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October 08, 2008

Fairy Tales: Where Have They Come From, Where Have They Gone?

Image Source: http://home.no.net/bigsam/earth.jpg

8 October 2008

ENG 225 Students,

Per our discussion in class today about Western Metaphysics, dualisms, and false dichotomies in our literature, . . .

. . . choose any text you have already read thus far for our course (whether it is a work you signed up for or a work we've read together as a class) and then enter your response to the questions "What 'gray areas' can you identify in any of the texts you have read for this course?" and "How might the story be different without these gray areas?" in the comment box below. I am looking for a response about a paragraph in length. For THIS assignment, you do NOT have to re-post on Turnitin.com.

For one blogger's view on "black-and-white thinking" and false dichotomies, see the link HERE.

Just for the record, for those of you who think that skipping the homework assignments won't affect your final grade, think again. I am keeping track and, per the terms of our syllabus, all out-of-class assignments (even reading responses such as tonight's assignment) ARE counting toward your participation grade. Judging by the scores on some of your papers, opting out of the homework assignments may not be your best option if you expect to pass the course. While I am on the topic of the papers, SOME of you (not ALL of you) would do well to visit the LRC (Learning Resource Center) several times for the next paper. I suggest going once BEFORE the first draft peer-review session and once again afterwards. Remember, you cannot always trust what your peer-reviewer writes on your paper to be correct. The purpose of the peer-review is to help you learn to be better editors of your own work. In the end, YOU are responsible for adhering to the correct rules of writing.

Allow me to restate, as well, that technical problems (see the syllabus) such as not being able to connect to the Internet will NOT excuse incomplete or missing online assignment. You are college students, not high school students. No one here is going to hold your hand. If you are having technical problems, take responsibility for YOURSELF and rectify the situation: visit the campus technology center (your fees have paid for it--use it!), or find a different campus in a different PC lab on campus. The library has labs on the ground floor AND on the basement floor. Understand that the folders on turnitin.com CLOSE at class time. So, if you are trying to submit your assignments ten minutes after class begins, you are going to find yourself sorely out of luck.

Remember that the mid-term examination has been postponed from Friday to Monday. If you are going to miss the exam for an athletic event, you need to arrange to take the exam in my office during my office hours. E-mail me privately to make arrangements.

On Friday, Ms. Carol Moon from the Cannon Memorial Library will visit our class to show you how to utilize the library electronic databases from your own computers to find online scholarly articles from peer-reviewed academic journals. If she has time, she may show us how to order books from ILL (Interlibrary Loan).

Write your response, study for the mid-term (all material on the blog since the beginning of the course is fair game), and continue to work on paper #2.

Dr. Hobbs

Image Source: http://www.intersectcommunity.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/00-dichotomy_sm2.gif

CAPTION: Faulty Logic
Image Source: http://submerging.reclaimingthemind.org/blogs/files/2008/05/penguin.JPG

FROM: 6 Oct. 2008


Consider the topic of today's lecture. In the video below, consider the typical "happy" endings of fairy tales and other works of literature as conceived and distorted by the Disney corporation:

Disney's Happy Endings
Source: "Goofysitch." 6 Oct. 2008 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOJSZ2Bm7Cg]

By the same respect, see the following compilation of Disney "villains." What is the villain stereotype? What characteristics do most of these have in common? If you had to create your own new villain character based on the "rules" of Disney/Hollywood, what qualities MUST the villain exemplify? In the world of Disney, is there any "good" or "human" about these villains? Or, are they "clearly" on the bad side of the fence, evil through and through(to the core)?

Disney Villains
Source: "SpikedSoda." 6 Oct. 2008 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4jeri6OkAI]

Are any of these depictions something to take to heart as true as the real world we live in or, is this an illusion comparable to the shadow puppets of the prisoner's in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"? What is the verisimilitude (believability) of the "evil-incarnate" villain, as depicted by story re-tellers such as Disney and other Hollywood film producers? Are there actually real-world counterparts to these examples all around us in our everyday life? Is this something in which we are supposed to really relate?

Today, we talked about the "true" ending of many of these fairy tales as they were originally conceived, composed, and told for generations before Disney and Hollywood ever heard of them. For an article from the "MentalFloss" blog that summarizes many of these "true" endings and some fairy tales that your parents may have never told you were by Sara Conradt here: ["8 Fairy Tales And Their Not-So-Happy Endings"].

Working from the perspective that realism better serves the moral foundation of humanity than fantasy, perhaps Carrie Bradshaw, the protagonist of HBO's recent Sex and the City film, best paraphrased the assertion of how "fairy tales" frequently end in real life:

Carrie Reads a Fairy Tale
Source: "sao0V0." 6 Oct. 2008 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTURxGiod0c]

RECAP:Based on our lecture today on the tradition of drama in either "tragedy" or "comedy," from the Greeks to Shakespeare; the good or "happy" endings of fairy tales as distorted by American popular culture during the 1930s and 40s (from the depression era to WWII); the twisted sense of justice obtained from these stories and the true endings in many of their written forms; the stereotype of the fairy tale villain; and the formation of the [false] dichotomy that informs Western (not Eastern) Metaphysics.

