My childhood was not the time of video games, computer and internet, nor was it the time of electronic entertainment. My childhood was full of my mother’s folk songs, my father’s lessons, and my grandmother’s fairy tales. I have never forgotten the many nights spent lying in my grandmother’s lap, listening to her fairies and thinking of beautiful dreams.

Her stories were filled with promises and taught me to believe that in strength comes in different forms; good can overcome evil and people always have the ability to change. These stories of mystical beings allowed my imagination to grow, and think in new ways. I often wonder what my life would be like without having grown up with these tales, and cannot imagine how I would look at the world. These fables taught me to look at the world through an optimistic perspective, and to always give people the benefit of the doubt.

Fairy tales are stories used to explain morals and lessons, and use imaginary characters and realms to do so. These stories make up the gap between reality and our dreams. The main characters in these fantastical tales represented the average person: poor and downtrodden, these protagonists worked tirelessly without thanks, and overcame seemingly impossible obstacles to ultimately become happy.  Although working hard day by day, they were still poor and mistreated. We certainly cannot forget Tam- a beautiful and pitiable girl who was always neglected and mistreated by her stepmother. She worked all day while her younger sister,Cam, did nothing.. Thach Sanh,  who was very kind and helpful, was deceived by cunning Ly Thong many times. Another example is a poor servant in Cay tre tram dot. He was also gullible when believing in the landlord’s promise and looking for the hundred-knot bamboo in the hope of getting married to the landlord’s daughter. No matter what cruel trickeries the villains used in attempt to try and harm main characters, we have happy-endings in most stories: with the strength and courage, Thach Sanh married a beautiful princess, and the kind-hearted Tam became  a queen and lived happily in her royal palace. Through these legendary tales our forefathers wanted us to know that  “One good turn deserves another and  Good can win evil”.

Not only aspiring of equal society, people also wish freedom to choose their lover. It was because for a very long time in the past, people, especially women, had no choice in their marriages. In Instead, their parents’ decisions were their decisions. Nevertheless, in order to find the real happiness, Tien Dung was willing to overcome her parents well as society preconceptions to wed Chu Dong Tu- a poor fisherman . Especially, if we thought only women in modern times can declare their love to a man, it may make us surprising because Tien Dung was the person who took the initiative in expressing her love to Chu Dong Tu. By taking our sense of sight far beyond backward thoughts of the feudalism, our fathers affirmed dignify the women’s role in marriage and society as well. Moreover, most fairy tales painted the pictures of the deep-rooted affection and gratitude of Vietnamese people. They always wished to have  harmonious relationships among family members through Su tich trau cau. If the wife had not longed fondly to see her husband, she would have not misunderstood her husband’s younger brother for her husband; if the husband had not misunderstood the relationship between his wife and brother and stolen away, the story would have not ended with the deaths of three main characters. After that, they became a rock, betel and areca tree. This tale reminds us that family members should love and protect one another No matter what.

In conclusion, someone says that fairy mislead us into thinking our problems will be solved by a fairy godmother or knight in shining armor. Nonetheless, there’s something alluring about reading fairy tales where the main characters are eternally youthful, kind, loving and generous, and problems are always resolved. And although these stories never actually occurred, we cannot deny that they have played a large role in instructing young people on morality. Thanks to those types of stories, we-young generations not only know more about our ancestor’s miserable lives in the past but also learn worth philosophy of life and lessons of morality.

Tran Linh_12TA

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