Heike Brunner. Heike lived in London for two years and Paris for a decade. She also spent a lot of time honing her skills in Los Angeles. Her credits include supporting roles in four feature films, the lead roles in five out of seven short films and a variety of stage plays performed in English, Afrikaans, German or French, as well as stints at the Grahamstown, ATKV, Avignon and Edinburgh Festivals. Prefer to speak to a human? You can book by telephone on We might have to call you back if the bar is very busy.
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Mothers who cannot follow their sons to college, and fathers who cannot choose for their daughters, can help their children best to fortify their spirits for such crises by feeding them with good literature. This, when they are yet little, will begin the rearing of a fortress of ideals which will support true feeling and lead constantly to noble action. Then, too, in the home, the illus- tration of his tale may give the child much pleasure.
For this is the day of fairy-tale art; and the child's satisfaction in the illustration of the well-known tale is limitless. It will increase as he grows older, as he understands art better, and as he becomes familiar with the wealth of beautiful editions which are at his command. Through the fairy tale he learns the names of things and the meanings of words.
One English fairy tale, Tlie Master of all MasterSy is a ludicrous example of the tale built on this very theme of names and mean- ings. The child learns to follow the sequence of a story and gains a sense of order. He catches the note of defi- niteness from the tale, which thereby clarifies his think- ing.
Cinderfella (50 Shades of Fairy Tales / The Dollhouse Society) by Alex Crossman
He gains the habit of reasoning to consequences, which is one form of a perception of that universal law which rules the world, and which is one of the biggest things he will ever come upon in life. Never can he meet any critical situation where this habit of reasoning to consequences will not be his surest guide in a decision. Thus fairy tales, by their direct influ- ence upon habits of thinking, ejffect language train- ing.
Fairy tales contribute to language training also by providing another form of that basic content which is furnished for reading. Then reading will take purpose for him and be accomphshed almost without drill and practically with no effort. The read- ing book will gradually disappear as a portion of his literary heritage. In the kindergarten the child will learn the play forms, and in the first grade the real be- ginnings, of phonics and of the form of words in the applied science of spelling.
In music he will learn the beginnings of the use of the voice. This will leave him free, when he begins reading later, to give attention to the thought reality back of the symbols. When the elements combining to produce good oral reading are cared for in the kindergarten and in the first grade, in the subjects of which they properly form a part, the child, when beginning to read, no longer will be needlessly diverted, his literature will contribute to his reading without interference, and his growth in language will become an improved, steady accom- pUshment.
Blow, Susan: Symbolic Education. Dewey, John: The School and the Child. Ibid: The School and Society. University of Chicago Press. Welsh, Charles: Right Reading for Children. That is useful for every man which is conformable to his own con- stitution and nature. Genuine interest means that a person has identified himself with, or found himself in, a certain course of activity. It is obtained not by thinking about it and consciously aiming at it, but by consid- ering and aiming at the conditions that lie back of it, and compel it.
Fairy tales must contain what interests children. It is a well-known principle that selective interest pre- cedes voluntary attention; therefore interest is funda- mental. All that is accomplished of permanent good is a by-product of the enjoyment of the tale. The tale will go home only as it brings joy, and it will bring joy when it secures the child's interest. Now interest is the condition which requires least mental effort. The first step, then, is to study the interests of the child. We do not wish to give him just what he Hkes, but we want to give him a chance to choose from among those things which he ought to have and, as good and wise guardians, see that we offer what is in harmony with his interests.
Any observation of the child's interest will show that he loves the things he finds in his fairy tales. He enjoys — A sense of life. This is the biggest thing in the fairy tales, and the basis for their universal appeal. The little child who is just entering life can no more escape its attraction than can the aged veteran about to leave the pathway.
The little pig, Whitie, who with his briskly curling tail goes eagerly down the road to se- cure, from the man who carried a load of straw, a bit with which to build his easily destructible house; Red Riding Hood taking a pot of jam to her sick grand- mother; Henny Penny starting out on a walk, to meet with the surprise of a nut falling on her head — the biggest charm of all this is that it is life.
The familiar. The child, limited in experience, loves to come in touch with the things he knows about. It soothes his tenderness, allays his fears, makes him feel at home in the world, — and he hates to feel strange, — it calms his timidity, and satisfies his heart. The pre- sents which the Rabbit went to town to buy for the little Rabbits, in How Brother Rabbit Frightens his Neighbors; the distinct names.
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Dog Runs after Brother Rabbit — these all bring up in the child's experience delightful famihar associations. The tale which takes a familiar experience, gives it more meaning, and organizes it, such as The Little Red Hen, broadens, deepens, and enriches the child's present life. The surprise. While he loves the familiar, nothing more quickly brings a smile than the surprise. Per- haps the most essential of the fairy traits is the com- bination of the familiar and the unfamiliar.
The de- sire for the unknown, that curiosity which brings upon itseK surprise, is the charm of childhood as well as the divine fire of the scientist. The naughty little Elephant who asked " a new, fine question he had never asked before," and who went to answer his own question of " what the crocodile has for dinner," met with many surprises which were spankings; and as a result, he returned home with a trunk and experi- ence. He is a very good example of how delightful to the child this surprise can be. This combination of the usual and unusual is the chief charm of Alice in Wonderlandy where a natural child wanders through a changing environment that is unusual.
