairy Tale: The Psychological Perspective of Children’s Literature Koutsompou Violetta-Eirini (Irene) International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016 213doi: 10.18178/ijlll.2016.2.4.98 Name by Pinelopi Delta and the homonymous theater play by Iakovos Kampanellis. At least most scholars, in their efforts to define the term Children's Literature, follow the same path. They initially identify the general term of Literature, they continue in exploring the question “What is a child” and, finally, they attempt to define children's literature. In the second question, they attempt to detect childhood characteristics, which are long-standing and intercultural. Therefore, according to Isabelle Jan [3], literature for children exists only from the moment that the child – adult distinction has been made. According to this practice, Hunt [2] detects some distinctive features such as spontaneity, acceptance of intellectual excellence, psychological compulsions, emotional attachment to mature persons, inability to abstract thinking, the degree of distraction that differs from the adult counterpart. These features make children more easily adaptable than adults. In fact, McDowell Miles [4] resorts to the features of a children's book, as he attempts to define children's literature. In particular, he writes "children's books are generally shorter and tend to favour active rather than passive behavior with
  • 9. dialogues in episodes rather than in descriptions and introspections. The child-protagonist is the norm. Conventions are greatly used. The story develops in clear (= strictly defined) ethical formations that many adults are unaware of. Children's books tend to be optimistic rather than discouraging. The language is child oriented. The plot is shaped under a distinct order and the probability is often rejected. Finally, one could talk about a magical and imaginary atmosphere, as well as simplicity and an adventure". In his efforts to identify the features of the literature for children, Perry Nodelman [5], finds that children's literature • is simple, • focuses on action, • addresses childhood, • expresses the views of the child, • is optimistic, • tends to be imaginary, • is a form of a sacred romance, • involves innocence, • is instructive, • is repetitive, • tends to balance the ideal and instructive. III. THE AESTHETIC AND PEDAGOGICAL ROLE OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE Teaching children's literature is obviously in direct connection with its content, in other words, how it is defined. Here, we encounter two views. The first includes those definitions that converge and accept the priority of the artistic, aesthetic element in texts, therefore they have the sole objective to please the child-reader (and the adult). The second gives priority to other educational goals and accepts the pedagogical character of children's literature. In her
  • 10. transactional theory, Louise Rosenblatt [6] describes the experience with literature as an aesthetic situation, an interaction with literature, in which experience is the interesting factor. At the same time, she also touches on effective reading, whose main objective is acquiring information. F. J. Harvey Darton [7] believes that children's literature was created in order to offer children a source of pleasure and not necessarily to teach and nourish them. Margery Fisher [8] also rejects the social functioning of children's literature, arguing that we should not expect books for children to include social considerations and moralistic lectures, because they are artistic works, which should touch on their imagination under their own terms. Peter Dickinson [9] also takes an evaluating stand, as he does not accept that all readings that do not involve some obvious aesthetic or pedagogical value is rubbish. Sheila Egoff [10] maintains the same notions, when she expresses the view that the children's literary book should aim at offering pleasure and not education to the child-reader. She accepts that modern children's literature, as it is primarily represented by High Fantasy texts and by the best realistic novels, has a wide range of topics and a philosophical depth. However, she claims that the main aim is to entertain rather than to educate the child. Thus, the final conclusion is that the aim of children's literature is purely recreational and not pedagogical. Nicholas Tucker [11] also opposes the view that the children's literary book communicates knowledge and educates. He argues that literature, according to others theoreticians, is free from the pedagogical features it must be governed by. However, despite these observations he does not exclude the "pedagogical conventions', which are mainly due to the children’s limited perceptual ability. John Donovan [12] also highlights the social and pedagogical role of children's literature. Maria Tatar [13] also accepts the pedagogical nature of children's literature. Moreover, both Perry
  • 11. Nodelman [5] and Rebecca Lukens [1] accept the pleasure the reader feels while reading children’s literature. The first one, who refers to the delight of a literary text, draws up a list of ' pleasures '/cases of delight in literature. Basically, he detects the pleasure of the text in the dialogue among readers and the texts and among readers and other readers with reference to the texts, without referring to the pedagogical role of children's texts. Rebecca Lukens [1] admits that literature (in general) informs, but it also offers much more. She specifically writes “We choose literature that promises fun and often provides us with the possibility to escape”. In general, literature offers emotion and knowledge. Referring to the role of literature, she argues that literature captures the human emotions, equips with experiences, reveals the fragmentation of life, helps focus our attention on the essential aspects, reveals the social institutions and clarifies our reactions to them and manifests the nature as a force that affects humans. In contrast, several theorists, such as Michele Landsberg [14], accept the pedagogical role of the children’s literary book, identifying a moral and emotional dimension. Aidan Chambers [15] identifies the pleasure of the text in the discovery of standard events, in understanding of the characters and ideas, in the perception of images and in deciphering the language interaction, therefore in a total conception of the text both as format and as content. John Stephens thinks that the children’s text aims at fostering positive thoughts of some social and cultural values in a child that are shared by the author and the audience. The views expresses about literature by Richard Hoggart [16], who does International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016 214
