lunes, 19 de octubre de 2009

"A famous fairy tale analyzed by Propp's taxonomy"

" Cinderella or The Little Glass Slipper"
By Charles Perrault

Absentation: Cinderella's mother abandones her when she is a little child.

Interdiction: When Cinderella's godmother commands her not to stay past midnight, telling her at the same time, that if she stays one moment longer, the couch would be a pumpkin again, her clothes and each animal used for going at the ball would become just as they were before.

Violation of interdiction: As Cinderella enjoys dacing with the King's son, she does not realize what time it is. She thinks that it is eleven o'clock. Suddenly, the clock strikes twelve so she jumps up and fleeds as nimble as a deer.

Reconnaissance: After Cinderella’s mother dies, her father marries another woman with her own daughter. This is the first time Cinderella meets them. Her wicked stepmother has a strong power over the heroine’s father, so that she can control him.

Trickery: The stepsisters promise Cinderella to go to the ball if she helps them to choose the suitable clothes for the party, the hairstyle and the kind of jewels they are going to wear and so on. Cinderella manages to do whatever stepsisters want to. Few minutes later, stepsisters ask Cinderella if she would like to come with them and she accepts it. However, stepsisters tell her that she is not so elegant to go to such a place and people would laugh at her.

Complicity: Cinderella acts in a way that the evil stepmother and the wicked stepsisters take advantage of her shyness and force her to work hard, do difficult tasks and also deceive the prince when he gets their house to find the owner of the glass slipper.

Villiany and lack: The stepmother governes Cinderella’s father and he never protects her or defends her against his wife. She also causes harm over Cinderella because she suffers a lot.

Mediation: Cinderella realizes how things really are. She is conscious of her wicked stepsisters and stepmother’s performance.

Counter-action: The prince begins to try the glass slipper on the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain. Then, the two Cinderella's stepsisters appears, who do all they possibly can to force their foot into the slipper, but they do not succeed. As Cinderella sees all this, and knows that it is her slipper, she asks for the prince to put it on her foot and it fits her perfectly well. Her stepsisters are astonished, then Cinderella pulls out of her pocket the other slipper and puts it on her other foot.

Departure: The heroine leaves the ball before midnight because she is afraid that the magic disappears.

Test: The fairy godmother (donor) helps Cinderella to fulfill her dream, providing her a beautiful dress, a pair of glass slippers, jewels, a carriage to go to the party by turning a pumpkin into a coach, a rat into a coachman, lizard into footmen and mice into horses. Besides, her godmother commands Cinderella not to stay past midnight.

Reaction of the hero: Cinderella promises to come back before midnight though she fails and forgets about it so she has to rush.

Magical gift: Cinderella's godmother gives her a pair of glass slippers, which will help her to be recognized by the prince.

Brand situation: Cinderella suffers a lot because of her stepmother and stepsisters who make her sleep in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed. Her stepmother employs Cinderella in the meanest work of the house and also leaves her at home while the ball is taking place.

Victory: Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters throw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all ill treatment they make her. Finally, Cinderella defeats them since she gets married to the prince and both live happily in the palace.

Initial misfortune is solved: In spite of having many obstacles, Cinderella manges to attend to the royal festival and meets the prince who marries her lately.

Return: Cinderella comes back home after the ball and nobody suspects about her performance.

Rescue: Cinderella is given a beautiful dress and glass slippers to go to the ball. this helps the prince to know who belongs to.

Unrecognized: When Cinderella arrives at the ball, everyone stops dancing, and the violins cease to play. As she is beautifully dressed, nobody is able to recognize her.

False hero: Cinderella's stepsisters do all they possibly can to force their foot into the slipper, but they do not succeed.

Difficult task: When Cinderella asks her stepmother to go to the ball , the woman says she will go if she helps her as well as her stepsisters to decide on what kind of clothes, jewels and the hairstyle they should wear for the party. As she manages to do all perfectly well, she begins to prepare for the occassion, but her stepmother tells Cinderella that she can't go because she doesn't belong to the upper class as they do and people will laugh at her, too. When they leave, she starts to cry.

Solved task: As Cinderella's godmother sees her all in tears, she asks her what her trouble is. Cinderella explains to her that she wants to go to the ball, but she doesn't have suitable clothes for it. So her godmother fulfills her desire doing some magic. Few minutes later, Cinderella is the prettiest woman in the world.