For an idle moment enjoy the task of seeing how many ideas it contains which are the familiar ideas of children, and how they all have been " made different. Red Riding Hood was a dear little girl who set out to taLke a basket to her grandmother. But in the wood, after she had been gathering a nose- gay and chasing butterflies, " just as I might do," any child might say, she met a wolf! And what child's ears would not rise with curiosity? That was usual enough; but everything was different, and the charm is in giving the child a real surprise at every step.
The house was not like an ordinary house; it was in the wood, and more like a play-house than a real one. There was a room, but not much in it; a table, but there was not on it what is on your table — only three bowls. What they contained was usual, but unusually one bowl of porridge was big and hot, one was less big and cold, and one was little and just right.
Upstairs the bedroom was usual, but the beds were unusual when Goldilocks lay upon them. The Bears themselves were usual, but their talk and action was a delightful mixture of the surprising and the comical. Perhaps this love of surprise accounts for the perfect leap of interest with which a child will follow the Cock in The Bremen Town Musicians, as he saw from the top of the tree on which he perched, a light, afar off through the wood.
Certainly the theme of a Hght in the dis- tance has a charm for children as it must have had for man long ago. Sense impression. Good things to eat, beautiful flowers, jewels, the beauties of sight, color, and sound, of odor and of taste, all gratify a child's craving for sense impression. This, in its height, is the charm of the Arabian Nights.
But in a lesser degree it appears in all fairy tales. Cinderella's beautiful gowns at the ball and the fine supper stimulate the sense of color, beauty, and taste. The sugar-panes and gingerbread roof of the Witch's House, in Hansel and GretheU stir the child's kindred taste for sweets and cook- ies. The Gingerbread Boy, with his chocolate jacket, his cinnamon buttons, currant eyes, rose-sugar mouth, orange-candy cap, and gingerbread shoes, makes the same strong sense appeal.
The beautiful. Closely related to this love of the material is the sense of the beautiful. Pleasures of the eye and ear, of the imag- ination and memory, are those most easily objecti- fied, and form the groundwork on which all higher beauty rests. The green of the spring, the odor of Red Riding Hood's flowers, the splendor of the Prince's ball in Cinderella — these when perceived distinctly are intelligible, and when perceived delightfully are beautiful.
Language is a kind of music, too; the mode of speaking, the sound of letters, the inflection of the voice — all are elements of beauty. The indus- try of the little Elves reflects the worth of honest effort of the two aged peasants, and the dance of the Goat and seven Kids reflects the triumph of mother wit and the sharpness of love.
The good, the true, and the beautiful are inseparably linked in the tale, just as they forever grow together in the life of the child. The tales differ largely in the element of beauty they present. This union of the good, the true, and the beautiful has been expressed by an old Persian legend: " In the midst of the light is the beautiful, in the midst of the beautiful is the good, in the midst of the good is God, the Eternal One. The spirit of wonder, like a will-o'-the-wisp, leads on through a fairy tale, en- ticing the child who follows, knowing that something will happen, and wondering what.
When magic comes in he is gratified because some one becomes master of the universe — Cinderella, when she plants the hazel bough, and later goes to the wishing-tree; the fairy godmother, when with her wand she transforms a pumpkin to a gilded coach and six mice to beauti- ful gray horses; Little Two-Eyes, when she says, — Little kid, bleat, I wish to eat! This is a form of curiosity. In the old tale, as the wood was the place outside the usual habi- tation, naturally it was the place where things hap- pened.
This adventure the little child loves for its own sake. Later, when he is about eleven or twelve, he loves it for its motive. The child likes the fairy tale to tell him of some one who succeeds. He admires the little pig Speckle who outwitted the Wolf in getting to the field of turnips first, or in going to the apple tree at Merry- Garden, or to the fair at Shanklin; who built his house of brick which would defy assault; and whose clever- ness ended the Wolf's life.
This observation of suc- cess teaches the child to admire masterliness, to get the motto. Age quod agis, stamped into his child life from the beginning. It influences character to follow such conduct as that of the Little Red Hen, who took a grain of wheat, — her little mite, — who planted it, reaped it, made it into bread, and then ate it; who, in spite of the Goose and the Duck, secured to herself the reward of her labors. Akin to his love of running, skipping, and jumping, to his enjoyment in making things go and in seeing others make things go, is the child's desire for action in his fairy tales; and this is just another way of saying he wants his fairy tales to parallel life.
Sharp, a lady of ninety, edited by John Ruskin, who added the third, fourth, eighth, and ninth stanzas, and illustrated by Kate Greenaway — has this pleas- ing trait of action to a unique degree. This very popular tale among children is a retelling of two old tales combined. The child loves a joke, and the tale that is humorous is his special delight. Humor is the source of pleasure in Billy Bobtail, where the number of animals and the noises they make fill the tale with hilarious fun. There is most pleasing humor in Lamhi- kin. Here the reckless hero frolicked about on his little tottery legs.
Where I shall fatter grow. Then you can eat me so! Later, on returning, when the animals asked, " Have you seen Lambikin.? On, little Drumikin! Tum-pa, turn-too! There is most delightful humor in The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership, where the Cat has the face to play upon the credulity of the poor house- keeper Mouse, who always " stayed at home and did not go out into the daytime. Poetic justice. Emotional satisfaction and moral satisfaction based on emotional instinct appeal to the child.
