A is for...Audience and Adaptations!

To start of my A to Z of all things fairy tales, I'm going to talk about the audience they are aimed at and adaptations of original versions!
Fairy tales originated as folk tales told through word of mouth as a way to keep people entertained as they worked. This means that they were meant for adults, just as much as children. In fact, many early versions of fairy tales probably weren't suitable for children's ears, but more on that in another letter!
However, although they were originally told by adults for adults, fairy tales have been adapted throughout the years, and are now thought of to be stories for children. They were adapted into books by people such as the Brothers Grimm and Perrault, who changed many aspects of the stories while writing them down. A lot of the violence occurring in the stories originally was taken out, and many of the stories were given happy endings to make them more suitable for children. More recently, we've had Disney's versions of fairy tales, where the main character always comes through in the end and "lives happily ever after".
An example of this is The Little Mermaid - in the original version of the story, the prince marries someone else and the mermaid dies because he didn't choose her - not a very happy ending at all!

Comments

  1. Wow, I didn't know the original Little Mermaid had a sad ending :(

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    1. Quite a lot of modern day fairy tales had very different endings originally! I was surprised when I found out.

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  2. I never knew that about The Little Mermaid either! That's so sad :(

    But I do like the fact that they were intended for adults first :)

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    1. I actually quite like all the adult versions I've read, even if they are more depressing! But nothing beats a fairy tale with a happy ending :)

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  3. I love folk lore! great choice of theme! I look forward to the rest and thanks for stopping by my blog Speak Coffee to Me.

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  4. I always felt that the saddest part of the Little Mermaid wasn't as much that the prince married someone else as the fact that at the end she's trapped on land away from everything she's ever known with no way to reconnect with her old world and every step she takes on her ill-gotten feet is as painful as stepping on broken glass.

    Either way, it's a terribly un-happy tale.

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    1. It really is, and then there's the fact that she can't speak to anyone either, because the witch cut out her tongue! And she did it all for something that she never got in the end anyway...

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  5. I enjoyed this. Fairy tales have always been interesting to me from a historical and literary perspective. Good luck with the rest of the alphabet!

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    1. Thank you! I have most of my letters now, just struggling for a few! :)

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  6. I have actually read The Little Mermaid. I was shocked at it's ending, but I can understand why Disney changed it.

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    1. I can too, much more child friendly :)

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  7. I know it's probably wrong, but I sometimes prefer the Disney versions. I'm sort of a happily ever after type person.

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    1. It depends what mood I'm in...sometimes I want to watch/read something with a happy ending, but sometimes I just want to watch or read something sad!

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  8. Ooh! Fairy tales is such a great theme - looking forward to reading some more.

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  9. I really dig getting at the origin of things; fairy stories, folk tales, superstitions, and the like, so I am really looking forward to following your A to Z Challenge posts! Also, I love your blog's design! Very Rorschach of you! ;-)

    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Thank you! One of the reasons I chose to do fairy tales was because I love finding out about how they started, and I love reading the original versions! Thanks for following me, I've followed you back :)

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  10. Great idea for a theme. I much prefer the original versions of fairy tales than the Disney versions!

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  11. Thanks! Me too, sometimes I'm in the mood for a happy ending, but mostly I enjoy the original versions - they seem much more meaningful to me, and all of the Disney versions seem to tell a similar story, whereas the original versions were so different!

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  12. Nice posting on this subject. Can't wait to read your April postings.

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  13. I'm glad they changed the ending to Little Mermaid. So sad!

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    1. I like sad, I guess I'm weird! :)

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  14. i remember fairy tales as a child being much darker as i am 57

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    1. I like the darker ones, they seem to have more depth to them :)

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  15. Great theme for the challenge! I actually think children can handle a lot more than we think they can, but I do like happy endings. Some of Disney's versions have some pretty scary scenes in them too.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. I agree, I don't think we give children enough credit today! I don't think we should shield them too much, otherwise how will they survive in the real world? I like happy endings too, but sometimes it's interesting to see the original versions. :)

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  16. I love this theme! I love Disney films and recently (at the age of 20!!) been buying the films to start a collection. I bought Beauty and the Best, Pocahontas and Tangled (I loved it!) Anyway, I love those fairy tales but I do find even in disney films there's a slightly twisted story. There's always something to scare children. I just think of Hansel and Gretel and how creepy that fairy tale is! And the original version of The Little Mermaid sounds super depressing!

    I'm looking forward to seeing what else you post about :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Thanks! I must admit, I don't think I've watched a Disney fairy tale since I was little...I'd probably watch them now if I owned them, but I don't! I love their happy endings, but I also love learning about how they all ended originally :)

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  17. Awesome info in this post! Thanks for sharing this, and I'll be sure to see you tomorrow for B! ^_^

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  18. Yay! I have been waiting for this post :D I read The Little Mermaid last year and studied it as part of my Hans Christian Andersen course. You're right, it is much darker than the Disney version we all know. Especially the parts where she's in so much pain when she loses her voice and gets legs! It's quite horrid!

    I can't wait for today's post! Have a lovely monday :)

    Nikki – inspire nordic

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    1. I know, I think it's awful that she went through all that to get the man of her dreams, and then he didn't choose her! :)

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