Traditional Literature

Traditional Literature
Folktales, Fables, Fairytales, Myths
Why learn about Traditional Literature?
 Serves as the building blocks for contemporary
literature/framework for literature
 Provides a window on diverse cultures
 Provides moral models for children as the
struggle between good and evil is applied to
events in their own lives
A story told by word of mouth to teach
a lesson
Passed down from generation to
Folk tale
 Folktales feature common people, such as
peasants, and commonplace events.
 Characters representing human frailty (being
 Characters represent human qualities
The conflict of the story is clear.
The resolution usually has happy endings
Good is rewarded and evil is punished
Elements of magic or magical characters
may be incorporated, but logic rules so
the supernatural must make sense in the
 Short stories that teach a moral (lesson)
Plot is very brief, with one event.
 Animal characters with human characteristics
Characters are flat, and stand for one human trait.
 Themes: cooperation, understanding, acceptance, etc.
Morals sometimes are inferred.
May be expressed in a proverb.
Aesop's Fables
 a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave
and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient
Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. Of diverse
origins, the stories associated with Aesop's
name have descended to modern times through
a number of sources.
Aesop's Fables
 This famous Book of Fables, which are always
referred to as Aesop's Fables, date back to the 5th
Century BC.
 Lion and the Mouse
 The Fox and the Crow
 Goose with the Golden Eggs
 Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
 Ant and the Grasshopper
Elements of a Fairytale
 Contains magic/enchantments
 Likely character types:
Talking animals
Nobles (Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses)
Fairy Tale- setting
 Setting does not have a definite location or time
 Familiar fairytales look like Germany
The best know tale in the World
 The oldest known version was found in China in the 9th century.
 It is basically a story of sibling rivalry.
 There are over 700 different versions.
Hans Christian Anderson
• Danish author and poet
• Wrote more than 160 Fairy Tales
• Many of Andersen's fairy tales depict characters
who gain happiness in life after suffering and
• Ugly Duckling theme of self-discovery, which
matched his own life
• Optimistic belief in the triumph of the good
• Known as the father of the modern fairytale
Click on
picture to see his
Brothers Grimm
picture for
 Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm
Carl Grimm
 Wrote children’s tales and folklore to
preserve German culture/heritage
 Wrote 211 stories together
More stories
Fractured Fairy tale
 When authors modernize or change one or more of
the elements of the story, the story is called a
fractured fairy tale.
 Plot (conflict, rising action, climax, falling action,
 Setting (time and/or place)
 Character (name, character traits)
 Point of View
 Theme
Fractured Fairy tales
Fracture Fairy Tales on the screen
 A mythology is a related body of stories which
make up the official beliefs or explanations of
a religious system.
 Myths attempt to explain the beginning of the
world, natural phenomena, the relationships
between the gods and humans, and the origins
of civilization.
 Myths, like legends, are stories told as though
they were true.
 Ancient Civilizations stories and beliefs