We began this section of the lecture with the question, “What is the overarching theme (or) chief conflict in most of the fairy tales we have examined, as a whole?”  The answer you came up with was “a conflict between good and evil.” That discussion led to the creation of the following chart of so-called binaries:


The [False] Dichotomies That Have Infected Western Metaphysics

(Many of Which Can Be Found in the Stereotyped “Villains”  and “Heroes” of Fairy Tales)







(connected to Goddesses)


(connected to Gods like Apollo)









Black (color of darkness/absence of light)

White (all colors/color of pure light)






(associated with the Greek word for womb)


Left (consider left-handedness—a sign of unluckiness and evil in some cultures)

Right (which also means “correct”)


Correct (which also means “right”)




Mind (see logic)



Cold (think: dark)

Hot (think: light/sun)








HOMEWORK: On the class room whiteboard, we began to chart what this cruel dichotomy looks like (recreated above). Unfortunately, we didn't finish, but I think you were just beginning to get the picture. We will finish our chart in the next meeting and answer the questions: "what does all this mean" and "why are we doing this?" In the meantime:

(1) Add some binary opposites (about three or four) to our chart in your journal that coincide with the Platonic ideals on each side. When you are done, copy and paste your additions in the comment box below. Be prepared to explain them in the next class and why you put them in which category. Remember, we don't have to agree with this dichotomy--we are only pointing out patterns (structures) in the literature we are reading from the Western tradition. It can be challenged but first we have to understand what they are doing!

(2) Don't forget to do your readings for next week. Your proposal is also at the beginning of class next week on both Turnitin.com and at the link HERE: http://www.english-blog.com/archives/2008/10/eng_225_proposals_for_criticalanalytical_essay_1_on_module_1.php

(3) Also don't forget that the mid-term exam is approaching (see our itinerary). Be sure you haven't waited until the last moment to study for it. Get started now.

NEXT WEEK: Deconstruction and the Pizza Pie!

Dr. Hobbs


Image Source: http://static.flickr.com/54/138039076_30bcc221b3_o.png

FROM: 3 October 2008


Per your instructions in class today,please answer the questions you were assigned to explore in the comment box below AND on turnitin.com. This response is due by classtime at our next meeting.

Tonight’s Homework:

*In class today, we mentioned the films _Pretty Woman_, _The Lady in the Water_, and _Maid in Manhatten_." In continuing our course’s theme of how our literature is a connected chain from our past to our present, think of a film that you’ve seen (or, a book that you’ve read) that “re-tells” an old fairy tale, nursery rhyme, fable, religious story, national legend, or other children's story familiar to you (any one that you recognize).

*On BOTH the English-blog (and Turnitin.com), tell me what work you came up with and what it connects to. Next, answer the questions raised by our discussion today: (1) are fairy-tales necessary? In other words, do we need them or not? (2) Are they helpful or harmful? Be sure to explain/prove your opinion with good examples/illustrations. Due Monday.

*Your “proposal” for the formal critical/analytical paper #2 is due on Wednesday on BOTH Turnitin.com and the English-blog.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Hobbs


Just for fun (it's a little twisted): "The 'True' Story [Actually, the twisted, Postmodern Version] of the Three Little Pigs"

Posted by lhobbs at October 8, 2008 11:05 AM

Readers' Comments:

Nichole T
ENG 225 Survey of World Literature I
4 Oct. 2008

Dr. Hobbs,

The movie that came to mind when thinking about fairy tales was Penelope. Penelope was a lonely heiress who has spent her entire life trying to break a strange family curse that left her with a nose of a pig. However, she meets a charming young man who seems to look beyond her pig face and love her for who she really was. Penelope begins to learn that loving herself is more important than breaking the curse. This movie was very loving and made the point that you should love yourself regardless of what you look like. Also, people should love you for you and not your physical appearance. This movie is similar to Cinderella and the whole idea of when the ugly frog turns back into a prince. Also, it reminds me of Beauty and the Beast and learned how to love a beast for who he was and not his looks alone. The young man in Penelope loved her for who she was and looked pasted the big nose. All these fairy tales are three of my all time favorite.

1. I believe that fairy tales are necessary to keep imagination and creation open, not only in children’s minds but in adults minds too. I think that every type of adult needs a little bit of child in them. Without fairy tales and imagination everything would be taken too serious. I know personally that I love princesses and fairy tales because they give me an open mind and believe that anything is possible.

2. Fairy tales are not harmful at all. They are more helpful than harmless because there is a message behind each fairy tale if you look far enough into it. For example Beauty and The Beast holds the message that even though people are mean to you, you can always find a friend in someone. However, fairy tales do leave children thinking that the world will always work out for the best in the end. In all fairy tales there is a happy ending. In most cases this is not the case. People don’t always get what they want. Children need to know that everything does not end in a happy ending. This could possible set the child up for disappointment in the future. However, for the most part fairy tales are wonderful and they should be read to every child at some point in their lives. Fairy tales keep imagination open to interpretation and it’s important to leave the children with that aspect. Honestly without my mother reading me fairy tales I would not have anything cool and exciting to look back on.


Note from Professor:

Great choice Nichole! That one, of course, is very *literally* a retelling of the "Ugly Duckling" fairy tale and others, for example. Nice analysis.