He pities the plight of the animals in the Bremen Town Musicians, and he wants them to find a refuge, a safe home. He is glad that the robbers are chased out, his sense of right and wrong is satisfied. Poetic justice suits him. This is one reason why fairy tales make a more definite impression often than life — be- cause in the tale the retribution follows the act so swiftly that the child may see it, while in life " the mills of the gods grind slowly," and even the adult who looks cannot see them grind. The imaginative.
Fairy tales satisfy the activity of the child's imagination and stimulate his fancy. Some beautiful spring day, perhaps, after he has en- joyed an excursion to a field or meadow or wood, he will want to follow Andersen's Thumbelina in her travels. He will follow her as she floats on a lily pad, escapes a frog of a husband, rides on a butterfly, lives in the house of a field-mouse, escapes a mole of a hus- band, and then rides on the back of a friendly swallow to reach the south land and to become queen of the flowers.
Here there is much play of fancy. But even when the episodes are homely and the situations famihar, as in Little Red Hen, the act of seeing them as distinct images and of following them with interest feeds the imagination. For while the elements are familiar, the combination is unusual; and this nour- ishes the child's ability to remove from the usual situa- tion, which is the essential element in all originality.
By entering into the life of the characters and identi- fying himself with them, he develops a large sym- pathy and a sense of power, he gains insight into life, and a care for the interests of the world. Very few of the child's fairy tales contain no animals. The episode of the hero or heroine and the friendly animal, as we find it retained in Two-Eyes and her little Goat, was probably a folk-lore convention — since dropped — common to the beginning of many of the old tales.
It indicates how largely the friendly animal entered into the old stories. A portrayal of human relations, especially with chil- dren. In Cinderella the child is held by the unkind treatment inflicted upon Cinderella by her Stepmother and the two haughty Sisters. He notes the solicitude of the Mother of the Seven Kids in guarding them from the Wolf. In the Three Bears he observes a pic- ture of family life. A little child, on listening to The Three Pigs for the first time, was overwhelmed by one thought and cried out, " And did n't the Mother come home any more.?
He can do it most readily if the character is a small individual like Red Riding Hood who should obey her mother; or like Goldilocks who must not wander in the wood; or like Henny Penny who went to take a walk and was accosted by, " Where are you going? The child is interested, too, in the strange people he meets in the fairy tales: the clever little elves who lived in the groves and danced on the grass; the dwarfs who inhabited the earth-rocks and the hills; the trolls who dwelt in the wild pine forest or the rocky spurs, who ate men or porridge, and who fled at the noise of bells; the fairies who pleased with their red caps, green jackets, and sprightly ways; the beautiful fairy godmother who waved her wonderful wand; or those lovely fairy spirits who appeared at the moment when most needed — just as all best friends do — and who could grant, in a twinkling, the wish that was most desired.
The diminutive. This pleasure in the diminutive is found in the interest in the fairy characters. This court was my home. In me he dehghted. By him I was knighted. Did you never hear of Sir Thomas Thumb? The child takes keen delight in the fairy ship which could be folded up and put into a pocket, and in the wonderful nut-shell that could bring forth beautiful silver and gold dresses.
The little wagon of Chanticleer and Partlet that took them a trip up to the hill, and the tiny mugs and beds, table and plates, of Snow White's cottage in the wood — such as these all meet the approval of child-nature. Rhythm and repetition. The child at first loves sound; later he loves sound and sense, or meaning. Repeti- tion pleases him because he has limited experience and is glad to come upon something he has known before. He observes and he wants to compare, but it is a job. Repetition saves him a task and boldly proclaims, " We are the same.
Porcupine's; I wish I had a pair of red rubbers like Miss Puddleduck's. Bushy Tail, Miss Puddleduck, and old Mr. Bushy Tail, may I sleep in your house all night? Repetition here aids the child in following the characters, the story, and its mean- ing. It is a distinct help to unity and to clearness.
The Elephant's Child is an example of how the lit- erary artist has used this element of repetition, and used it so wonderfully that the form is the matter and the tale cannot be told without the artist's words. Rhythm and repetition also make a bodily appeal, they appeal to the child's motor sense and instinc- tively get into his muscles. This is very evident in Brother Rabbit's Riddle : — De big bird bob en little bird sing; De big bee zoon en little bee sting, De little man lead en big boss foller — Kin you tell wat's good fer a head in a holler?
The song in Brother Rabbit and the Little Girl appeals also to the child's sense of sound: — De jay-bird hunt de sparrer-nes; De bee-martin sail all 'roun'; De squer'l, he holler from de top er de tree, Mr. Mole, he stay in de ground; He hide en he stay twel de dark drap down — Mr. Mole, he hide in de groun'. The simple and the sincere.
The child's taste for the simple and the sincere is one reason for the appeal which Andersen's tales make. In using his stories it is to be remembered that, although Andersen lacked manliness in being sentimental, he preserved the child's point of view and gave his thought in the true nursery story's mode of expression. Since real senti- ment places the emphasis on the object which arouses feeling and the sentimental places the emphasis on the feeling, sincerity demands that in using Ander- sen's tales, one lessen the sentimental when it occurs by omitting to give prominence to the feeling.
