Fairy Tales In Children's Empowerment

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Both Maria Tatar and Vanessa Joosen 's essays argue about the pivotal role of fairy tales in children 's empowerment. On one hand, Tatar claims that "the magical power embedded in language" (Tatar 57) is the key to "grant a form of agency unknown to the child who has not yet fully developed the capacity to learn language" (57). On the other hand, Joosen contends that reading numerous retelling of fairy tales can "make children and adolescents […] aware of issues and possible interpretations in these texts which they had not noticed before. [Thus leading] to a greater alertness and understanding when they read similar stories in the future" (Joosen 131). Therefore, even though both of the essays ' theses aim to explicate a way for children to obtain power, they do so on fundamentally different premises. Indeed, Tatar - literary conservative - asserts that "[in traditional tales] every word become a source of wonder, a gateway to the discovery of adult knowledge" (Tatar 60), whereas Joosen builds her whole argument on the importance of reading multiple retellings of fairy tales in order to acquire the ability of "reading against a text 's authority" (Joosen 129). In particular, Joosen 's essay is based on the ambiguities in classic fairy tales - which are "a source of concern […] [because of what] they teach about gender" (129) - and the contentiousness of the reexaminations of the same tales written by exponents of the feminist emancipation movement. Joosen claims that,

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