Posted by: Nichole T. at October 4, 2008 10:52 PM

Paola S.
ENG 225 CA01
5 Oct. 2008

Dr. Hobbs,

The movie I chose was “The Prince and Me.” The movie is about a young prince of Denmark, named Edvard, who travels to the United States to attend college. While out one night, Edvard meets a waitress, Paige, who also attends his college. Eddie didn’t tell Paige about him being a prince, because he wanted to live a normal life. After spending much of their time together, both develop feelings for each other. But when Eddie reveals his true identity to Paige, she ends their relationship. Eddie then travels back to Denmark because his father is sick. Paige realizes that she can’t live without him, and follows him to Denmark. While in Denmark, Eddie’s mother disapproves of Paige because she is a commoner. But Eddie proposes, and Paige accepts.
This movie is a modern adaptation of a fairy tale. The fairy tale it reminds me off is Cinderella. Paige is a commoner, and Eddie is her charming prince. Eddie’s mother is a representation of the evil step-mother and step-sisters in Cinderella, who disapprove of Paige because she is a commoner.

1. I think fairy tales are necessary to keep imagination alive. Telling these stories to children helps them develop a creative side. Fairy tales also inspire fantasy. The children are able to identify themselves with characters. Children are able to relate to the daily problems (jealousy, fear) fairy tales deal with, and they usually have a happy ending which children enjoy.

2. Depends. Most fairy tales are directed to children and therefore aren’t harmful. But sometimes within those fairy tales, elements of violence can be found. When referring to violence, it is not like in adult movies, but it usually involves people dying, like in “Little Red Riding Hood.” Where there is an evil wolf, who wants to eat a small girl. On the other hand, fairy tales are mostly good. They aid in children’s distinction between worlds. Children sometimes feel safe that the characters don’t form part of their world. Most importantly children are able to identify with the many characters.


Note from Professor:

Good selection Paola. Seems that Cinderella is the one so many modern films are based upon!

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Paola S. at October 5, 2008 02:43 PM

Alex Slavin

October 5-08

English 225

Fairy Tales

The film that I have recently seen that connects to an old fairy tale is the movie Shrek. What I believe this movie connects to would be the old story of Beauty and the Beast. Fairy tales are necessary because they have been the foundation for many movies that are out today. We need them because our society today is so twisted and deviant, that the fairy tales that were written hundreds of years ago remind us that it is important to be good and treat people around us the way we would want to be treated. Fairy tales are helpful because they always have happy endings and a lesson is always taught. They are also helpful because they are usually told to children and it enhances their imagination. Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand” (Einstein Albert). Fairy tales are all about imagination, an idea gets started by an imagination and we would be no where without it. Fairy tales will continue to exist and continue to be told long after we are gone because of the lessons and morals people get out of them. Those who oppose fairy tales clearly have no imagination and it could only mean that they were not told to them when they were kids.

Posted by: Alex Slavin at October 5, 2008 05:14 PM

Brandon Mckoy
Eng 225 MWF 12:30-1:20
5 Oct. 2008

The movie that I came up with that resembles a fairytale is “A Cinderella Story”. The movie is a lot different from the actual Cinderella story because it is more twisted and fits in the comedy movie genre and is way more modern. However, the overall plot of the movie actually resembles the fairytale of Cinderella in that just as in the Cinderella fairytale, the star of “A Cinderella story” Sam, was poor, not popular and worked at a family diner where she was treated more like a servant by her step-mother and step sisters rather than family. Both Cinderella and Sam from the movie had a ball dance to go to. They went and met their “prince” but both the girls had to leave the party. Sam had to leave because she had a curfew and Cinderella had to leave because she would turn back into a maid at 12 o clock midnight. Both the girls left something behind that the guys had found. Sam left her cell phone and Cinderella left her glass slipper. The guys really liked the girls after that night so they found their girl and lived happily ever after.

1. Are Fairy Tale’s necessary?
I don’t think that fairy tale’s are necessary in that we can’t live without them. However, they are essential in many ways. Especially for kids, it helps develop a sense of imagination and helps people to realize anything is possible, and anyone can have a fairytale life in that they can come from the bottom and make their way to the top.
2. Are fairytale’s helpful or harmful?
I would say that fairytales are way more important than harmful. Maybe a little harmful in the fact that a child may hear many imaginary things and leaves his/her imagination running about things than are not possible such as flying like peter pan. For the most part however, I think they are helpful because they have a lot of underlying meanings that can help a child’s imagination and help them learn things which are good/bad and learn about the consequences of these things.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at October 5, 2008 09:16 PM

