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.

lunes, 6 de julio de 2009

"Contribution to the analysis of literature for children"

There were many significant characters who specialised in the analysis of literature for children. Each of them studied a specific area or psychological aspects of kids' mind to know in details their reactions, thoughts as well as feelings while reading fairy tales. Those incredible genious were: Vladimir Propp, Bruno Bettelheim, Maria Tatar and Kieran Egan.

Vladimir Propp belonged to a German family who was born on April 17th in St. Petersburg in 1895. He attended St Petersburg University, where he had Philosophy in German and Russian languages. After his graduation, he began to teach both at secondary school to become a German teacher later on.

After 1938, he focused on Folklore to be chaired the Department of it until he became part of the Department of Russian literature.

Vladimir Propp developed a Russian Formalist Approach to study and analyse fairy tales, where narratives structures were reduced to a series of actions performed by the dramatic characters in each story. Propp also argued that all fairy tales were constructed of certain plot elements, which he called "functions" that ocurred in an uniform sequence. These functions were absentation, interdiction, violation of interdiction, reconnaissance, delivery, trickery, complicity, villiany and lack, mediation, counter-action and the different roles of heros and villains could play in a story. Each function explained how they worked jointly, however, fairy tales also needed several other elements such as their respective plot, settings, tone, and characters in order to gain a cohesive and well-written tale for children.
Vladimir Propp died in 1970.

Bruno Bettelheim was born on August 28th in Viena in 1903. He was a controversial Austrian Psychoanalyst and Educational Psychologist who pioneered in the aplication of Psychoanalysis to the treatment of emotionally-disturbed children.

During his studies in Viena, Bruno was influenced by World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and Sigmund Freud who was the most important one for him since Bettelheim reflected interest in Psychoanalysis.

Bruno moved to United States, where he worked as a Psychologist and Psychiatric Professor at the University of Chicago in 1963. He viewed children's behaviour as resulting from overwhelmingly negative parents interacting with them during critical early stages in their Psychological development.

Afterwards, he published one of his book called "The Uses of Enchantment, which had a popular Psychoanalytical look at fairy tales. Bruno contributed that classic fairy tales had an unique importance and impact on children's development, which could be explored by studying their styles, characters and themes.

To begin with, styles were related to happy endings in which good was rewarded and evil was punished. Bruno explained that children felt more confident to believe in themselves and have hope as well. He also mentioned that happy endings satisfied children's spiritual desires.

Another characteristic of fairy tale style was the classic opening words "Once upon a time", Bruno made a comparison between real world and fantasy world where the youngest readers could release their spirit from the materialistic real world to the happy, vivid and innocent world of the fairy tale in order to become more optimistic in life.

Bettelheim mentioned the last issue about fairy tale style, the common use of "Three main characters" in many classic ones. The number gave children a sense of security because of their perfect and complete feature.

On the other hand, characters seemed to be a significant element in every fairy tale. They could be heros or heroines who must overcome many difficulties, challenges and obstacles in order to get triumph. According to Bruno Bettelheim, children tried to imitate their manners as well as their qualities to be successful in life.

Another indispensable type of character was the evils who played a violent role in fairy tales, affecting children's psyche. However, Bruno denied those negative effects produced by them because kids learnt that they must not do bad things to appeal punishmemts and they also learnt how to cope with their fears.

Last but not at least, the theme also played a primordial role in fairy tales. From Bruno's point of view, the theme depended on what the story was about and it transmited a meaningful message for kids to train and develop maturity and independence for the future.
Bruno Bettelheim died in 1990.

Maria Tatar was a Professor of Gernamic Languages and Literatures. She chaired the programme in Folklore and Mythology at Havard University, where she taught courses in German Studies, Folklore, and Children's literature.

Tatar was interested in how the fiary tales were first written down, what the cultural variants were, the ways in which the texts reflected the historical realities of another time and place and the Psychological effects. By providing children with powerful models for navigating reality, Maria showed, these tales helped children to survive in the world ruled by adults.

Tatar also believed that fairy tales were connected with all kind of adult secrets for they told children about death, romance, marriage and, in some cases, they would speak about sex and violence.

Fairy tales were often brutally violent but they acted as a therapy as well as entertainment for kids. Maria Tatar added that such violence helped little ones to face their fears, for which they did not yet the exact language developed. In fact, children were weak and vulnerable to control their anxieties, too. In that case, adults played an important role to clarify children fears through explanations, experience, among others.