His speech is characterized by the simplest words and conceptions, an avoidance of the abstract, the use of direct lan- guage, and a naXve poetic expression adapted to gen- eral comprehension. He is not to be equaled in child conversations. The world of the fairy tale must be simple like the world Andersen has given us. It must be a world of genuine people and honest occupations in order to form a suitable background for the super- natural.
Only fairy tales possessing simplicity are suited to the oldest kindergarten child of five or six years. To the degree that the child is younger than five years, he should be given fewer and fewer fairy tales. Those given should be largely realistic stories of extreme simplicity. Unity of effect. The little child likes the short tale, for it is a unity he can grasp. If you have ever lis- tened to a child of five spontaneously attempting to tell you a long tale he has not grasped, and have observed how the units of the tale have become confused in the mind that has not held the central theme, you then realize how harmful it is to give a child too long a story.
Unity demands that there be no heaping up of sensations, but neat, orderly, essential incidents, held together by one central idea. The tale must go to the climax directly. It will be remarkable as well for what it omits as for what it tells. The Norse Doll i' the Grass well illustrates this unity. Boots set out to find a wife and found a charming little lassie who could spin and weave a shirt in one day, though of course the shirt was tiny.
He took her home and then celebrated his wedding with the pleasure of the king. Here one feeling dominates the tale, the Pine Tree was no longer contented. So she wished, first for gold leaves, next for glass leaves, and then for leaves hke those of the oaks and maples. Fairy tales for little children must avoid certain elements opposed to the interests of the very young child. Temperaments vary and one must be guided by the characteristics of the individual child. This stand- ard would determine what tales should not be given to the child of kindergarten age : — The tale of the witch.
The witch is too strange and too fearful for the child who has not learned to dis- tinguish the true from the imaginative. This would move Hansel and Grethel into the second-grade work and Sleeping Beauty preferably into the work of the first grade. The child soon gains sufficient experience so that later the story impresses, not the strangeness. The tale of the dragon. This would eliminate Sieg- fried and the Dragon. A dragon is too fearful a beast and produces terror in the heart of the child.
Tales of heroic adventure with the sword are not suited to his strength. He has not yet entered the realm of bold adventure where Perseus and Theseus and Hercules display their powers. The fact that hero-tales abound in dehghtful literature is not adequate reason for crowding the Rhinegold Legends, Wagner Stories, and Tales of King Arthur, into the kindergarten. Their beauty and charm do not make it less criminal to pre- sent to little children such a variety of images as knighthood carries with it.
These tales are not suffi- ciently simple for the little child, and must produce a mental confusion and the crudest of returns. Giant tales. A Httle girl, when eating tongue, confidingly asked, " Whose tongue? To a child of such sensibilities the cutting off of heads is savage and gruesome and should not be given a chance to impress so prominently. Life cannot be without its strife and struggle, but the little child need not meet everything in life at once. This does not mean that absolutely no giant tale would be used at this time.
The tale of Mr. Miacca, in which " little Tommy could n't always be good and one day went round the corner," is a giant tale which could be used with young children because it is full of delight- ful humor. Because of the simplicity of Tommy's lan- guage and his sweet childishness it appeals to the child's desire to identify himself with the character. Tommy is so clever and inventive and his lively sur- prises so brimful of fun that the final effect is entirely pleasing.
S yme tales of transformation. The little child is not pleased but shocked by the transformation of men into animals. A little girl, on looking at an illustra- tion of Little Brother and Sister, remarked, " K my Sister would turn into a fawn I would cry. A simple tale of transformation, such as The Little Lamb and the Little Fishy in which Gretchen becomes a lamb and Peterkin a little fish, is inter- esting but not horrible, and could be used. So also could a tale such as Grimm's Fundevogel, in which the brother and sister escape the pursuit of the witch by becoming, one a rosebush and the other a rose; later, one a church and the other a steeple; and a third time, one a pond and the other a duck.
In both these tales we have the witch and transformation, but the effect contains no horror. The tale of strange animal relations and strange creatures. Tom Tit Tot, which Jacobs considers the most delightful of all fairy tales, is brimful of humor for the older child, but here the tailed man is not suited to the faith and understanding of six years. Rumpelstiltskiny its parallel, must also be excluded. The House in the Wood, and its Norse parallel. The Two Step-Sisters, are both very beautiful, but are more suited to the second grade. In the kindergarten it is much better to present the tale which empha- sizes goodness, rather than the two just mentioned, which present the good and the bad and show what happens to both.
Besides there is a certain elation re- sulting from the superior reward won by the good child which crowds out any pity for the erring child. Snow White and Rose Red contains the strange dwarf, but it is a tale so full of love and good- ness and home life that in spite of its length it could be used in the first grade. Unhappy tales. The very little child pities, and its tender heart must be protected from depressing sadness as unrelieved as we find it in The Little Match Girl. The image of suffering impressed on a child, who cannot forget the sight of a cripple for days, is too in- tense to be healthful.