  • 12. not discern any pure aesthetic value in literature, but identifies human experience in the texts, are quite interesting. Joan I. Glazer [17] supports that the children's book contributes in the psychological development and education of the child, but also in the formation of aesthetic criteria. However, Grigorios Xenopoulos [18] supports the coexistence of the emotional and pedagogical purpose of the children's book. In the preface of the direct edition of "My Little Sister", he mentions that the book is not just an educational novel, but also a literary work". We also share this view, alternatively the children's book would be a kind that is becoming obsolete. Moreover, Loti Petrovic-Androutsopoulou [19] also supports that children’s literature “like it or not, functions in an educational way”. IV. THE IMPORTANCE OF TRADITIONAL LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN Traditional children's literature (legends, myths [and tale]) offer children a better understand the world. Each story is based on a culture and the world of the culture is unlimited [20]. The narration or reading of legends, myths, and fairy tales is a way of nurturing the child’s soul and humanism. The understanding of the world grows as children understand the early cultural traditions, learn about the culture and read a variety of myths, learn to appreciate the culture and art of other people, according to Donna E. Norton [21]. Without spiritual knowledge, children-readers may not realize the dissemination of the culture. The similarities found in texts of traditional children's literature indicate movements of people (migration and conquest). They even show that all people have the same needs and the same problems. In fact, some tales are almost the same. At the same time, traditional myths
  • 13. encourage children to imagine that people from all over the world care about the good, the courage, the benefaction and the industry. In his book “The Magic of Fairy Tales” (“The meaning and importance of fairy tales”) Bruno Bettelheim [22] strongly argues about the use of traditional myths by children. In his psychoanalytical approach to myths, Bettelheim [22] argues that nothing provides greater wealth to children as traditional children's literature. To support his view, he argues that traditional children's literature help children learn about human progress and possible problem solving. This is because myths undoubtedly and briefly involve some problems that the child can understand. In addition, myths involve a moral behavior of heroes. Thus, children can learn that it is inevitable for one to fight against the difficulties of life and that these can be overcome. Traditional children's literature also includes characters that are good and bad. Simple and good characters allow the child to identify with the good and reject the bad. The child sympathizes with the deserving characters, "participates" in his fights, learning that while he/she may encounter difficulties or be rejected by someone, he/she would be helped and guided when needed [23]. Traditional children's literature, tales in particular, which are rapidly developed and include a dramatic plot and an easy identification with the good character, belongs to the type of literature that "speaks" more to listeners or readers and gives pleasure. They believe that the environment of this literature’s heroes/heroines is similar to their own environment. V. FEATURES OF THE FAIRY TALE The folk or alternative fairy tale is the most preferable type of discourse in children. It is a comforting discourse intended for narrative or storytelling designed to distract someone from
  • 14. any concerns. Gradually, the word came to mean what we actually mean today, since all the imaginary narratives aimed at entertaining the listeners and carrying them to dark away lands were included [23]. We can therefore define the fairy tale as an imaginary tale, which moves into a supernatural and magical world and is designed to satisfy the listener. Given that fairy tales differ from other types of literature, their features are found mainly in the plot, characters, setting, theme and genre [23]. Specifically: 1. Its world: The fairy tale is a completely imaginary narrative, whose key objective is to satisfy and to entertain. Its world is completely fictional, it lacks plausibility and neither natural laws nor human determinism apply. When the hero is in danger, he/she is saved by intervening supernatural powers: The symbolic scenography found in fairy tales is not described in detail, because there is no need for a detailed description, if, for example, someone immediately knows that something will happen in the magic forest. Space and past tense are soon outlined, with space indicating a natural stage setting and time a distant and elusive past. After the description of scenery, the heroes are immediately identified and conflicts are soon developed. 2. The folktale is distinguished by the generality of people, place and time. The “fairy” story unfolds in an indefinite time and place. The virtually anonymous heroes have been named based on their characteristics or their attire, etc.: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, Tom Thumb, Little Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) etc. They are clearly symbolic names, which reflect the world of folktale heroes, or they are descriptive, as we have seen, and rely on the heroes’ external or natural qualities. 3. Everything that happens in a fairy tale ranges in extreme situations. Everything is either too big or too small or too ugly
