How many of us can say we’ve never read the “Mother Goose” tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty? What about Bluebeard, Hansel and Gretel, or Tom Thumb? I think you get my point. The point is these are “American” folktales that have been told for generation after generation. Although, what makes these stories American? The answer: they’re not. In reality, these stories have been apart of the world’s history before we probably even know it, no matter the country. The Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton is a fascinating and interesting book that takes a step deeper into discovering the origins of different folktales from the early fifteenth century through the eighteenth century in France.
Many of the folktales told in France were ...view middle of the document...
, throughout this era. Don’t believe me? Think about the story “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Now, according to Darnton, after depiction of this story it was revealed that the story could be analyzed in depth by psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud was the mastermind behind this type of psychology with the ideas of the id, superego, and ego. It was believed that the id was the wolf and since Red gets with her Dad, the id was satisfied. This sounds barbaric and disgusting but through out this time incest was a normal thing. It was stated that families did not have the privacy back then that they did today and children grew up watching their parents participate in sexual relations. This was just one of many examples of symbolic references to the situation of France through out this era. Cinderella, in the story “Cinderella”, was a symbol of the endless labor the peasants had to go through. The French peasants were born into limitless labor from early childhood until they died. This symbol/metaphor was used through out many stories.
For anyone who knows Ms. Kanu, she has you do a LOT of book critiques and this was by far the most interesting and appealing book critique I have ever had to do for a novel. I seriously sat down on my couch and read for a good two hours and was so fascinated by all of the different views and ideologies of the origins of different folktales that I had read growing. Majority of the students my age will state that these fables were “American” but really each folktale was changed around to the country’s society. The Great Cat Massacre was focused on France’s era of the study of scientific folklore but these folktales have evolved over many centuries and have taken different routes through out different cultural traditions.