The sorrow of the poor is one of the elements of life that even the very little child meets, and it is legitimate that his literature should include tales that call for compassion. But in a year or two, when he develops less impressionability and more poise, he is better prepared to meet such situa- tions, as he must meet them in life. The tale of capture. This would eliminate Proser- pine. No more beautiful myth exists than this one of the springtime, but its beauty and its symbolism do not make it suitable for the kindergarten. It is more suited to the elementary child of the fourth grade.
In fact, very few myths of any sort find a legitimate place in the kindergarten, perhaps only a few of the simpler pourquois tales. It is better to leave the literature as it is and offer it later when the child reaches the second grade. It most happily makes the little lame boy who was left in Hamelin when the Piper closed the door of the mountain, the means of the restoration of the other children to their parents.
The very long tale. This would omit The Ugly Duckling. The Ugly Duckling is a most artistic tale and one that is very true to life. Its characters are the animals of the barn-yard, the hens and ducks familiar to the little child's experience. But the theme and emotional interest working out at length through varied scenes, make it much better adapted to the capacities of a third-grade child.
The White Cat, a feminine counterpart of Puss-in- Boots — which gives a most charming picture of how a White Cat, a trans- formed princess, helped a youth, and re-transformed became his bride — because of its length, is better used in the first grade at the same time with Puss-in- Boots. This is a fine tale telling how the youngest of three sons succeeded in winning the king's favor and finally the princess and half the kingdom.
But after winning in these tests, he is required to conquer a great Ogre who dwells in the forest, and later to prove himseK cleverer in intellect than the princess by telling the greater falsehood. It is evident that not only the subject- matter but the working out of the long plot are much beyond kindergarten children. The complicated or the insincere tale. This would eliminate a tale of complicated structure, such as Grimm's Golden Bird; and many of the modern fairy tales, which will be dealt with later on.
The fairy tales mentioned above are all important tales which the child should receive at a later time when he is ready for them. They are mentioned be- cause they all have been suggested for kindergarten use. The whole field of children's literature is largely unclassified and ungraded as yet, and such arrange- ments as we possess show slight respect for standards. There is abundant material for the youngest, and much will be gained by omitting to give the very young what they will enjoy a little later, much better and with freshness. In regard to this grading of the classics.
Had I twenty girls they should be brought up exactly in this fashion. But with all due respect to Lamb it must be said that Lamb is not living in this scientific day of discovery of the child's personality and of accurate attention to the child's needs. Because the Odyssey is a great book and will give much to any child does not prove at all that the same child would not be better off by reading it when his interests reach its life. This out- look on the problem would eliminate the necessity of having the classics rewritten from a new moral view- point, which is becoming a custom now-a-days, and which is to be frowned upon, for it deprives the lit- erature of much of its vigor and force.
The old tale will not always be perfect literature; often it will be imperfect, especially in form. Yet the tale should be selected with the standards of litera- ture guiding in the estimate of its worth and in the emphasis to be placed upon its content. Such relating of the tale to literary standards would make it quite impossible later in the primary grades when teaching the reading of Three Pigs, to put the main stress on a mere external like the expression of the voice. A study of the story as literature would have centered the attention on the situation, the characters, and the plot.
K the voice is receiving training in music and in the phonics of spelling, then when the reading of the tale is undertaken it will be a willing servant to the mind which is concentrating on the reality, and will express what the thought compels. The fairy tale first must be a classic in reality even if it lacks the crowning touch of perfect form given through the re-treatment of a literary artist. In Rey- nard the Fox we have an exact example of the folk- tale that has been elevated into literature.
But this was possible only because the tales originally pos- sessed the qualities of a true classic. Jack the Giant- Killer, — which has been said to be the epitome of the whole life of man — Beauty and the Beast, and a crowd of others. Any fairy tale which answers to the test of a real classic must, like these, show itself to contain for the child a permanent enrichment of the mind.
Fairy tales must have certain qualities which be- long to all literature as a fine art, whether it is the literature of knowledge or the literature of power. Literature is not the book nor is it life; but literature is the sense of life, whose artist is the author, and the medium he uses is words, language. It is good art when his sense of life is truth, and fine art when there is beauty in that truth. The one essential beauty of literature is in its essence and does not depend upon any decoration. As words are the medium, literature will distinguish carefully among them and use them as the painter, for particular lights and shades.
Literature will have mind when it has that architectural sense of structure which fore- sees the end in the beginning and keeps all the parts related in a harmonious unity. Test the Tale of Cinderella by this stand- ard. As to mind, it makes one think of a bridge in which the very keystone of the structure is the con- dition that Cinderella return from the ball by the stroke of twelve.
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These particular literary marks which differentiate the lit- erary tale from the ordinary prose tale have been pointed out by Professor Winchester in his Principles of Literary Criticism. They apply to the old tale of primitive peoples just as well as to the modern tale of to-day. As literature the tale must have: 1 a power to appeal to the emotions; 2 a power to appeal to the imagination; 3 a basis of truth; and 4 a form more or less perfect.