  • 15. or very beautiful etc 4. More often than not its heroes are described by monstrous features and physical malformations and their physical attributes reflect their inner world. These teratogenesis and malformations certainly reflect a social reality, full of anxiety, fear, prejudices and superstitions. In fairy tales, the characters are not described in a comprehensive way as compared to other respective texts (novels), because the narrator doesn't have the time to develop them in a global way. Therefore, the characters in fairy tales are virtually of a symbolic and shallow nature, i.e. they have a limited range of personal characteristics and do not show any change during the development of the fairy tale. They are quite easily standardized into good and evil. Young heroines are polite and amiable. The youngest son is honored, is gentle and not selfish at all, if not considered inept. Indeed, children easily identify the good and bad character in fairy tales. 5. The story is basically structured around the archetypal figure of good and evil, where evil temporarily outweighs the International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016 215 good only to prevail in the end. 6. Its aim is not to teach, advice or urge, as opposed to myth and proverb, whose aim is learning a moral lesson. Its moral nature is certainly distinct, because it stems from the moral conscience of people, but the main purpose of the fairy tale is
  • 16. the delight and the entertainment through narration. 7. Conflicts and action abound in fairy tales. The nature of oral tradition gives them an imperative feature, while heroes are quickly transferred into action and this is present from the first lines of a fairy tale. The conflicts between characters representing the good and those representing the evil are totally classic in fairy tales. The action that is observed in fairy tales has drawn the attention of many scholars. All fairy tales have a similar end, beginning and plot. VI. CATEGORIES OF FAIRY TALES The study of the fairy tale led to their categorization. According to Loukatos [24], the Greek fairy tales are divided into the following categories 1) Magic Tales: refer to giants, dragons, witches, etc. having profound magical evidence. 2) Narrative Tales: their world is the human society. They resemble novels that are known to us. 3) Religious or Canonical Tales: they are inspired by the lives of the saints. 4) Jocular or Satirical Tales: They refer to the sufferings of inept characters, outwitting dragons etc. Vladimir Propp [25] is the first who studied the tripartite structure and technique of the Russian fairy tale: • A brief introduction, which prefigures and prepares the listener or the reader.
  • 17. • Then, there is the narration of the fairy tale itself, which consists of a variety of motifs. • The end and the conclusion of the story follows, which always contains the hero's victory. In his work "Morphology of the Fairy Tale", Vladimir Propp [25] finds 31 functions, as he defines the fixed and unchanged time features of folktales. He indicates that the structure of folktales is organized on the basis of these functions. These functions are allocated in cycles, based on the acting persons, • Circle of the competitor, • Action cycle of the donor, • Action cycle of the assistant and • Action circle of the Princess (the intended person) and her father, • Action cycle of the sender, • Action cycle of the hero and finally • Action cycle of the false hero. The function of violating an order plays a key role in the development of the story of the fairy tale, which is considered to be the relating disobedience of Adam and Eve in our Holy Bible. VII. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAIRY TALE It is true that children, particularly those of younger ages prefer to read folktales. This is due to the fact that: • They cultivate the imagination, • They bring the child in contact with folk tradition,
  • 18. • From a pedagogical point of view, the tale is suitable for the education of children, because primitive people’s way of thinking, as it has been proven by anthropological studies, is very close to the introductory thought of children, • The tale nurtures both the national as well as the global and, universal thought. These are supported by the distinctive features of super-localization and continuity. The tales consist of universal truths and reflect the values of the time periods and societies from which they are derived. Many of these have still have a significant value, even nowadays. The characters, their actions and their reward lead to the development of moral issues. The good defeats the evil, justice triumphs, the non-arrogant is lucky in love, intelligence overcomes physical strength, while kindness, diligence and hard work leads to reward. The jealous queen, such as in the alternative tale of Eugenios Trivizas “the Dona Caries and the wedding cake” (Η Δόνα Τερηδόνα και η γαμήλια τούρτα), is punished, the foolish King loses part of their property or a child, usually his daughter etc. The universality of these issues demonstrates that people all over the world maintain similar ideas and beliefs, such as, for example, wit is superior to physical strength or fools lose their property. VIII. THE FUNCTION OF FAIRY TALES: THE PERSPECTIVE OF PSYCHOLOGY The majority of fairy tales deals with a series of recurring concerns, such as socialization, emotional independence and the problematic relationships each child faces in the environment during his/her psychosocial development.