Kamille Garness

The film that I chose which retells an old fairy tale is “Aquamarine”. This film is connected to the film “The Little Mermaid”. In both “Aquamarine” and “The Little Mermaid” we are presented with two teenage female protagonists who are willing to go against their father’s wishes in order for them to find true love. In both films, the protagonist is willing to defy cultural expectations in order to fulfill their own personal desires. In “The Little Mermaid” Ariel becomes dissatisfied with life under the sea and decides to disobey her father by finding true love on land by falling in love with a human, the species which her father distrusts and warns her stay far from. But Ariel pays no mind to her father’s warnings and she goes in search of love from someone other than her kind. She is given three days to assume a human form, by the witch Ursula, to find true love above land which she succeeds in accomplishing. Similarly in the film “Aquamarine” a teenage mermaid, Aquamarine, disagrees with her father’s decision to prepare an arranged marriage for her because she believes that marriage should involve true love. Aquamarine makes a deal with her father that if she can find true love in three days she would not have to undergo the arranged marriage. Her father agrees, and like Ariel she is able to assume a human form on land, as she goes in search of true love. Aquamarine does succeed in finding true love, as Ariel did, when she falls in love with a lifeguard named Raymond.
Yes, I do believe that fairy-tales are necessary because they provide us with some deeper meaning about life, and it proves to us that sometimes it is okay to stand out and disagree with our existing cultural expectations. In “The Little Mermaid” for instance, Ariel is expected to obey her father’s demands, and stay away from the human species that he distrusted. However, Ariel stood up for her belief that humans were in fact sincere and that it was possible to find true love in the human-kind, which she did end up proving to her father. Similarly, in “Aquamarine” Aquamarine is forced to go against the cultural expectations of being assigned a husband by her father, and she chooses to find her own husband in whom she can find true love. I do believe that fairy-tales are helpful because not only do they serve as a testimony, but they also provide us with some deeper meaning about life. Fairy-tales such as “The Little Mermaid” serve as a testimony to show us that in the past people succeeded in their desire to stand up for what they believed in, so that in our world today we should not be afraid to just that, for fear that we will not succeed. In addition, in today’s world for example many parents still believe that they should decide what race or religion that their child’s spouse should be. But most times these marriages prove to be unsuccessful because the main fuel for a marriage, love, is not there. The film “The Little Mermaid,” shows us that true love is not defined by matching up spouses who have a similar race or religion, but rather in what we feel deep within in our hearts. The “The Little Mermaid,” proves to us that true love can even exists between entirely different species, mermaid and human, and that there is no set ‘formula’ to define love.

Kamille G
English 225 Sec.1

Posted by: Kamille G at October 6, 2008 02:23 AM

Quinten Jones
ENG 225 CA01
October 6, 2008
I can see the movie “Tropic Thunder” being like the fairy tale of “Hansel and Gretel.” In the movie, a group of people think they are shooting a movie when really they are wandering around in a hostile territory, but in the fairy tale, two characters wander into a candy house that is really owned by an evil witch. In the movie, one of the group members is captured and forced to perform a play to entertain the people, but in the fairy tale, one of the two characters is captured and forced to do chores. In the movie, the rest of the group breaks in and rescues the captured member and they destroy that town, but in the fairy tale, the girl goes in and saves the boy character and the witch dies and they get to eat the house which destroys it.

Fairy tales are not necessary but they are a good way to teach a child a lesson that he or she will not soon forget. They are entertaining. In Hansel and Gretel, it teaches children not to trust strangers and not to go wandering off on their by providing them with examples of what happens to people who do so. We don’t really need fairy tales but I hope that they stay around for a long time. They are definitely helpful because they can teach lessons to children in a non abrupt way. Instead of telling a child of today not to talk to strangers, people can tell them a story that provides a detailed example of what could happen.

Posted by: Quinten J at October 6, 2008 07:35 AM

The fairy tale that I picked was Aladdin and in that story Aladdin is a thief and he is homeless but he falls into some luck and finds a genie who grants him 3 wishes. While Aladdin is living it up with his genie he meets a princess who he falls in love with but he has one problem the evil Jafar wants him dead and he wants to marry the princess. In the end of the story the princess finds out that Aladdin is not really rich and famous and she still loves him and they marry and live happily ever after. I think this story is close to the Cinderella story but the characters are flipped around.

Posted by: John Daniel at October 6, 2008 10:28 AM

Anna R
Engl 225
Dr. Hobbs


The movie “The Notebook” reminds me of Cinderella, just the other way around. In Cinderella, the girl is poor and the prince comes to marry her and show her a good life. In “The Notebook”, the girl is rich and falls in love with a poor boy. The only difference is that here, the girl switches to the boys world because she realizes that people don’t necessarily need money in order to be happy. Also, in both stories, there is someone who tries to keep them from being with each other. In Cinderella, there evil stepmother and the three evil stepsisters try to keep the girl from being with the prince because they want him for themselves. On the other hand, in “The Notebook” it is also the mother who doesn’t want the Ally to be with young Noah, however in order to save her and in order to keep for from making a tough decision. This is the perfect example for the category “real love overcomes all”.
In my opinion, fairy tales teach us lessons about life. We just need to interpret a little bit since none of us can do magic and there aren’t really many more princes out there for us to marry. However, they teach us to listen to our inside voice and to our heart so we can make the right decisions about life so we can be happy. So, yes, I do think fairy tales are necessary and we need them from a young age on. I also think that they are very helpful. As a kid, all I heard was fairy tales. I was born and raised in the city of the Brothers Grimm in Germany so all I ever knew were their fairytales. I still to this day attend the plays of the Grimm’s fairytales with my whole family once a year and it brings us all together. We all know exactly what will happen in each of the stories but the lesson they teach us is new to us and helpful to us every time we think about them and that is why I am thankful to have fairytales. I also think it is very helpful for young children to read these stories since they might not always understand the lessons in life by the way their parents explain them but they will be brought to them in a playful manner and kids will actually be interested in learning about them.

Posted by: Anna R at October 6, 2008 10:41 AM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225 CA01
7 October 2008
Fairy Tales
Pans Labyrinth is a fantasy movie that was released in 2006. It is based on many old fairy tale type stories and folklore. It does not directly relate to a certain fairy tale that I am familiar with but the lore and ideas that are expressed in it are all familiar. It is about a girl in an oppressed time of war, she stumbles upon a secret world. She goes through many strange things, but there ends with a lesson learned. Fairy tales are good for anyone I believe. They inspire us to hope and dream, while also teaching lessons. Anything that requires the mind to imagine is a good thing. Fairy tales have always been an important part of any culture, and will retain that importance for a long time.