This ap- peal to the emotions is its unique distinguishing lit- erary trait. Literature appeals, not to the personal emotions but to the universal ones. For this reason, through literature the child may come in time to de- velop a power of universal sympathy, which is not the least value Uterature has to bestow upon him, for this sympathy will become a benediction to all those with whom he may have to deal. In order that emotion in the tales may be Hterary — make a permanent appeal — according to Professor Win- chester's standards, it must have justness given by a deep and worthy cause; vividness so that it may enlarge and thrill; a certain steadiness produced by everything in the tale contributing to the main emo- tion; a variety resulting from contrasts of character; and a high quality obtained through its sympathy with life and its relation to the conduct of life, so that the feeling for the material beauty of mere sights and sounds is closely related to the deepest suggestions of moral beauty.
The best Hterary tales will possess emotion having all five characteristics. Many tales will exhibit one or more of these traits conspicuously. No tale that is literature will be found which does not lay claim to some one of these qualities which appeal to the broadly human emotions. The Tovm Musicians of Bremen ex- hibits vivid emotion, for all four characters are in the same desperate danger of losing life, all four unite to save it, and to find a home. Andersen's Steadfast Tin Soldier is a good example of steadiness of emotion, as it maintains throughout its message of courage. The Tin Soldier remained steadfast, whether on the table just escaped from the toy-box, or in the street after a frightful fall from the window, or spinning in a paper boat that bobbed, or sailing under the crossing, or lying at full length within the fish that swallowed him, or at last melting in the full glare of the hearth fire.
It is a very good example, too, of vividness of emo- tion. The Little Elves illustrates steadiness of emo- tion, it is pervaded by the one feeling, that industry deserves reward. The French tale, Drakeshilly is es- pecially delightful and humorous because " Bill Drake " perseveres in his happy, fresh vivacity, at the end of every rebuff of fortune, and triumphantly continues his one cry of, " Quack, quack, quack! When shall I get my money back. All the great fairy tales appeal to emotion of a high moral quality and it is this which is the source of their universal appeal.
It is this high moral quality of the spiritual truth, which is the center of the tale's unity, holding together all the parts under one emotional theme. This is the source of the perennial freshness of the old tale; for while the immortal truth it presents is old, the person- ality of the child that meets it is new. For the child, the tale is new because he discovers in it a bit of him- self he had not known before, and it retains for him a lasting charm so that he longs to hear it again and again.
The beauty of truth, the reward of goodness, and the duty of fairness, give a high emotional qual- ity to Little Two-Eyes; and Sleeping Beauty illustrates the blighting power of hatred to impose a curse and the saving power of love to overcome the works of hatred. Considering folk-tales from the standpoint of emo- tion, if asked to suggest what author's work would rank in the same class, one is rather surprised to find, that for high moral quality, variety, and worthy cause, the author who comes to mind is none other than Shakespeare.
Perhaps, with all due respect to literature's idol, one might even venture to question which receives honor by the comparison, Shakespeare or the folk-tales? The little child is open to emotional appeal, his heart is tender and he is impressionable.
If he feels with the characters in his tales he develops a power of emotion. In Andersen's Snow Man it is hard to say which seems more human to him or which makes more of an emotional appeal, the Snow Man or the Dog. He is sorry for the poor Shoemaker in The Little ElveSy glad when he grows rich, delighted for the Elves when they receive their presents, and satisfied at the happy end. Since literature depicts life and character in order to awaken noble emotions, it fol- lows that one must omit to present what awakens repulsive or degrading emotions.
And it is for this reason, as has been mentioned under the heading " Ele- ments to be avoided," that the tales of the witch and the dragon must be excluded, not for all time, but for the earliest years, when they awaken horror.
Through fairy tales we have seen that the emo- tional power of the child is strengthened. This has been ejffected because, in the tale just as truly as in life, action is presented in real situations; and back of every action is the motive force of emotion. This cumulative power of emotion, secured by the child through the handling of tales, will serve daily a pre- sent need. It will be the dynamic force which he will require for anything he wishes to accomplish in life. It will make a difference in his speech; he will not have to say so much, for what he does say will produce re- sults.
This growing power of emotion will carry over into feelings of relation and thus lead to judgment of values. This evaluation is the basis of reasoning and answers to the child's daily call to think from causes to consequences. This increasing power of emotion develops into the sesthetic sensibilites and so results in a cultivation of taste and an understanding of life.
Emotion therefore leads to appreciation, which, when logically developed, becomes expression. Fairy tales, thus, in conducting emotional capacity through this varied growth and toward this high development, hold an educational value of no mean order. Emo- tion can be aroused by showing the objects which ex- cite emotion. Imagination is this power to see and show things in the concrete. It is the faculty that can create ideal presence. Ruskin, in his Modern Painters, vol. This is the power of imagination by which we call into association other images that tend to produce the same or allied emo- tion.
When this association has no common ground of emotion it is fancy. The test for the associative imagination, which has the power to combine ideas to form a conception, is that if one part is taken away the rest of the combination goes to pieces. It requires intense simplicity, harmony, and absolute truth. Andersen's Fairy Tales are a perfect drill for the asso- ciative imagination. Literature parallels life and what is presented calls up individual experience.
Any child will feel a thrill of kinship with the experiences given in The Tin Soldier — a little boy's birthday, the opening of the box, the counting of the soldiers, and the setting of them upon the table. And because here Andersen has transformed this usual experience with a vivacity and charm, the tale ranks high as a tale of imagination.