  • 19. According to the psychoanalytic approach, the thematic areas, which most fairy tales deal with by using a symbolic language and transfer are the following [22]: − Fear of being abandoned by parents − Conflicts within the family, sibling rivalries − Social maturity, process towards autonomy − Acceptance of negative and positive traits of self and parents − Acquisition of gender identity-problems in puberty − Parent-child relationships – (mother-daughter, father-son, daughter- father) − Emotional integration All good tales are meaningful on many levels and help the child build his/her internal and external reality. Without the need of rendering a moral lesson or interpretation, the child intuitively discovers the hidden meanings of the fairy tale on his/her own, which are meaningful to him/her at a given moment, depending on the stage of his/her psycho-emotional development [22]. In an almost magical way, we dare say, fairy tales identify the maturational processes in the individual development of each child and provide a fertile ground that allows the connection with the facilitative environment [26] of the child. As the fairy tales deal with key issues and emotional childhood experiences, they easily stimulate the mechanisms of projection and identification [27]. These emotional processes, operating at a symbolic-imaginary level, play an important International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016 216
  • 20. role in the structuring of the child’s psycho-emotional experience. The stories of fairy tales expressed through language by transfer and symbolic representations, facilitate the development of symbolic thought, the representative abilities and the mental processing of life events at a fantasy-level [28], which form the basis for the development of creative thought and emotional intelligence [29]. The narration of fairy tales contributes highly to the development of children's creative imagination, which is fundamental to their psycho-emotional health. Having imagination means enjoying inner wealth, a relentless and spontaneous flow of images and viewing the world in its entirety [30]. In the dreamy world of the fairy tale, where everything unfolds in an intermediate space between fantasy and reality, the child’s magic thought finds an appropriate way out. The structure of fairy tales allow children to move into a dreamy world without restrictions and cancellations. At the same time, through the mechanisms of identification and projection, the child has the ability to identify, express his/her negative feelings, to give importance to personal traumatic experiences and, ultimately, to look for and find a meaning in his/her life [22]. In a comprehensible and clear manner, the fairy tales answer the fundamental questions of children and keep their initiatory character, as they transfer important knowledge and information about life [28]. The stories of fairy tales enhance the children’s faith in their ability to build their own personality rather than the external adversities, inner conflicts or deadlocks experienced. The enchantment of fairy tales lies in this very potential. Among the multiple functions they perform, fairy tales offer an effective way for children to express and illustrate their existential-developmental anxieties, the inner and external conflicts and their doubts [27]. Fairy tales give meaning to the
  • 21. inner and external conflicts experienced by children in a complex, incomprehensible and hardship-filled world. With the positive outcome of their stories, fairy tales help in appeasing the fears experienced at various developmental stages, in reassuring that the unknown can become known and contribute to the establishment of a wider, positive perspective about life, while answering a child’s deep need for justice [22]. The complexity of human nature, in which both good and evil coexist, is well identified in fairy tales. The figures in fairy tales are good and bad at the same time, as we all are in reality. But since polarization dominates the child's mind, it also dominates fairy tales. A person is either good or bad, never anything in between. For example, one sister is virtuous and industrious, the others are vile and lazy, one parent is good, the other evil. The juxtaposition of opposite characters permits the child to easily comprehend the difference between the two, which he could not do if these figures were closer to real life. Furthermore, a child's identification choices are based, not so much on right versus wrong, but mainly which person they like and which they dislike. The simpler and more straightforward a good character is, the easier it is for a child to identify with it and to reject the bad character. Typically, the child identifies with the good hero not because of his goodness, but because the child is positively attracted to the hero. However, due to the abundance of fairy tales with various heroes (good and bad) and the complex conditions they experience, the child is also able to identify with negative models-heroes, who escape from their parents’ moral limitations, since this identification answers to certain needs of their psycho-emotional development. Some of the children’s basic desires, feelings, impulses and needs, which are often not expressed and are suppressed into
