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Transcript of Folktales
What is a Folktale?
Folktales were passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, which is called oral tradition.
Folktales were made up to explain the wonders of the world or to teach morals and lessons.
They are anonymous (no author is shared) and they are found in all cultures.
Characteristics of Folktales
Simple and straightforward
Includes magic or supernatural powers
Characters represent human qualities such as good, evil, wisdom, foolishness, laziness
Problems and conflicts are clear
Ending usually happy or satisfying
One character, usually the protagonist, is a clever trickster that causes problems for the other characters.
They usually go unpunished.
Example “Trickster” Characters:
Anansi the Spider (Africa),
Hare (North America), Wolf( Europe)
What about the Characters?
Characters are flat.
Usually very good or very bad with most characteristics exaggerated.
The hero and heroine are usually young.
The heroine is usually fair, kind, charitable, and caring.
The hero is usually honorable, courageous, unselfish, and caring.
Both usually have special abilities or powers.
Place is described easily and briefly (humble cottage, magic kingdom) that
fits the typical geography of the culture or it is not mentioned but assumed.
Time is in the past (usually long-ago) imbedded within the history of the culture.
Time is fantasy time (Once upon a time sets the stage and they lived happily ever after closes the tale.) or long long ago.
Very simple, though interesting
It is full of action and follows specific and simple patterns.
The plot starts right out with fast moving action that grabs the listeners interest and keeps it.
Conflicts are usually resolved with great deeds or acts of human kindness related to good and bad/evil.
Don't Fotget about Theme!
Usually universal truths, lessons, and values related to people, their actions, and/or material goods that is valued by the group that creates the folktale.
Often the tales tell what happens to those who do not obey the groups traditions.
Problems of young adults
Fear of leaving home
Fear of not having children
Fear of not being loved or giving love
Reflect basic values and concerns of different cultures
Good and evil
Right and wrong
Justice and injustice
Happiness, kindness, friendship, loyalty
Good triumphant over evil
Love and loyalty
Love and loyalty can transform ...
Discuss basic values of people
Starts with "Once upon a time..."
Setting: Forest, Castle
Characters: Animals, Royalty
Repetition of 3 and 7
Ends with....."and they lived happily ever after."
Examples: Cinderella, Snow White,
"The Stories are Anansi's"
Anansi the Spider
Trickster of the Ashanti people of Ghana (West Africa)
Relies on brains to outwit those who are bigger and stronger
His father is Nyame, the sky god and his mother is Asase Ya, the earth goddess
Created the sun, the moon, the stars, and the first man
Read pages 920-925 in the
blue literature book.