I have been doing some recent digging around with Stories. I am currently trying to finish watching “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth” which is a documentary (you can find it here) which talks about myths in different cultures and some universal themes. It’s a bit older, but so far I have enjoyed it.
Fairy Tales are apart of myths that every native culture has had ranging from Europe to the Americas to the Pacific Islands. They have been around for thousands of years and that’s for a reason. The society creates the tales in order to teach lessons and instill values into people. It may not be obvious at first, but a deeper looks reveals it.
Although intended for children because of their lessons they tend to teach adults can still find value in them. In general there are two arcs to Fairy Tales. One is someone is in a bad situation and they have to go on a quest to fix it and they normally meet someone who helps them actualize themselves. Think of Cinderella where she is a bad home environment and she goes on a quest so to speak, finds the prince and her life is made better. It shows accomplishment and that sometimes other people help you better yourself.
The other arch is that someone is under a sort of spell where they are not their true self, like a frog or asleep until certain requirements are met. They then have an outside force, normally another person, do something to them so they can become their true self. This shows us that sometimes we are not are true selves until we meet someone who helps us actualize this. I am not for sure, however my hypothesis is that this was instilled in people in order to promote the value of marriage and having children. I haven’t really looked into it. However with this arch they become a new person. Think of “Sleeping Beauty” or “The Princess and the Frog.”
This can be seen in part through baptism where someone isn’t their true potential, but then they accept the faith and submerge themselves in water and become, in a sense, a new person. It’s the same arch where someone isn’t their true selves until something else happens to them.