  • 22. the world of everyday life by the parental standards are favorite topics of fairy tale stories. In the safe space of imagination, children can come in contact with this wide range of 'banned', dark emotions-reactions and negative expressions of life, of their self and others, without having to suffer the painful consequences of everyday life or disrupting the sense of reality and the relationship of children with significant persons by the adult world. IX. POSITIVE EFFECTS OF NARRATIVE FAIRY TALES The different narrative means such as stories, metaphors, myths and fairy tales have a significant psycho-educational effect in child development. The storytelling techniques can contribute by activating a variety of psychological processes, such as imagination, memory, attention to the expansion of listener’s active socio-moral receptivity [31]. Egan [32] argues that the classic fairy tales have an important effect on engaging the imagination of young children in the classroom, while the dramatization of stories can function as an early form of teaching and learning within the school context. Research has shown that storytelling as well as the children’s contact with a wide range of texts from the traditional literature, contributes to: − Better self-awareness and awareness of others, development of emotional intelligence [33] − Development of healthy self-concept, sense of identity [34] − Enhancement of imagination [35], − Development of human morality [36] − Enhancement of cultural sensitivity [37] when children are exposed to storytelling from various cultural contexts It is noted, however, that few surveys have been conducted in this area, since it is difficult to study the influence of the ancient tradition of the storytelling art form on the mental
  • 23. development of children and the development of learning skills strictly by using scientific criteria [28]. If we review the overall history of oral storytelling, in a broader perspective, we will see that two kinds of storytelling emerge, with the purpose of mental health: one that seeks to maintain mental health and acts in a preventive level-and a second that aims at restoring mental health and functions as a therapeutic mean [38]. X. CONCLUSION Summing up, we would say that the fairy tale is the foremost form by which the child learns to read his mind with the language of the images-symbols which is the only language that allows the understanding before mental maturity is achieved. As reported by Campbell [39], the folktale is the primer of the image of the soul. The special contribution of fairy tales in the psychosocial development of children is seen in the timeless message they convey: the International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016 217 difficulties, often unexpected and unfair, inevitably accompany the human path, but if one could face them with courage, then he dominates the obstacles and is declared a winner. Understanding the dynamics occurs in the fairy tale hero/heroine’s journey, which typically leads from misery to
  • 24. the highest development, could reveal to us as therapists and youth workers, some ways to help children but also adults, in their uphill path of their life. However, it is necessary to remember that no technique or method can fully answer the multidimensional needs of children whether these are social, educational, emotional, cognitive or biological. Hence, fairy tales are supplementary to the range of methods used in psycho-educational or therapy intervention framework. At this point, it should be mentioned that the above study is part of a research on storytelling/fairy tales and its benefits in changing unhealthy eating habits in children. In fairy tales there is rich information on food which can help parents control themselves as well as finding ways to bond positively with their children through food practices. REFERENCES [1] R. Lukens, A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature, HarperCollins College Publishers, New York, 1995. [2] P. Hunt, International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, London: Routledge, 1996. [3] I. Jan, On Children's Literature, Schocken Books, First Edition, 1974. [4] M. McDowell, “Fiction for children and adult: Some essential differences,” Children’ s Literature in Education, 1973. [5] P. Nodelman, The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, New York & London: Longman, 1992. [6] L. Rosemblatt, The Reader the Text, the Poem. The Transactional
  • 25. Theory of the Literaty Work, Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994. [7] F. Darton, Joseph Harvey Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life (Cambridge Library Collection - Literary Studies), Cambridge University Press, Reissue edition, 2011. [8] M. Nikolajeva, The Rhetoric of Character in Children’s Literature, Maryland: Scarecrow, 2002. [9] M. Nikolajeva, Aesthetic Approaches to Children's Literature: An Introduction, Scarecrow Press, 2005. [10] S. Egoff and J. Saltman, The New Republic of Childhood: A Critical Guide to Canadian Children's Literature in English, 1990. [11] N. Tucker, The Child and the Book: A Psychological and Literary Exploration (Canto original series), Cambridge University Press, 1990. [12] J. Donovan, I’ll Get There; It Better Be Worth the Trip, 40th Anniversary Edition, Woodbury: Flux, 2010. [13] M. Tatar, Off With Their Heads!. Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1992.
