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Folklore as we know it is a form of literature that is legendary in the sense that it was written a long time ago. This form of literature can be in form of folktales, music, sayings, and proverbs depicting the culture and livelihoods of the society. This write up is going to focus on traditional literature in form of folktales that were written a long time ago.
Of particular interest to this essay is the level of violence depicted in some of the folktales. This essay will argue for the assertion that traditional folktales are violent and that children should not be exposed to such forms of literature.
Critical analysis of folk literature
Over the years, traditional literature has maintained its originality in form of context therefore, such stories have continuously conveyed issues that were highlighted or issues that were relevant at the particular time when such literature was written.
Bearing in mind that human culture and behavior has changed over time, then, traditional literature instigated with the intention of inflicting violence or fear is misplaced in the current society. In addition, most traditional folklores were designed to depict events as they occurred without censoring or editing sensitive portions.
Young children up to the age of 13 years are guide by their seniors and as such, if their guardian subjects them to literature that depicts violence or fear, then, they are destined to believe that human beings thrive under violent circumstances or violence and inflicting fear is part of the human culture.
For instance, in the fare tale of “Iron Hans” the author narrates that a long time ago in a particular kingdom headed by a king, a great number of hunts men who were on a war mission disappeared into the forest and they were never to be found for many years. The story also illustrates how a naked hand of a wild creature stretches itself out of the deep waters to capture a dog that is never seen again. On another occasion in the tale, Iron Hans injures one of the king’s attendants with the point of a sword.
In my view, the writer of this folklore used violence to instigate fear among his readers thus, rendering forested areas as a no go zone. Typically, such a story can install some sense of fear to children thus making them more conscious of forested landscapes or avoiding forested areas. Further, the use of a sword to injure the attendant renders a violent situation that can be explored by children in their quest to experiment on what they read from folklore.
On another different story of “Jorinda and Jorindel” the author narrates of a castle that was somehow bewitched and home to an old fairy that could transform to any form of animal that it so wished to be. The story also talks about the belief that any man who went close to the castle would be stuck until the fairy could set him free.
This tale is violent in the sense that it depicts a fairy that can transform itself into various forms, which, under normal circumstances is not possible. It also develops some sense of slavery and anger thus, playing quite negatively on the conscious and subconscious mind of a child.
In conclusion, it is important to expose children to literature, but at the same time, teachers and parents should be more cautious of the nature and context of the literature available for children. Therefore, based on the level of violence depicted in most folklore, I recommend that children should be shielded from such forms of literature.
Jakob and Grimm Wilhelm. “Iron Hans”, Grimm’s Fairy Tales. 2006. Web.
Jakob and Grimm Wilhelm. “Jorinda and Jorindel”. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. 2006. Web.