By Elli Legerski

It’s finals time and while the rest of my friends survive on Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, and the sheer hope that they have a minuscule chance of passing their anatomy class, I smile as I draft my final essay for my fairy tales class. And for this week, my friends absolutely despise me. How could I possibly be learning anything worthwhile if I’m having a good time?! And this is not the only time I’ve faced the condescending comments: “Oh, you’re in a fairy tales class? What are you, in preschool?” There is a lot of prejudice surrounding the scholarly analysis of fairy tales because they’re “kid stuff.” To a lot of people, fairy tales were enchanting little stories that comforted us as we fell asleep in our mother’s arms as she read to us. However, as this class has come to discover, it would have been a serious oversight not to study these tales by Perrault. The detail, the context, the underlying themes of sex, violence, and magic…Perrault is not, in fact, for children. This “kid stuff” goes way deeper than what you see at Disney World, and once the time is taken to truly read into them, you realize just how much time, effort, and energy went into creating these stories that have transcended time. Even though we’re not learning the functions of every bone in the human body, and the names of the muscles surrounding them, we are learning to “dissect” text and think reflectively about how a text’s “bones” and “muscles” hang together to form the meanings we take from them. We fairy tales scholars have to stand up for ourselves and know that our studies are just as complex and challenging as some of our friends’.

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