  • 26. [14] M. Landsbergs, Michele Landsberg's Guide to Children's Books, Penguin Books Australia, 1986. [15] A. Chambers, The Reading Environment, How Adults Help Children Enjoy Books, Exeter: Thimble Press, 1999. [16] R. Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy, Penguin Books Ltd., 1969. [17] J. Glazer, Literature for Young Children, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1991. [18] J. I. Glazer, An Introduction to Children’s Literature, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997. [19] L. Petrovic-Androutsopoulou, Children’s Literature in our Times, Athens: Kastaniotis, 1990. [20] D. Wolkstein, Treasures of the Heart, Random House Inc., 2002. [21] D. E. Norton, Through the Eyes of a Child, An Introduction to Children’s Literature, MacMillan, 3rd edition, 1991. [22] B. Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning And Importance of Fairy Tales, New York: Vintage Books, 1989. [23] J. Glazer, Literature for Young Children, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1991.
  • 27. [24] D. Loukatos, An Introduction to Greek Ethnography, Educational Foundation of National Bank, 1992. [25] V. Propp, The Morphology of Fairy Tale, Trans. Aristea Parisi. Athens: Kardamitsas. [26] D. Winnicott, Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment: Studies in the Theory of Emotional Development, Karnac Books, 1996. [27] M. L. Von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1996. [28] H. Kourkoutas, Psychoanalytic Approach of Fairy Tales and the Use of Children's Stories in Psychotherapy and Special Education, Athens: Topo. [29] J. M. Gottman and J. DeClaire, The Heart of Parenting: How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1997. [30] M. Elliade, Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism, Harvill Pr, 1st edition, 1961. [31] L. S. Vygotsky, Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural- Historical Approach to Play, Meaning Making, and the Arts, Peter Lang Publishing Inc., 2010.
  • 28. [32] K. Egan, Children's Minds: Talking Rabbits & Clockwork Oranges, NY: Teachers College Press, 1999. [33] R. Mello, “The power of storytelling: How oral narrative influences children's relationships in classrooms,” International Journal of Education & the Arts, vol. 2, no. 1, 2001. [34] V. G. Paley, The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter: The Uses of Storytelling in the Classroom, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2001. [35] K. Gallas, The Languages of Learning: How Children Talk, Write, Dance, Draw, and Sing Their Understanding of the World, N. Y: Teachers College Press, 1994. [36] J. Zipes, Fairy Tale as Myth, Myth as Fairy Tale, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1994. [37] A. McCabe, “Cultural background and storytelling: A review and implications for schooling,” The Elementary School Journal, vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 453-473, 1997. [38] S. Pelasgus, The Secrets Fairytale, An Apprenticeship in the Art of Oral Literature and Storytelling, Athens: Metexmio, 2007. [39] S. Doulamis and A. S. Antoniou, “The charm of fairy tales:
  • 29. Their Use and Importance in the field of special education,” in Proc. 2nd Hellenic Conference of Educational Sciences, Athens, May 2010. Koutsompou Violetta-Eirini (Irene) holds a bachelor’s degree in English language/literature and psychology from the State University of New York, USA, a master’s degree in English and comparative literature from University of Indianapolis, USA, an accredited certificate in TEFL from Hellenic American University, a professional diploma in counseling psychology from City Unity College, Athens, Greece and a master of science degree in psychology from the University of East London, UK. She has attended seminars and specializes in psychoanalysis and Jungian psychology at the Carl Gustav Jung Institute, in Zurich. Ms. Koutsompou has taught as an invited lecturer in colleges in Greece where she presented her thoughts and theory about children’s literature and development and loss in every aspect of life. Her areas of interest and concentration are psychology of child development, children’s literature and its impact on the cognitive and emotional development, depression, grief and loss, second language acquisition, postmodern literature, women’s psychology and writings, book editing and writing. She has worked in private language institutions in
  • 30. Greece since 2005; she was interested and worked with children with special learning difficulties such as dyslexia, as well as with children with behavioral problems in the language classroom. She has presented her work in many conferences in Greece and abroad and in 2013 she was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for her research in postnatal depression from the committee of the 2nd psychology conference of City Unity College in Greece. She is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society, an Affiliate International member of the American Psychological Association, member of the TESOL Greece, of the IRED. International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2016 218