Recognition: As Cinderella knows that she is the owner of the glass slipper, she tells the prince that he should try on her foot. The prince is astonished, however, he puts the glass slipper on her foot and it fits her very easily.
Then, her godmother comes in and touches her wand to Cinderella's clothes, making them richer and more significant than before. The prince recognizes her immidiately. She leaves with him dressed like an ordinary girl for he thinks she looks more charming. A few days later, they get married.

Unmask conspiracy: Both stepsisters are exposed and reported by two great lords of the court.

New appearance: Cinderella changes her look when attending to the royal festival, so that nobody is able to recognize her neither Her stepmother nor her stepsisters. They get astonished because of her beauty but they never imagine Cinderella is that pretty woman.

Punishment: There is not any punishment in Perrault's story, but Cinderella forgives her stepsisters with all her heart, and she also tells them that she wants to love her for ever.

Wedding at last: As Cinderella is the owner of the glass slipper, the pince announces her that he falls in love with her. Immidiately, he proposes her marriage and she accepts it. Thus, Cinderella gains the throne.

Vladimir Propp also includes seven kinds of characters in fairy tales:

The villian: Cinderella's stepmother mistreats her and forces her to do hard work all the time.

The donor: The fairy godmother gives Cinderella a beautiful dress, a pair of glass slippers, jewels, as well as the carriage to get to the palace.

The magical helper: The fairy godmother appears whenever she needs her.

The princess and her father: Cinderella is the one who marries the prince.

The dispatcher: There is not any dispatcher in Perrault's version. The prince announces that he wants to find out who the glass slipper belongs to. He goes at the palace where he tries the glass slipper on every person who meets by chance. Suddenly, Cinderella's stepsisters appear and try to put it on their foot but it does not fit them. As Cinderella sees all this, she closes to the prince and tells him that he should try the glass slipper on her foot. The prince is surprised but he does it and it fits perfectly well.

The hero or victim/seeker hero: In the end, Cinderella weds the prince.

False hero: Cinderella's stepsisters do all they can to force their foot into the slipper for they want to marry the prince, but they do not succeed.

"Two different versions based on original Cinderella"

Cinderella is one of the most well-known fairy tale, which was written by many famous writers such as Hans Christian Andersen, Jacob and Wilhem Grimm, Charles Perrault, Joseph Jacobs, among others who wrote for little kids different versions about "Cinderella".

One version was"The Cinder Maid" written by Joseph Jacobs, where her mother died leaving Cinder Maid alone with her father, the king's court, who married twice because he wanted to have someone to look after his young daughter. His new wife had two daughters who mistreated Cinder Maid all the time.

One night, the family heard that the prince was going to organize a royal ball, in which everybody was invited. Cinder Maid's stepmother and stepsisters wanted to go, so their father suggested them that Cinder Maid should also go to it but they did not agree with him for they thought that she was a disgraceful girl.

The most important night was coming, Cinder Maid's stepmother and stepsisters went to the royal ball and when they left, Cinder Maid went to her own mother's grave and sat beneath the hazel tree crying out that she wanted to be a beautiful lady to go to the ball. Few minutes later, a little bird appeared who told her that if she shook the tree, the first nut would fall down. She opened it and she saw a beautiful silk dress with stars, and two little lovely shoes. Then, that bird gave her a coach with four milk-white horses, a coachman and footmen to fulfill her desire.

When Cinder Maid entered the ballroom, she was the loveliest of the ladies, who danced with the prince until she had to run away. The prince ordered his guards to follow the carriage. As she saw that, she cried out that a mist came so that they could not see her and thus, she could get to her house safely.

There was a second royal ball and Cinder Maid wanted to go to see the prince again, so she went to her mother's grave to ask for it. Suddenly, the little bird appeared to help her as usual. That bird asked Cinder Maid to shake the tree again and the first nut will fall down, there she could find a golden dress with flowers, a pair of silver shoes, a silver carriage drawn by black horses, a coachman and footmen.

When Cinder Maid arrived at the palace, the prince danced with her and when midnight came round, she left. To avoid her running away, the prince ordered his guards to pour out honey on the stairs so that her shoes would stick in it. However, she leaped from stair to stair and got away just in time.

Once again the prince gave a great ball to see that unknown beauty, so Cinder Maid went to the same place asking for help. Then, the little bird appeared once more to tell her that she had to skate the tree again and the first nut will fall down. She opened it and she found a silk green dress, golden shoes, a golden coach and brown horses.