Posted by: david g. at October 6, 2008 10:59 AM

Shayne T.
CA01 12:30 -1:20

Looking at all the fairytales which I have either read or heard about a movie which incorporates all of the popular fairytales together is Hoodwinked. This movie is based on an investigation of stolen recipes from all the goody shops within the forest. While trying to find the “Goody Bandit”, the characters from the story Little Red Riding Hood are being questioned to discover there involvement in the recipe theft. The movie provides different perspectives of each character and explains how the ended up to where the beginning of the movie starts the story with the investigation. The difference with the actual story of Little Red Riding Hood and Hoodwinked is Little Red is not defenseless and easily fooled to believing that the wolf was her grandmother. The wolf was not out to harm Red nor her grandmother yet a reporter trying to make a break in a huge story. Another surprise in the movie which is a drastic difference from the fairy tale is Little Red’s grandmother was seen as an extreme sports icon that possesses numerous trophies for her sport.

1 Fairytales are the stories which provide many with the illusion of other worlds which things are different yet share similar concepts. At times it is easier to tell a child a fairy tale which holds a deeper meaning and teach them a lesson on what is right or wrong. Fairytales provide children with the ability to use there imaginations to explore new worlds. Fairytales are the starting points for many stories which we read today.

2 Fairytales can be helpful in allowing children to develop an imagination and think out side the box. Allowing children to read stories such as Little Red Riding Hood or Cinderella, let’s kids think of the lessons found in the story or how to remain hopeful in a situation. In the story of Little Red Riding Hood kids are taught not to talk to strangers and be aware of your surroundings. In the story of Cinderella, kids are taught to keep faith no matter how bad something may appear to be. By believing anything is possible it allows one to strive for what the want in life.

Posted by: S. Tavares at October 6, 2008 11:02 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs

Fairy Tales

1. The movie “Pretty Woman” is what you could call a Cinderella Story. The story is about a hooker who meets a successful businessman and the two kick it off. The woman has a great heart, but is a hooker which is looked down upon during this era. The businessman gets to know her and begins to fall for her. He teaches her how to be a real woman and the two falls in love and live happily ever after similar to a fairy tale story.

2. Fairy tales are good because everyone has a moral to the story that teaches the reader a lesson. Especially for younger kids fairy tales are somewhat a necessity for their growth process and learning right from wrong. The moral in each fairy tale is hidden behind imagery or some type of fake metaphor, but the message is in every fairy tale some shape, form or fashion.

Posted by: Walter P at October 6, 2008 11:04 AM

The movie Hook depicts a grown up Peter Pan who has lost his memories of his days fighting pirates, and now has a family of his own. The movie goes on to show how Peter must regain his childhood identity to face off with Captain Hook one more time and save his son from falling into piracy (adulthood).
Fairy-tales are very important for children. There is a saying that “example isn’t another way of teaching, it’s the only way.” Children need a concrete example of the effects of right and wrong, or what happens to children who aren’t watchful of their surroundings, because at that age children aren’t able to understand abstract concepts that we might otherwise use to try and educate them. However having a concrete example allows the child to go back into their memory and know (without having to experience the even themselves) what the negative or positive outcome of their actions will be.

Posted by: JustinW at October 6, 2008 11:10 AM

Jonathan Till
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 225

A fairy tale that I saw converted from fairy tale to a movie was Ever After. It was almost an exact “real-life” version of Cinderella, with some key differences. One of the most critical is that there is only one evil stepsister, the other supports the main heroine. There is also no magic in Ever After; the fairy godmother is Leonardo De Vinci, there are no helpful talkative mice, instead there are just the household servants. Despite these differences the story is essentially the same as the one told by Disney (taken with a grain of salt). I believe that fairy tales are a good, essential part of a child’s growing up. They are classics imbued with a sense of tradition that instill important moral values. The whole notion that fairy tales are somehow “sexist” or “reinforce gender stereotypes” is a fairy tale itself. Those who see such things in a fairy tale are usually the ones who are most looking for it.

Posted by: Jonathan T. at October 6, 2008 11:48 AM

Hoodwinked is a movie about Red Riding Hood and a couple other fairy tales. Fairy tales are an important part of youth’s lives, telling important ideals without just telling kids not to lie. In which case I believe that fairy tales are extremely important for the people of the world.

Posted by: John Anderson at October 6, 2008 12:03 PM

Myron Kirchner
ENG 225
Fairy Tales
My choice for a fairy tale movie is Edward Scissorhands. It’s like a modern interpretation of the Beauty and the Beast, and the legend of Frankenstein.
I think fairy tales are necessary for a child to have a well developed imagination. Fairy tales also help parents stay in control of their kids. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been threatened to get eaten by the wolf from little red riding hood. I don’t take modern fairy tales can be harmful to children because the story has probably been altered to cut any inappropriate stuff. Another reason why fairy tales aren’t harmful for children is because they’re not old enough to understand the deeper meaning, and the sexual theme of the story. A good example of this is the story of little red riding hood, which has references to prostitution and sexual awakening.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at October 6, 2008 12:14 PM

I think that teaching this section has taught me that not only do adult children born after 1990 (the age of the students in this class) read less than the generation that defines me (those born in the late '60s), apparently, their parents deprived them by reading to them less too. Or, perhaps they are just reading different things to them. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to use "fairy-tales," "nursery rhymes," "Aesop's fables," or even Biblical stories as a cultural reference to Western, college-aged Millennials in 2008 (I kindly excuse anyone else!) unless those stories are framed in terms of Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks animated films. In any event, I am a bit surprised that NO ONE came up with some rather obvious modern interpretations of children's stories such as:

The Story of Moses --> Superman.
The Passion Play of Jesus Christ --> Spielberg's E. T. film.
Pinocchio --> Spielberg's A. I. film.
The Prince and the Pauper --> The films Dave and/or Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.
Peter Pan --> The Lost Boys film.