At last, Tatar expressed that stories shared moral aspects, giving life's lessons and transmitting marvellous messages for kids. Nevertheless, she explained that moral was often added to fairy tales when they were rewritten for children.

Kieran Egan was born in Ireland in 1942, and he was brought up and educated in England. He graduated in 1966. During his career, he worked as a Professor in many Universities and he was also the Founder and Director of the Imaginative Education Research Group, where he found out Education involved some kind of development on children, especially intellectual tools, like Language or Mathematics and thus, their Psychological Process became more mature to acquire knowledge to learn and understand concepts in a better way.

Egan developed an Imaginative Approach to Teaching to help kids to become more knowledgeable and more creative in their thinking. In fact, that new approach offered an understanding of how children's imagination worked in learning and showed how children acquired cognitive tools to promote creativity in the classroom. To achieve that, educators could imply a variety of effective teaching tools such as story, rhythym, play, opposition, agency, and meta-narrative understanding to awaken kids' intelligence and imagination.

Futhermore, Kieran proposed the use of intellectual tools, particularly Language or Literacy to generate successive kinds of understanting, like somatic, mythic, romantic, philosophical, and ironic. Egan concluded that if teachers put into practice them, their way of teaching would change completely and children would be more engaged in the classroom.

Eventually, Egan focused on Teaching Core Literacy Skills using concepts ranging from fascinating to exotic to magnificient to wierd, so that kids internalized and retained material to interpret through their imagination and emotions pieces of reading and writing.

To put it briefly, each of these well-known professionals contributed through different techniques to the analysis of literature for children.

lunes, 22 de junio de 2009

"These famous people wrote for children"

Charles Perrault was born in Paris in 1628. He was a french author who took part in a French Academy where he made a comparison between antique authors and modern writers who did not believe in magic tales and fantasy as he did.
Perrault had peculiar characteristics; he was able to take some English stories and translate them into French language, such as "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Blue Beard", "Cinderella", among others. Another one was whenever he published a book, he wrote his son's name, Pierre, and not his own name.
Charles published his first book in 1697, which contained eight simple stories called "Stories or Tales from Times Past with Morals adding at the front " Tales of Mother Goose". All his stories were well- known as well as his narratives, which belonged to stories-telling tradition transmitted and shared by a large number of generations. Charles Perrault also wrote verse narratives, for instance "Griselda", "The Ridiculous Wishes and Donkey Skin". Each of them was published separately, in 1691, 1693, and 1694 respectively.
Charles Perrault died in 1703.

Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Whilhem Carl Grimm were brothers. The first one was born on January 4th in 1785 and the second one was born on February 24th in 1786, both in Hanau, Germany. The whole family moved to Steinau but then, both brothers moved to Kassel to stay with their aunt to start secondary school. Four years later, they studied law at the University Of Marburg where they recieved a prize for their tremendous scholarly work on linguistics, Folklore and mediaval studies to be published later on.
From 1842 to 1852, the Grimms continued their scholarly work and political activities, however, they gave up thier formal appoitments at the University Of Berlin in order to dedicate themselves to their own studies and research on what they were really interested in, "Folktales".
Grimm's brothers published their first volume called "Children' and Household Tales", which contained eighty six folktales. In 1814, they published the second volume with the same name, including seventy stories. There were also more than two hundred stories together with ten children legends in thier final version. It became the best known and most influencial book ever created in the German language. Then, they published two volumes about German legends called "Deutsche Sagen".
Jacob and Whilhem wrote many stories in German language since they wanted to preserve such material as part of German cultural and literary history, so that their tales came into the posession of the youngest readers.
Jacob died on September 20th in 1859 and Wilhelm died on December 16th in 1863.