When Cinder Maid arrived at the ball, she was anxious to dance with the prince. As they were spending a wonderful night, she forgot to leave till the clock struck twelve. When she realized, she started running quickly. To appeal that situation, the prince told his guards that they put tar into the stairs so that her golden shoes stuck in it. The magic ended up since the golden coach with its horses and footmen disappeared, and Cinder Maid's beautiful dress changed into her ragged clothes and she had to come back home with only one golden shoe.

Now, the prince had to find out who the golden shoe belonged to. To achieve that, he spoke to his father about what had happened to him. The king, his father, ordered the herald to take round the golden shoe upon a velvet cushion to go to every corner where the royal ball was announced.

The herald went to Cinder Maid's house, the eldest stepsister tried on the golden shoe, but it was too small for her.There was another lady who took a sharp knife to cut off one of her toes as well as part of her heel in order to fit her foot into the shoe. The herald sent a message to the prince saying that the lady was found.

The prince took immediately his horse to meet his future wife, but when he arrived Cinder Maid's house, he realized that she was not the lady. Nevertheless, the prince took her on his horse towards his father's palace to become his wife. While they were riding on the horse, her foot began to bleed and at that moment, the little bird shouted the prince that he looked at her foot carefully because she was not his true bride. He saw it and he returned to Cinder Maid's house to look for the real one. When the prince arrived, he asked to Cinder Maid's stepmother if she had another daughter and she denied it, but then, her husband said the opposite. So the herald went to the kitchen and found Cinder Maid; and when she saw her golden shoe, she took it from him and put it on her foot and fitted it perfectly well. Afterwards, she looked for the other golden shoe and put it on as well.

The herald knew that Cinder Maid was the prince's future wife, so he took her where the prince was, they looked at each other saying sweet phrases and then, they went at the palace to get married and live together for ever.

Another version was "The little glass slipper" written by Charles Perrault, where Cinderella was abandoned by her mother when she was a little child. Thus, her father married again in order to protect his young daughter. However, his second wife was not a good lady and not even her two daughters since they mistreated Cinderella most of the time. Her stepmother employed Cinderella as a servant, she did all the meanest work of the house and she also slept in a sorry garret, while her stepsisters slept in comfortable rooms. The poor girl did not dare to tell her father for his wife governed him entirely. Besides, he scolded his daughter whenever she did something wrong.

One day, the king's son announced that he was going to give a ball, and all fashionable people were invited to spend a wonderful time around him. Cinderella's stepsisters wanted to go to it, so they began to choose the best dresses consulting Cinderella for she had marvelous ideas as well as pieces of advice. They also sent for the best hairdresser they could get to look splendid that night. As doing that, her stepsisters asked Cinderella if she wanted to go to the ball and she obviously accepted. Few minutes later, they told her that she could not go since she did not belong to the upper class and she did not have suitable clothes to wear. Cinderella felt so bad that she started to cry.

As Cinderella was crying, her godmother instantly appeared to fulfill her desire. She gave her a carriage to attend to the party by turning a pumpkin into a fine coach, a rat into a fat coachman, six lizards into footmen and six mice into beautiful horses. She also provided her a marvelous dress with jewels and a pair glass of slippers, the prittiest in the world. Moreover, Her fairy godmother warmed her to come back before midnight for if she stayed much longer, the magic would end up.

When Cinderella arrived at the palace, everybody looked at her surprisingly because of her beauty. The king's son gave her the most honorable seat and afterwards, he invited her to dance and they did it so gracefully that all admired them. The prince introduced her as his future wife in front of the audience as well as her stepsisters who did not consider Cinderella was that pretty woman. While she was looking at her stepsisters, she heard the clock struck at quarter to eleven, whereupon she immidiately left the ball.

Arriving home, Cinderella thanked her godmother for helping her and she also told her that she would go the next day since the prince invited her agian. Later on, her stepsisters went back home and they told her that there was a beautiful princess who danced with the prince all night. As Cinderella knew what they were saying, she asked them what the princess's name was; but they did not know it so she smiled and then, she left.

The most important evening was coming, her stepsisters went to the ball again and Cinderella was also there, wearing a marvelous dress, even prittier than the previous one. The king's son was always with her, dancing and talking to her in an attractive and pleasant way. As she loved being with him, she forgot her godmother's warming. She thought that it was quarter to eleven, but the clock struck twelve so she jumped up and fled quickly. The prince followed her but he could not overtake her. As a consequence, she left behind one of her glass slippers, which was picked up by the prince who asked his guards if they had seen a princess running away from the palace and they replied that they had seen a young poor girl who wore shabby clothes.

