Open Access Honors Program Thesis
ln this analysis I look at the differences between written text and film fairy tales, and the extent to which they help children overcome moral complexities. There are two important ideas represented in written fairy tales that place fairy tales within a tradition of moral education for children. First, the relationship between prince, princess and the wicked fairy or queen resembles the relationship between Adam, Eve and Satan. This relationship is only visible in the written version of the tales, because it depends on the Princesses playing dominant roles as Eve played in Genesis. Second, the use of the Seven Deadly Sins will appear throughout all of the written tales, because they are the accepted expression of virtue and vice at the time period the tales are written. These sins also appear in the Disney films, but they are changed, in fact many of them are reduced in degree or taken less seriously by the characters. Consequently, children watching the films believe that behavior condoned in the films will also be condoned in real life. We watch the Disney films because they entertain us, and they make it easy for us to visualize the story, but they are vastly drier, simpler, and less imaginative than written fairy tales. If we want children to grow up decisive and confident, and in appreciation of their own imagination and ability to work through problems, then we must not only see the value in written fairy tales, but we must also return to them as the superior form of the tales.
Year of Submission
Department of Philosophy and World Religions
Department of English
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (45 pages)
©2006 Heather Marie Birk
Birk, Heather Marie, "The Loathsome and the Virtuous: An Examination of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White in Literature and Film" (2006). Honors Program Theses. 605.