Sunday, May 6, 2012

And They Lived Happily Ever After

It is hard to believe that we've already had our last fairytales class. Like always, the semester seemed to absolutely fly by. However, when I took the time to go back over my old blog posts and glance at the final study guide, I was surprised to be reminded of all that we had covered in what seemed to be no time.

We read basically every fairytale I'd ever heard of and then some.. in every form I was familiar with and then some. As I predicted in my first blog post, some of the fairytales we read were shocking. They certainly weren't the Disney g-rated tales of my childhood but were full of sex, violence and other adult content. Reading the different versions was my favorite part of the class. I actually very much enjoyed the readings that were assigned to us. It was my way of "cheating" designated homework time, as I could tell myself I was doing homework, but secretly I was simply reading entertaining tales.

I noticed that in my first blog post, I labeled Beauty and the Beast as my favorite fairytale. Interestingly, the version I was referring to, was the same tale that Dr. Esa mentioned as one of his least favorites. He claimed it was much to detailed and precise to be a fairytale and killed the imagination. I, however, am going to stick by my initial assessment, keeping it my favorite tale. I view it more as well-developed, than lacking creative stimuli.

Part of the reason I came into the class liking Beauty and the Beast so much was that I felt it had an actual romantic concept within it of true love that was more than just looks. Accordingly, I was very pleased that we managed to talk about relationships, especially in regards to the woman's place, through out the class. Ultimately, my final paper reflected upon a topic I found especially resonate- the concept of the glorification of female passivity and vilification of feminine assertiveness. I enjoyed researching this topic and extending it past our in class discussions.

The guest lectures were another feature of the class I greatly enjoyed. I greatly appreciated our little tour of the world's folktales. Each speaker brought in a unique dynamic with their native culture and kept the classes interesting.

As for the movies, I throughly enjoyed The Brother's Grimm, even if it was incredibly painful to wait the entire semester to find out what would happen in the end. As for Pan's Labyrinth, I was not a huge fan. I certainly liked it more once Dr. Deveny spoke on it and gave it more perspective. But even still, it just hit me a little wrong. Perhaps it was just to dark for my tastes.

The class was a positive experience. We read quite a few stories. We also approached them in quite a few techniques of analyzation. We discussed many different topics and patterns within the fairytales that as a child I never would have picked up on, but as an adult I found intriguing. We dabbled in folktale culture around the world. Ultimately, I'd say we learned quite a bit. And, I think its important to mention, we had a lot of laughs along the way.

All I can hope for is that we will all live happily ever after. ... and that I get an A on the final, which would greatly aid in the "happily ever after" concept.