In the early nineteenth century, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, better known as the Brothers Grimm, went on a quest to collect fairy tales and folklore before the stories became extinct. Up to that point, the famous tales were an oral tradition passed on from generation to generation. The tales were vivid, often graphic, and written to take one’s mind away from the hardship of day-to-day survival. The Brothers Grimm tales were a far cry from those happy and pretty princesses portrayed in today’s Disney movies – most of the tales showed a more dark side to life. Yes, the stories would begin with once upon a time and end with living happy every after, but what happened between those sentences were timeless adventures that sparked your imagination. Look carefully at each tale and you shall see strong moral messages woven throughout. For example, Little Red Riding Hood did not take her mother’s advice and wandered into the woods to meet up with the Big Bad Wolf. Eventually, she ends up in the beast’s belly, even though the huntsman comes along and saves the day. Snow White is about the dangers of selfish desires and where they may lead. The tale of Hansel and Gretel points out that life is hard and one must be resourceful to survive. Rapunzel is a lesson to parents – they must not hold too tightly to one’s child for no matter how guarded a child is they will always find a way to escape. Most of these tales would be forgotten today if not for the Brothers Grimm. In 1812, Children’s and Household Tales Volume 1 was published by the Brothers but it had more of an adult flavor. Over the years, they adapted the stories to the upcoming generations of young children and deleted some of the more violent stories. Throughout the fairy tales, as the magic of the story unfolded, they still enforced the importance of children listening and obeying their parents. Today, the tales have been translated into 160 languages. Without the Brothers Grimm and their tireless efforts, these timeless fairy tales would have been lost to the world of imagination forever. And that would not have been a “happily ever after” ending!
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.