Little Ida's Flowers and Thumbelina are tales of pure fancy. This power of im- agination shows the real character of a thing and de- scribes it by its spiritual effects. It sees the heart and inner nature of things. Through fancy the child can- not reach this central viewpoint since fancy deals only with externals.
Through the exercise of this power the child develops insight, intuition, and a per- ception of spiritual values, and gains a love of the ideal truth and a perpetual thirst for it. He develops genuineness, one of the chief virtues of originality. He will tend not to have respect for sayings or opinions but will seek the truth, be governed by its laws, and hold a passion for perfection. This is that special phase of the imagination that gives to abstract being consistency and reality. Through the contem- plative imagination the child gains the significance of meaning and discerns the true message of the tale.
When merely external resemblance is caught, when the likeness is forced, and the image created believed in, we have fancy. The contemplative imagination interprets the past in the tale and relates it to the future. It shows what is felt by indicating some aspect of what is seen. The labor of the spirit seeking the full message of the fairy tale, often is rewarded with bits of philo- sophy which are the essence of its personal wisdom.
FIND A SHOW
Even the Woman Suffragists of our day might be amused to find, in The Cat and Mouse in Partnershipy this side-light on one of their claims. The Mouse said she did not know what to think of the curious names. You sit here in your soft gray coat and long tail, and these foolish whims get into your head.
It is always the way when one does not go out in the daytime. This is the case in Andersen's The Emperor's New Suit, SL gem in story-telling art — more suited to the second grade — where the purpose of the story is veiled, and the satire or humor is conveyed through a very telling word or two. And the old, honest minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working at empty looms. The philosophy under- lying The Steadfast Tin Soldier is even finer as a bit of truth than the perfect art of the literary story : That what happens in life does not matter so much as the way you take it.
The Tin Soldier always remained steadfast, no matter what happened. Kipling's Elephant's Child is more charming than ever when looked at from the standpoint of its philosophy. It might be interpreted as an allegory answering the question," How should one get experience? The Ugly Duckling is full of sayings of philosophy that contribute to its complete message. The Cat and the Hen to whom the Duckling crept for refuge said, " We and the world," and could not bear a difference of opinion. That is the way to tell your friends.
But this saying is traceable at least to the third story of the fourth night in Stra- parola, translated by Keightley, The Dancing Watery the Singing Apple, and the Beautiful Green Bird, in which the bird tells the King that his three guests are his own children. The philosophy in the fairy tales and the proverbs that have arisen in them, are subjects which offer to the adult much pleasure and fruitfulness. Is it not adult wisdom foreign to his immaturity? For childhood has its philosophy; but because it meets with repression on so many sides it usually keeps it to itself.
When given freedom and self -activ- ity and self-expression, the child's philosophy appears also. In the literary fairy tale there often appears a phi- losophy which is didactic and above and beyond the child's knowledge of the world. It remains a ques- tion how much this adult philosophy appeals to him. Although his tales were written for his grandchildren, so finished a telling of the tale as we find in Labou- laye, with its delightful hits of satire, appeals more to the grown-up versed in the ways of the world.
You got ter low fer dem dat knows too much same ez dem what knows too little. A heap er sayin's en a heap er doin's in dis roun' worl' got ter be tuck on trus'.
It is through the contemplative imagination that the child realizes the meaning of particular tales. He learns: that Cinderella means that goodness brings its own reward; that Three Pigs means that the wise build with care and caution, with foresight; that Star Dollars means compassion for others and kindness to them; and that Red Riding Hood means obedience. The power of the contemplative imagination is based on the indistinctness of the image. It suggests, too, the relation between cause and effect, which rea- son afterwards proves; and therefore it is a direct aid to science.
In the tales there are expressed facts of truth symbolically clothed which science since then has discovered. And now that folk-lore is being stud- ied seriously to unfold all it gives of an earlier life, perhaps this new study may reveal some new truths of science hidden in its depths. The marvels of mod- ern shoe manufacture were prophesied in The Little Elves, and the power of electricity to hold fast was foretold in Dummling and his Golden Goose.
The won- ders of modern machinery appeared in the magic axe of Espen that hit at every stroke; and the miracle of modern canals sees a counterpart in the spring which Espen brought to the giant's boiling-pot in the wood. The magic sleep from which there was an awakening, even after a hundred years, may have typified hyp- notism and its strange power upon man. But there may be found lurking in its depths many truths as yet undiscovered by science. Perhaps the dreams of primitive man may suggest to the present-day sci- entist new possibilities.
28 Fairy Tales Dollhouse Miniature Book by EverAfterMiniatures
All fine emotional effects arise from truth. The tale must hold the mirror and show an image of life. It must select and combine facts which will suggest emotion but the facts must be a true expression of human nature. The tale, whether it is realistic in emphasizing the familiar, the common- place, and the present, or romantic in emphasizing the strange, the heroic, and the remote, must be idealistic to interpret truly the facts of life by high ideals. If the tale has this basis of truth the child will gain, through his handling of it, a body of facts. This in- creases his knowledge and strengthens his intellect.
And it is to be remembered that, for the child's all- round development, the appeal of literature to the intellect is a value to be emphasized equally with the appeal to the emotions and to the imagination. Speak- ing of the nature of the intellect in his essay on Intel- lect, Emerson has said: " We do not determine what we will think. We only open our senses, clear away as we can all obstruction from the fact, and suffer the intellect to see. It assists him to form conclusions because it presents results of cir- cumstances and consequences of conduct. Contin- ued attention to the facts, knowledge, and truth pre- sented in the tales, helps the child to grow a sincerity of spirit.
