The Evolution of Fairy Tales


Fairy tales are a fundamental part of the human experience, an extension of the oral traditions of the earliest storytellers, and part of culture that becomes internalized. In part, the importance of fairy tales is their ability to change with the needs of the society that retells them. The Guardian takes a look at the recent history of the fairy tale, which, of course, is once again changing:

No more sweet, biddable girls: in family entertainment, heroines have become fast-talking, athletic and indomitable; they take on all-comers, especially would-be lovers, and they show no sign of falling in love, let alone into a tender reverie as in the bad old days of Disney’s Cinders.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →