Write a 6 pages paper about a fairy tale you will read. analyze how it adapts a fairy tale or fairy tale elements for a modern audience. The file attached bellow is the fairy tale you will read and the other file is the instruction you need to follow to do the paper.
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Core 169: Fairy Tale Themes in Literature
Modern Uses of Fairy Tales
paper of 6-7 pages.
1) Chose one of our modern/contemporary retellings of a fairy tale (or, with my okay,
find a modern fairy tale) and analyze how it adapts a fairy tale or fairy tale elements for a
modern audience. This assignment is not merely a compare/contrast assignment; you
need to do much more than say they changed a lot of stuff in this version or they made
it more modern in this version. Instead, you should look for patterns of change that
work together to make the text a fairy tale for modern times.
Focus your paper around a specific thesis/claim. You might, for example, examine the
transformation of a single character from one version to another. Is the characters
function or development different? Why might that character be rendered differently?
What is the effect of that change in character? How does the text render that change in
Similarly, you might examine the theme(s), morals, or particular motifs* of the different
versions. Does the modern text have the same moral or lesson as the original fairy
tale? Are there thematic elements that are different or that are stressed differently? How
are these differences in themes products of their cultural context (their time, place or
audience)? If there are not significant differences, why and how are the themes relevant
to a more modern culture or audience? Some themes you might choose include parenting
and parental relationships; rebirth; disobedience; nature; independence; good and evil;
death; marriage; gender roles.
You might propose another focus, but please check with me and get my approval first.
You have many possibilities for your focus. You may use any of the modern texts on our
syllabus. Similarly, there are plenty of modern re-tellings of traditional fairy tales.
Angela Carter has more stories in The Bloody Chamber, and Sextons Transformations
has plenty more poetic retellings of Grimms fairy tales. Similarly, you might look at
more stories by Lia Francesca Block or by Emma Donoghue. You can find plenty of
interesting modern retellings in My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, edited
by Kate Bernheimer. (Click here to go to the Google Books site for Bernheimers book.).
This paper should be an in-depth analysis that has a clearly articulated and clearly argued
In literature, recurrent images, words, objects, phrases, or actions that tend to unify the work are
called motives [or motifs]
— Handbook to Literature, C. Hugh Holman and William Harmon, eds. New
York: Macmillan, 1992.
A motif is a conspicuous element, such as a type of incident, device, reference, or formula, which
occurs frequently in works of literature. The loathly lady who turns out to be a beautiful princess
is a common motif in folklore. . .
–A Glossary of Literary Terms, M.H. Abrams, ed. New York: Wadsworth, 2004.
a recurring object, concept, or structure in a work of literature. A motif may also be two
contrasting elements in a work, such as good and evil. In the Book of Genesis, we see the motif of
separation again and again throughout the story. In the very first chapter, God separates the light
from the darkness. Abraham and his descendants are separated from the rest of the nation as God’s
chosen people. Joseph is separated from his brothers in order that life might be preserved. Another
motif is water, seen in Genesis as a means of destroying the wicked and in Matthew as a means of
remitting sins by the employment of baptism. Other motifs in Genesis and Matthew include blood
sacrifices, fire, lambs, and goats. A motif is important because it allows one to see main points and
themes that the author is trying to express, in order that one might be able to interpret the work
more accurately. See A Handbook to Literature, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary
Terms. Robert Bean, Student, University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
–Glossary of Literary Terms,
Your paper is due in class on April 25. In addition, you must turn in an electronic
copy to the drop box on Moodle by 11:59 p.m that evening. You must submit the
electronic copy in order to receive a grade for the paper.
You must submit a topic statement and a working thesis; and a thorough, full
sentence outline for your paper. See OWL Purdue for more on full sentence
NOTE CHANGE OF DATES FROM THOSE LISTED ON THE SYLLABUS!!!
Working thesis statement and outline
As you construct your paper be sure that you:
1. Focus your paper around a thesis that makes an analytical point about the text (i.e.
you should make an argument);
2. Base your argument on close reading of the textexamine and analyze the
language, imagery, plot, and/or character development in order to support your
3. Use specific references to the text in your argument, and be sure that you provide
sufficient explanation/analysis of your examples;
4. Shape clear, coherent, and unified paragraphs (including an introduction and a
5. Develop your argument logically and coherently;
6. Write in clear, effective, grammatically-correct prose;
7. Provide a thoughtful title for your paper;
8. Number your pages;
9. staple or paper-clip your paper;
10. Use sufficient research;
11. Document any research in proper MLA style.
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