This leads to that love of actual truth, which is one of the armors of middle life, against which false opinion falls harmless. Form is the union of all the means which the writer employs to convey his thought and emotion to the reader. Flaubert has said, " Among all the expressions of the world there is but one, one form, one mode, to express what I want to say.
Then the form and the matter will fit each other so perfectly there will be no unneces- sary adornment. In regard to form it is to be remembered that feeling is best awakened incidentally by suggestion. Words are the instruments, the medium of the writer. Words have two powers : the power to name what they mean, or denotation; and the power to suggest what they imply, or connotation.
To make these two suggestive powers of words work together is the perfect art of Milton. Pope describes for us the relation of sound to sense in a few lines which them- selves illustrate the point: — Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows. And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows. But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse, should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw. The line too labors, and the words move slow: Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain.
Flies o'er the unbending corn and skims along the main. And I'll puff. And I '11 blow your house in! Especially is this the case in tales dignified by the cante-fable form; such as Grimm's Cinderella: — Rustle and shake yourself, dear tree. And silver and gold throw down to me! The suggestive power of words to convey more than they mean, is produced, not only by the sounds contained in the words themselves, but also largely by the arrangement of the words and by the speech- tunes of the voice in speaking them.
Kipling's Ele- phant's Child is a living example of the suggestive power of words. When Kolokolo Bird said with a mournful cry, "Go to the banks of the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River," etc. The expression, " dear families," which occurs so often, is full of de- lightful irony and suggests the vigorous treatment, anything but dear, which had come to the Elephant's Child from them. Perfect form consists in the " ability to convey thought and emotion with perfect fidelity.
Precision or clearness demands the precise value and meaning of words. It requires that words have the power of denotation. It appeals to the intellect of the reader or listener and demands that language be neither vague nor ambig- uous nor obscure. Energy or force demands that perfect form have the quality of emotion. It appeals to the emotions of the reader or listener and has the power to hold the attention.
It demands of language that sympathy which will imply what it would suggest. Delicacy or emotional harmony de- mands that perfect form please the taste. It requires that an emotional harmony be secured by a selection and arrangement of the melody of words and of the emotional associations which, together with the mean- ings, are tied up in words. It demands that words have the power of perfect adaptation to the thought and feeling they express, that words have both the power of denotation and of connotation.
It appeals to the aesthetic sense of the reader or listener, it gives to form beauty and charm. Personality is the influ- ence of the author, the charm of individuality, and suggests the character of the writer. At the same time that perfect form is characterized by the general qualities of precision, energy, deli- cacy, and personality, as composition consisting of words, sentences, paragraphs, or large wholes, its ele- ments must be controlled by certain main principles, which have been presented by Professor Barrett Wen- dell in English Composition.
Perfect form cannot pos- sess the four general qualities above mentioned unless its elements are controlled by these main principles. These are: 1 the principle of sincerity; 2 the prin- ciple of unity; 3 the principle of mass; and 4 the principle of coherence. Unity demands that every composition should group itself about a central idea. There must be one story, all incidents subordinated, one main course of action, one main group of characters, and one tone of feeling to produce an emotional effect.
Variety of action must lead to one definite result and variety of feeling to one total impression. Unity demands that the tale must have a plan that is complete, with no irrelevant material, and that there must be a logical order and a climax. Mass demands that the chief parts of every composi- tion should readily catch the eye.
It maintains a har- monious proportion of all the parts. Coherence de- mands of any composition that the relation of each part to its neighbors should be unmistakable, and that the order, forms, and connections of the parts preserve this relation. When form secures a perfect adaptation of the lan- guage to the thought and feeling expressed, it may be said to possess style, in a broad sense of the word.
In a more detailed sense, when form is characterized by precision, energy, delicacy, and personality, and at the same time has the elements of its composition controlled by the principles of sincerity, unity, mass, and coherence, it is said to possess style. The fairy tale which is a classic characterized by that perfect form called style, will possess the general qualities of precision, energy, delicacy, and personality; and the elements of its structure, its words, its sentences.
A tale which well illustrates the literary form pos- sible to the child's tale, which may be said to possess that perfection of form we call style, and which may be used with the distinct aim to improve the child's English and perfect his language expression, is the modern realistic fairy tale, Oeyvind and Marit. Oeyvind and Marit is so entirely realistic as to be excluded here, but the talking rhymes which the Mother sings to Oeyvind bring in the fairy element of the talking animals. In the form of this tale, the perfect fidelity with which the words fit the meaning is apparent — nothing seems super- fluous.
When Oeyvind asked Marit who she was, she re- plied: — "I am Marit, mother's little one, father's fiddle, the elf in the house, granddaughter of Ole Nordistuen of the Heidi farms, four years old in the autunm, two days after the frost nights, I! The story is full of instances illustrating precision, energy, and delicacy.
In fact, almost any passage exemplifies the general qualities of form and the qualities of composition. The personality of the writer has given to the tale a poetic and dramatic charm of simplicity.