Are you SURE you can't think of any more?


*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 6, 2008 04:35 PM

Shayne Tavares
CA01 12:30-1:20
Although there are many binaries between good and evil, here are some which I thought fit the theme of the table. With the footage seen from the two clips:

Evil Good
Fire Water
Witchcraft Whimsical Magic
Daggers Flowers (Roses)

Posted by: S.Tavares at October 6, 2008 07:53 PM

hidden seen
unclear clear
rich poor

I put hidden because the hero is almost always shown from the beginning and his upbringings and where he's at today. The story usually follows him or her whereas the villain is usually pretty mysterious and his whereabouts are not usually told. The same goes with clear and unclear. I put rich on the dark side because every story I can think of that involved a poor person as a hero, had a rich person as the villain so I felt it should be on that side (ie. Aladdin).

Quinten Jones
ENG 225 CA01
October 8, 2008

Posted by: Quinten J at October 7, 2008 08:14 AM



Fire (Destroying everything)


Deviant (Lying and stealing)



Ice (Very shiny capturing all the light and creating colors)

Re-born (Reincarnation)

Conscience (Having morals and always coming clean at the end)

Posted by: Alex Slavin at October 7, 2008 11:32 AM

The Dichotomy & Western Metaphysics

Weak Strong
Unhealthy Health
Small Big
Dumb Smart
Sweet Sour
Unproductive Productive
Lazy Hard worker

In this assignment I was trying to think of all the terms that I could come up that determined the difference between male and female. It was hard to think of some that didn’t repeat the list. It is very interesting to see the difference between male and female. In society today males are looked at as being stronger and smarter than most women. This chart defiantly shows the difference between the two. However, this is not how it should be. Women have just as big as an impact on society as men do, and they should be recognized for it.

Posted by: Nichole T. at October 7, 2008 07:52 PM

Joseph Scimeca
ENG 225
October 7th

My traits for the Dichotomy of fairy tales



Posted by: Joseph S. at October 7, 2008 08:54 PM

Kamille G

The three binary opposites I added were

Villain Hero

Winter Summer
Impure Pure
Irrational Rational

Kamille G
English 225 Sec. 1

Posted by: Kamille G at October 8, 2008 02:06 AM

Anna R

More patterns for good: pretty, clean, blonde/light, house/cottage
More patterns for bad: ugly, dirty, warts on noses, woods

Posted by: Anna R. at October 8, 2008 10:10 AM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225 CA01
8 October 2008
Fairy Tales
Good Evil
Young Old
With Home Wanderer
Many Friends Lonely
Sweet Sour

Posted by: David G. at October 8, 2008 10:36 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
October 8, 2008

Fairy Tales

Good- Day, Sun (Apollo), God, Light, Truth, Male, White, Logic, Order, Sanity, Right, Correct, Human, Mind, Civilization, Hot, Courage, Heroic, Spiritual, Blonde, Clean, good teeth, bold, honest

Evil- Dark, Ugly, Poor, Vicious, Strange Voices, Bitter, Night, Moon, goddess, Dark, Falsity, Emotion, Chaos, Insane, Female, Ugly, Black, bad teeth, swindler, deceitful

Posted by: Walter P at October 8, 2008 10:43 AM

Myles Godet
Dr. Lee Hobbs
English 225
October 8, 2008

In my opinion fairy tales are meant to be used as a teaching tool for young children. It is meant to be a way for adults to convey messages of things such as morality and character to their children. They are expressed in these elablorate tales in order to hold the attention of young children. Despite the common steriotypes of fairy tales always having a good or happy ending, a number of them actually originate from a variety of different cultures in which the tales where quiet gruesome. In general a version of most of these tales can be found in vaious cultures around the world and a result which these cultures changed them slightly to fit their cultural norms. The most identifiable verisions are in my opinion the American verisions due to the fact that almost all have been made into a disney movey, or book which are found all around the world. In these Americanised version there is always a happy ending. It may be argued that these versions are more marketable and therefore that is why they are so popular. Despite this I prefer those with the happy ending.

imorality/ morality

saddness/ joy

greed/ sharing (sacrafice)

impatience/ patience

Posted by: Myles Godet at October 8, 2008 10:47 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG 225

Hero Villain
Sinister Pure
Unmannered Chivalrous
Dishonest Honest
Uncivilized Civilized

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at October 8, 2008 10:50 AM

Evil Good

Villain Hero
Tainted Pure Hearted
Hypocrisy Honest
Uncompassionate Compassionate
Unforgiving (revengeful, vindictive) Forgiving Unkindness Kindness
Coward Courage
Untrustworthy Authenticity

