Why Fairy Tales Are Dangerous via The Imaginative Conservative

Good thoughts from the 2014 archives at The Imaginative Conservative’s Gracy Olmstead in response to Richard Dawkins’ assertion that fairy tales are harmful:

Lewis saw a potent metaphorical force in the fairy tale: it helped children battle the pains and frustrations of reality through its images of valor and heroism. None of us ought to read children news stories about serial killers and tragic accidents. These things are too graphic and frightening for their young minds. But by reading them stories of evil monsters, and by telling them of knights and heroes who bravely stood up to such monsters, they receive greater mental and moral strength. When they grow older, they’ll have to fight their own real-life villains and calamities. The fairy tale’s metaphorical power gives real strength to them as they grow.

Of course it’s statistically improbable that any child will ever be required to carry a magic ring across a perilous land ravaged by monsters, toward an evil, all-seeing eye and its dark kingdom, in order to save all of humanity. But how many of the children who read The Lord of the Rings will grow up to fight injustice and oppression in its real forms? Might some of them become doctors on the frontlines of fighting cancer, teachers willing to work in the most troubled school districts, social workers eager to combat corruption and manipulation in the foster care system? Continue reading at The Imaginative Conservative



Leave a Reply