Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Picture of the day

image credit: darwishh

I find this image compelling, and related to what I have to say on this blog, if only in reverse. The message I havetried to convey is the evolution of fairy tale (or mythological) characters, and examine what these changes demonstrate the paradigm in cultures, when compared from the past to present.

This picture on the other hand, represents the lingering imagery if how modern culture views the settings to these mythic stories. Many locations of popular folklore arrived from forested locations, which as modern day Germany, Scandinavia, Ireland, Norway, etc. Further interaction between the settings with locations of different climate through the process of cross-cultural tranmissons, preserving the setting of the fable while integrating new morals and social behaviors. The woods may also serve as a symbolic template for fertility, as-well-as the dangers that transpire in such places (see A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing post).

The bridge also serves as a stable of traditional modern day fairy tale interpretation. Useful to excess locations previously unavailable through walking, the bridge serves as a link between land. Though this technology made live more convenient for travelers, local stories still had old beliefs that invention did not grate safety as one might had hoped. The tale of Three Billy Goats Gruff, from which the famous story of the troll under the bridge originated.

As such, this image holds onto an idea to the past, where these stories would have had taken place in, and shows that even though we are continuing to adapt these stories into modern context; that there is still strong connection to the past, and in doing so, not only honoring where these fables originated from, but ourselves as while.

These are just my two senses, I am interested to hear what all of you have to say. If you find another image that remain you of fairy tales, feel free to post it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The character known as the Big-Bad-Wolf has originated in multiple locations. Best known for its appearance Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf is believed to many symbolic meaning, such as

1.) solar mythology, in which the creature represent the night, where the digestion of Riding Hood is dusk, and her removable from the Wolf's contents is the dawn.

2.) sexual predators. Older versions of the tale portray Riding Hood child that is of child-baring age, with her red hood (or cape in somecases) represents blood, most likely virginal. The Wolf would then be her natural opposite, being the male sexual drive.

3.) the physical danger of the woods, and the creatures that reside within. According to Dr. Valerius Geist, of the University of Calgary, Alberta, wolves presented a real danger to communities, and that fairy tales served as warning against those whom desired interaction with this predator.

Multiple new incarnations have arisen in modern era have used this creature as the basis for their own interpretations of the Wolf.

  • In the TV Show Grimm, the character Monroe is a creature known as a Bultbad (pronunciation: BLOOT-baad, BLOOT-baad-in; Germ. Blut "blood" + Bad "bath"), who are capable of immense speed, strength, and smell. This species are prone to become invoked into rage at the sight of the color red. Most of this species are still behave wild and violent, some have decided to reform from their past behavior.

-The depiction of the Wolf in this series shares many similarities with the character from the fairy tale. They do however; appears to be influenced by the creator's (David Greenwalt) contribution to his previous series Buffy and Angel.

  • While not an physical entity, the phrase 'Bad Wolf' commonly appears in the first two seasons of Doctor Who. In the season one finale "The Parting of Ways," the Doctor's companion Rose Tyler gained the ability to manipulate space and time by looking into the Heart of the Tardis; thus sending the phrase to stalk their past counter-parts, leading them to where they arrived in "The Parting of Ways." In order to avoid the energy from destroying Rose from the inside-out, the Ninth Doctor had to take the energy into himself, thus killing his ninth form and became the Tenth Doctor.

-The 'Bad Wolf' shares few traits with its folkloric counter-part. Its stalking of the main protagonists stays in-line with past descriptions, as while as its consuming nature it had to its hosts. The 'Bad Wolf' however; is more influenced by the sci-fi nature of the show compared to the Wolf.

  • In the 2011 film Red Riding Hood, the village becomes terrorized by a werewolf. After each night, the Wolf comes to take possession of Valerie (Red Riding Hood), but things not what they appear.

-The werewolf in the film falls-in-line with many medieval werewolf stories, merged with the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The creature may first appear to share the previous Wolf's sexual representation, but the further the story if revealed, the less this characteristic is shared. The werewolf also appears to be influenced by the book and film series Twilight, who share a similar "supernatural, forbidden love" angle with teen angst.

So was there any modern day imaginings of the Big Bad Wolf that I haven't posted. Feel free to post your thoughts and any additional information you like.


Welcome to the Fairy Tales in Popular Culture blog. The purpose of this blog is to examine the evolution between what fairy tale characters used to be like, compared to those found in popular culture now-a-days. I hope that you find this to your liking, and look forward to going on this journeywith you. My next post will begin with the Big-Bad-Wolf, and stories that have formed around this character.