Posted by: Paola S at October 8, 2008 10:59 AM

Myles Godet
Dr. Lee Hobbs
English 225
October 8, 2008

Fairy tales are in my opinino meant to be used as teaching tool for parents. They use these fairy tales in order to try and instill into there children the values and morals which they consider to be beneficial and necessary. The intent of these fairy tales is to captivate the minds and hold the attention of young children so that they are able to absorb the message which it holds. In general the tales are relatively the same with the exception of the changes made to the text in order to meet different cultural norms. The versions which most people are most familiar with are the Americanised versions. These the versions which generally have a good ending, and persnally these are the ones which i prefer. This is due to the fact that almost all of the more popular tales have be made into either a movie or book by the disney company which has published these versions world wide.

imorality/ morality

saddness/ joy

impatience/ patience

vice/ virt

imorality/ morality

saddness/ joy

impatience/ patience

vice/ virtue

Posted by: Myles Godet at October 8, 2008 12:30 PM


*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 8, 2008 06:11 PM

Alex Slavin

October 9-08

English 225

Dr. Hobbs

Grey Areas

The story that I have decided to talk about that I see a grey is in Medea. Medea and her husband Jason were welcomed to the city of Corinth with their children. The grey area that I recognize in this story is Jason betraying his wife Medea, and having a mistress on the side. Because of this, Medea decided to take the life of her own children. This woman that her husband is now in love with is herself the grey area; if she did not exist, Medea would have no reason to take the life of her children and there could possibly not even be a story. This woman Jason has fallen for is the cause for Medea also being exiled. Jason no longer loves Medea, so he has no use for her. This woman has created such a dilemma for being involved in another’s life.

Posted by: Alex Slavin at October 9, 2008 11:00 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
October 9, 2008

Grey Areas
The story of Gilgamesh is a prime example of a character that is in the grey area. Gilgamesh himself is bad in the beginning of the story, but then begins to do well in the end. Gilgamesh is the King of Uruk, and is the strongest man who is two-thirds god and one-third mortal. Gilgamesh started off his kingship as a brutal man. He demeaned his subjects, raped women; even wives of his warriors or daughters of noblemen. Gilgamesh was an all around bad guy, but then he fought and became friends with Enkidu one day. Enkidu became his partner as they fought together against corrupt gods and for good. Then one day Enkidu was killed by the Gods and ever since that Gilgamesh search all over Earth for answers about the mysteries of life and death. Gilgamesh is a perfect example of grey area because he was bad at first, but then started to do good from the moment he met Enkidu and continued after Enkidu’s death.

Posted by: Walter P at October 9, 2008 12:58 PM

I believe there were a lot of “gray areas” in Augustine’s Confessions. It was very unclear to me why Augustine was not baptized from the beginning of birth and why his mothers choose to wait to confess all the truths to her son later on in life. This is a “gray spot” in the story because Augustine’s story could have possibly been different if he was baptized in the beginning. This would of lead him on a path through life that did not encounter all the bad things he did on his way journey to find truth, God. Another “gray area” is the fact that it was clear to him that he wanted to change his ways and become Christian. There must have been some sort of spark or special event that makes someone want to all of sudden become Christian. I can hardly believe that it was the exchange of words between him and his mother in the garden because his mother was always there from the beginning preaching the truth to him. There must have been some unexplained reason of why Augustine changed his ways and started his journey to becoming a better person. This is what comes to mind when I think of “gray areas”. These are areas that if they made better sense the story would of taking a different path and the experiences and adventures of the characters would have been told differently. It was really hard coming up with these grey areas because a story is told for a certain reason and if every single “gray area” could be explained there really wouldn’t be any mystery behind a story would there be?

Posted by: Nichole T. at October 9, 2008 02:22 PM

Paola Silvestri
ENG 225

Oedipus the King
In the play “Oedipus the King” Oedipus kills his father and marries his mother. In the end, Oedipus blinds himself because of the atrocious acts he has committed. A grey area present in the play is the reason why Oedipus was punished. Was he punished for incest? Even though it is against morality, Oedipus was obviously blind and ignorant to his actions. Another reason for his punishment can be the killing of his father. But even then, Oedipus was a victim of fate. Even Oedipus knows that his actions aren’t his choice, but the choice of the gods. By this we can conclude that Oedipus was undeserving of any punishment. Oedipus’ deserved punishment remains as a grey area. Does Oedipus have to be victimized for one bad choice, which wasn’t his choice to being with? This is the question that remains.

Posted by: Paola S at October 9, 2008 04:21 PM

ENG 225
Dr. Lee Hobbs

I found it very interesting on how literature is so reliant on this idea of dichotomy. I researching more about it, a dichotomy is thought to exist in our present society. I have to strongely agree. In this assignment, we were asked to find a story where a gray area exist. The first thing that came to mind was the story Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh can be seen as the hero and in being the hero, he must be loyal and couragous (resemble light) according to the dichotomy. Well the story tells us in Gilgamesh that Gilgamesh has known to destroy villages and innocent people and even rape women. We can see here that Gilgmesh can fall into the grey area.

Posted by: Joseph S. at October 9, 2008 09:36 PM

Kamille G

In the story of Lysistrata, by Aristophanes we are presented with an example of a story with a grey area. In Lysistrata the woman Lysistrata, develops a plan that is neither all good or all bad, but rather part good and part bad, which is in between bad and good. The good side to Lysistrata’s plan is her goal to bring peace and end the war between the Athenian and Spartan men, a good thing, but she uses war and defiance to get this peace, a bad thing. Lysistrata defies her stereotypical role as a woman by “taking over the Akropolis, including the Athene’s temple” (line 184), and she threatens and fights back at the men who oppose her plan when she and the other women “charge and rout the archers,” (line 519) “raise her pitcher” (line 529) and “brandishing her chamber pot” (line 573). So in effect in this part of the story, Lysistrata’s plan is a good-bad thing. This sort of gray area adds substance and uniqueness to the play, since it is not like most traditional stories where the good guys use good to gain success. In this play, the good guys use an outlawed approach to gain victory, and still succeed.