The prince wanted to find out that beautiful lady who owned the glass slipper. To achieve that, he began to try it on the princesses, duchesses and all the court; but in vain. Then, Cinderella's stepsisters appeared who did all they possibly could to force their foot into the slipper, but they did not succeed. As Cinderella knew that she was the owner of the glass slipper, she asked the prince to try it on her foot. The prince was surprised for he thought that it was a joke, however, he put the glass slipper on her foot and he discovered that it fitted perfectly well. Her stepsisters were astonished, but even more when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put it on her other foot.

Few minutes later, Cinderella's godmother came in and touched her with the wand, making her clothes richer and magnificent than any of those she had worn. Her stepsisters realized that Cinderella was that beautiful lady who they had seen at the ball. Immediately, they threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all they had made her. As Cinderella was a kind girl, she took them up and forgave them with all her heart.

In the end, the prince took Cinderella on his horse towards the palace, dressing like an ordinary girl for he thought that she looked more charming than before. Few days later, they got married and her two stepsisters lived there until they were exposed and reported by two great lords of the court.

To put it briefly, both writers provided the readers, specially children, different versions about "Cinderella" to be able to find out differences and similarities between these two fairy tales mentioned before as well as enjoying amazing pieces of reading.

lunes, 12 de octubre de 2009

"Do you know what does storytelling mean?"

Storytelling is the act of using language and gesture in colourful ways to create scenes in a sequence based on real or fantansy experiences. In the classroom, storytelling is an important activity, which has a strong links with literacy. The magic of stories are connected with language, a story line, sequences of cause and effect. When children listen to a story, they have the ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a lucid manner to act as if they were part of the play.

There are certain aspects to take into consideration to understand why storytelling is so important for children. These aspects are authencity, the connection between the speaker with the spoken and the connection between the knower with the known, creativity, the conventional order of things and different techniques like oral or written skills.

Authencity means when the speaker tries to use others' ideas taken from different stories, as a model, adapting them until gaining the perfect atmosphere for children. The storyteller can also provoke creative emotions like spiritual or energetic forces so that kids are even more engaged on the story.

There is a wide relationship between the speaker with the spoken since sometimes in a piece of writing is difficult to express clearly what the speaker wants to say. On the other hand, oral storytelling plays a significant role in it. Living voice is connected to living reception in a way that responds to some of children deepest desires.

Children always acquire language through exposure under adults' guidance, they learn abstract concepts from others without having any experience before. Little by little kids are able to recognise these concepts to put in practice according to their context. Storytelling establishes that connection by liking knowledge with the specific context in time and space in which little ones live in.

The characters have a particular way to talk to each other inside a story. This depends on the level of the conversation and the topic as well, for example if characters interact on the lowest level talk about other characters and if they interact on the highest level talk about ideas. The persuit of storytelling involves setting aside this thinking to show beginers that each story is based on true facts.

The storyteller offers some simple shortcuts to construct powerful stories together with an amazing content, which is improved through the development of storytelling technique such as written or oral skills.
Effective storytelling is an interactive process, which can not be accimplished successfully without a strong ability to listen to the audience, and adjust it providing a good purpose and style to cause a great impact on children.

To conclude, storytelling is one of the best way that most of children use to communicate with others, exchanging different experiences as well as emotions to live in and be part of an imaginative world just for a moment.

sábado, 22 de agosto de 2009

A psychological interpretation about "The Frog King" by Bruno Bettelheim

There are several valuable messages behind this amazing fairy tale. The first one is that behind any apparent non desirable situation, there may be a nice and satisfying end. Another message is that people tend to look at someone’s appearance in order to make him or her feel awkward. The other one states that if someone makes an important promise to someone else, the promise must not be broken.
On the other hand, this story shows how parents should treat their children making use of good manners and trying to encourage them to face their problems by their own so as to gain independence and self confidence.
This story also serves as a guide for parents on how to educate children about the meaning of life and about the importance of complying with one’s promises.
Bruno compares the events of the story with the process of maturation of young people. For instance, at the beginning of the story, the ball represents undeveloped narcissistic psyche for it contains all potentials, none of which is yet realized. Later on, when the ball falls into the deep dark well, the young princess moms the loss of its childish innocence, just as desperately as that of the ball.
The rest of the story is a beautiful illustration on how an adolescent has to learn to move from the pursuit of pleasure to an acceptance of consequences and commitments in life. Closely related to that, the young lady develops an ability to love.
To round it all, the story of the Frog King illustrates a person development from self-centered life style to a committed life in communion with others.