Hans Christian Andersen was Danish who was born on April 2nd in 1805. When he was a child he lived in a small but self- satisfied provincial centre of Odense, his native town, where he spent his first fourteen years of his life. In the authography of his youth, "Levnedsbogen", Andersen emphasised the way of living in Odense, for instance the perservation about popular old customs and superstition unknown in Copenhagen. Apart from that, he wanted to appeal the disturbing social experiences from the lowest ranks of society in order to cast off the trammels of poverty, break with his social inheritance and just focus on what he was fond of "the world of art".
Once an ederly woman told Andersen that the folk tales would provide him a starting- point for his paraphrases of the old stories and for the tales he created himself. As his father had contact with the theatre, Andersen could acquire knowledge and fulfil his dreams and aspirations as well. There, he was the author of numerous plays, translator and adapter of foreign plays. In fact, he became famous in the mid of 1830`s when his novels and fairy tales enjoyed widespread circulation in Germany. His first text Andersen called a "fairy tale, giving it the title "From the Botton of the Ocean" which appeared in 1827 in Johan Ludvig Heiberg's literary magazine. However, it was not a real fairy tale but a fantastic story, a comic fantasy in verse. Then, the text was later incorporated as chapter twelve in his first book "Fodriese" in 1829. He published his first real fairy tale "Døgningen" (The Dead Man) together with his first collection of poems called "Digte"in 1830. Five years later, he completely rewrote a tale called "The Travelling Companion", using a style and narrative technique and then, his first two booklets appeared, which he called "Fairy tales told to the children".
Hans Andersen published six novels such as "The Improvisatore" (1835), "O.T" (1836), "Only a Fiddler" (1837), "The two Baronesses" (1848), "To be or not to be" (1857) and "Lucky Peer" (1870). Each of them was great hits and translated into many languages for all over the world. Andersen also published several collections of poems like "Phantasier og Skizzer" (Phantasies and Sketches - 1831), "Samlede Digte" (Collected poems - 1833), "Murersang" (1836). "Rosenknoppen" (1842), among others. Many Danish composers set music to Andersen's poems as did Edvard Greig and thus, children could enjoy all his poems as well as his fairy tales.
Ater several years of suffering from a serious illness, Hans Christian Andersen died on August 4th at "Rolighed", the country where he lived his final period of life.

miércoles, 17 de junio de 2009

If you want to be a successful english here

jueves, 11 de junio de 2009

What is " literature for children"?

Young children love fairy tales, even more if their parents tell one before going to bed since they imagine they become a beautiful princess or a brave prince for some minutes until they fall asleep. While parents are telling a famous one, they do not think if this kind of fairy tale is suitable or not for them.

Literature for children includes fiction, legends, myths, poems, fables, riddles, oral folktales, ballads and things of the sort. Most of them written for young readers are illustrated.

However, in the XVIII century childhood was not considered an important period in human life, so children had not access to many literature's books. They only read those books that their teachers selected to deliver the lessons. Thus, children were mostly in touch with books focused on history, politics, science or religion.

In the XIX, childhood was discovered and a new emotional attachment, philosophical interest and investment in children were developed. Besides, the print was invented so kids were able to begin reading those stories that they had listened to for years.

In the XXI century, many writers believe that children develop a higher intellectual capacity through reading since literature allows them to learn how to express their own ideas, feelings and fears in a tremendous way. The most typical phrase that catches children attention is "Once upon a time". Literature can be explored by studying the different styles, the characters and the themes involved in stories.

To begin with, styles are represented by inevitable happy endings in which good is rewarded and evil is punished or by sad stories which leave the reader an important lesson or moral. For example, happy endings such as the one showed in “Little Red Riding Hood” compensate sad, anxious and painful feelings of readers and create confidence and hope in them.

In the second place, characters have a very important influence in literature. Some characters become heroes or heroines for children. Kids want to take after them and believe they will overcome difficulties, challenges or obstacles by acting as heroes. The idea that they will triumph in life is latent when they think and behave as heroes. Following heroes’ steps may be one of the most important goal children tend to pursue. An example of this appears in “Sleeping Beauty” where the moral shows that nothing is impossible if you have a valuable training before you get into society.

Last but not least the theme also plays a primordial role in literature books. The theme depends on what the story is about and it transmits a meaningful message. An example of theme is clearly seen in “The Frog King” where parents are taught not to treat their children like “pets”. The message conveyed by this story is to encourage kids to deal with their problems when they come up and to become more mature and independent for the future.

To conclude, writers assure that literature is an amazing hobbie for children since books give them the opportunity to discover and experience others aspects of language through different genres and not only by focusing on grammar exercises. Most of the students enjoy reading, especially fairy tales, poems and legends. When they read they spend a wonderful time with their partners. After reading, children usually share what they have read in class with their parents. In this way they discuss the style, the theme and the characters of the story and thus, they try think and understand how the world works and connect fantasy or non- fiction with reality.

jueves, 4 de junio de 2009

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