Fairy Tales not only for Children

Reflecting on the reading of fairytales or stories, most believe that the majority of people who read them view them as children’s stories rather than stories written for adults. Fairy stories have been perceived for years to have enchanted the realm of children; while these same stories are furthermore believed to be something that children will outgrow once they reach adulthood. However, Tolkien asserted that, even though fairy stories were enchanting for little ones, the stories were ideally adapted for adults to enjoy as well. He argued throughout is manuscript “On Fairy Stories” that fairytales actually embody a character and essence that is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone, not just little ones. Tolkien endeavors to convince his readers that it is fine to read anything that their heart desires to read. He contends that fairy stories are an enchanting instrument that provides an exceptional opportunity for the writer to articulate significant words as an artform, which should be designed to influence as many readers as possible.

Tolkien also attested that fairy stories had lost value, alluding to the reason being they were limited to there appeal to children. “Fairy-stories banished in this way, cut off from a full adult art, would in the end be ruined; indeed in so far as they have been so banished, they have been ruined”. Tolkien utilizes his position as an esteemed scholar and teacher, in addition to reflection on his own childhood, to think back on how it felt to be a child and retreat to one’s imagination leaving the world behind. He also utilizes specific questions designed to persuade his audience that fairy stories in fact ought to be read and appreciated by every age, not only little children. He advocates his key point here by saying: “Among those who still have enough wisdom not to think fairy-stories pernicious, the common opinion seems to be that there is a natural connections between the minds of children and fairy-stories, of the same order as the connection between children’s bodies and milk”. In this statement Tolkien is addressing what he believes is the world’s perspective of the readers that he is attempting to reach. He believed that the concept that fairy stories were in essence childlike, was an incredibly misleading suggestion. “I think this is an error; at best an error of false sentiment, and one that is therefore most often made by those who, for whatever private reason (resembling a childlikeness), tend to think of children as a special kind of creature, almost a different race, rather than as normal, if immature, members of a particular family, and of the human family” . Tolkien earnestly believes that fairy stories ought not left only to the little ones, rather they should be held in high regard.

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