Kamille G
English 225 Sec.1

Posted by: Kamille G at October 9, 2008 10:11 PM

Brandon Mckoy
Oct. 10th 2008
MWF 12:30-1:20 CA01

A gray area in the story The Epic of Gilgamesh is when Gilgamesh decides that he can’t live without being granted eternal life after loosing his friend. The gray area is that he is so set on earning a chance at having eternal life and makes up his mind that he can’t live without it, however he still performs lousy at the tasks he has to overcome to be granted immorality.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at October 10, 2008 01:01 AM

A grey area could be whether or not Medea was a hero or a villain. She could be seen as a hero for being a strong female and accomplishing her ultimate goals. She also is a villain because she killed her children, along with the king and his daughter. The grey area would be in between these two extremes.

Posted by: Matt M. at October 10, 2008 02:20 AM

To me the "epic of Gilgamesh" is an example of grey areas. Gilgamesh was hated by his folks for his arrogance and for his selfish leadership and so they people asked for a gift sent from heaven which is a counterpart to him. The gift sent to him was Enkidu who he was supposed to hate. However they became companions and best friends. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh even cries and mourns for his friend and the reader can start to see some good sides and humanity in Gilgamesh. This is the example of they grey area. Gilgamesh transforms from an absolutely hated leader to someone who shows human sides and somewhat likable sides, however, he is not liked by anyone yet or fully transformed into a "good guy" so he is in a grey area right now.

Posted by: Anna R at October 10, 2008 10:04 AM

In the story Gilgamesh, would be about Gilgamesh, the main character. The story portrays him as a hero, as the king of Uruk and for his heroic efforts of saving his best friend. Before all this though, he is portrayed as a bad guy; he does things to the virgins, and eventually sends out to tame a wild beast who was perfectly happy being a wild beast. He has qualities of both the good and the bad side of the dichotomy chart. Had he been more on the good side he may have never encountered his good friend Enkidu whereas had he been more on the bad side, he may have killed his good friend Enkidu. Both would change all of the story to a large extent.

Posted by: Quinten J at October 10, 2008 10:46 AM

From the stories that we have read where is the grey area, where does it become hazy when deciding whether or not actions or characters are good or bad? Such as the story of The Merchant and his Wife, where the Merchant is an overall good character who has it seems never beat his wife, until he is convinced the only way to save himself was to beat her. This to me adds a smear of black across his white character, however for the times that this story was written beatings where so common that this probably didn’t tarnish his reputation at all.

Posted by: john anderson at October 10, 2008 10:48 AM

In the story of the second old man the grey area in the story was the way that he kept forgiving his brothers after everything that they did. He forgave them for spending all there money and he also forgave them for trying to kill him. Without that grey area in the story most people wouldnt have kept giving they chances after they kept messing up. Instead of him having a lot of money he kept trying to help his brothers get back on there feet and it back fired in the end

Posted by: John Daniel at October 10, 2008 11:01 AM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225 CA01
10 October 2008
The Grey Area
In Thousand and One Nights the authors does not directly state whether the actions portrayed in the stories are good or bad. It tells these tales of rape and murder, but none of the narrators take sides on any of the issues, the let you decide. It seems like the stories are more important than what they are teaching.

Posted by: David G. at October 10, 2008 11:13 AM

When I was reading the Iliad there were many different sort of grey areas that I wouldn’t have expected in an ancient literature on war. For example, most every ruler was questioned, the validity of the war was a constant issue, and the suffering of war was alluded to several times through various characters and their lamentations. Without these grey areas, one could construct a world where all war was just or unjust, where the gods and kings were flawless in their authority, and where all sacrifice for justice was rewarded. With these grey areas however we have a very emotional and human tale, if one is willing to read into the words a bit.

Posted by: JustinW at October 10, 2008 11:52 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG 225
Dichotomy gray area

The only gray area I could think of in any of the works we’ve done is the Iliad. He had some qualities that made him a hero, and some qualities that made him a villain. He was heroic because he always took the lead in battle and was a great leader for the Greeks. On the other hand he did refuse to fight because Agamemnon had angered him. His selfish behavior caused many Greeks their lives because they didn’t have anyone to lead them in battle.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at October 10, 2008 12:17 PM

Shayne Tavares
Eng 225 12:30-1:20

A story I read which had some “grey areas” would be One Thousand and One Nights. The primary example found within the book is the tale of King Shahrayar and His wife. The Grey area within the story would be involved the King and His attitude towards his new wife who is telling the stories to him. By escaping death after marriage, he allowed her to be an exception to the rules which he has set prior to there marriage. Allowing this exception provides a grey area to the story and not sticking with the black or white side. The story would be different without the grey area because it would change the purpose of the book and main idea behind it would have to change as well.


Notes from the Professor:

Good Shayne...the "exceptions" are where we find the gray areas

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: S.Tavares at October 10, 2008 02:29 PM


*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 11, 2008 08:50 AM

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