General Question

ragingloli's avatar

Does "Jack and the giant bean stalk" teach that it is okay to kill and rob nobles?

Asked by ragingloli (42224points) March 15th, 2017

The giant is clearly a stand-in for an aristocrat, and Jack breaks into his mansion, murders him, and then steals his money.

What other fairy tales have nefarious morals?
For example, Hänsel and Gretel teaches that you can get away with murdering and robbing old, lonesome women by accusing them of being a witch.

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20 Answers

Sneki95's avatar

Snow White: breaking into someone’s house is ok if you’re pretty. Letting a stranger living in your house is ok if they are pretty, because beauty=goodness.
The same goes for Goldilocks.

One Serbian fairy tale teaches that, if your wife gets annoying, beat her up and she’ll calm down. This is openly presented as the only reasonable solution.

Meta tropes: if you find a frog, kiss it, it’s fine
The same goes for asleep girls.
Taking someone’s money/treasure is ok. They hid it for you.

Do myths count too?

Seek's avatar

Robin Hood 4 lyf.

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zenvelo's avatar

Beauty and the Beast is all about soothing your abuser/kidnapper.

ragingloli's avatar

The ugly duckling teaches that nobility is born superior and to rule over the peasants.

LostInParadise's avatar

One interpretation of fairy tales that I have seen is that the adults represent parents. Young children have a difficult imagining good and bad traits in the same person, so the characters in fairy tales are all pure good or pure evil, witches and wicked giants or fairy godmothers and princes. The children are of course triumphant.

ucme's avatar

Pied Piper tells that all children apart from your own are annoying rats & should be drowned after being seduced by a local musician bent on murder

LostInParadise's avatar

Are fairytales sexist? Characters like Jack get away with the mischief they do while female characters like Goldilocks repent their misdeeds. There also seem to be a whole lot of cases where the heroines are saved in the end by a prince, but the male characters get by on their wits.

flutherother's avatar

To equip children for the modern world a new set of fairy stories should be written but these would be so heartbreaking they could never be told.

cazzie's avatar

Has anyone read the real story about the Little Mermaid? It basically teaches little girls that falling in love is a horrifying painful sacrifice and death and they should embrace it.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Both stories teach us that you need to do whatever the opportunity offers you to survive, not a bad pragmatic lesson, for kids.

The Fairy and the Woodcutter story (perhaps similar to the Fisherman and the Seal story) teaches us that Stockholm syndrome can be applied to girls so long as you can keep them imprisoned.

I prefer the kinky version of Jack and the Beanstalk story. Some fairytales can become much better if told with different version.

rojo's avatar

@Unofficial_Member Is that the one with Jill rubs Jacks magic beans to make his beanstalk grow then she climbs onto it while he is goosing her?

Sneki95's avatar

I’ll just point out that fairy tales are centuries, possibly thousands of years old, and the morals in them differ a lot from the morals of modern era. Just keep that in mind when analyzing them. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize them, but it should be taken into consideration when and where did they originate.
We can always play, though.

As for the Little Mermaid, it is a modern tale, much younger than, say, Snow White, so the morals differ.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@rojo lol. Oh shut up you! You can say it’s similar but picture Jack as the Giant then you’ll know what’s in for Jill.

ragingloli's avatar

A scene from “Kuroinu Kedakaki Seijo wa Hakudaku ni Somaru”?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@ragingloli Nope. I could pm you the link if you want.

Zaku's avatar

I take them as tales showing the very noble truth that if you kill someone you get to loot them and tell tales of your glory.

It doesn’t translate as well in the modern age, because now only corporations and governments are allowed to kill people and loot them and call it morally just. If others try that, they kill you and loot you and call it just.

Soubresaut's avatar


I recently found out that what I thought was the story of the princess and the pea isn’t the story of the princess and the pea…

Let’s see, the original teaches children that a girl’s worth is based on her ability to complain about the guest bed she was graciously provided when she stayed overnight at a stranger’s house.

In the version I remember, the mother has the “pea under mattresses” plan, but the mother and the prince both know that it’s a ridiculous test that no one could pass. The mother simply doesn’t like the girl the prince wants to marry. So, in the dead of night, the prince sneaks into the girl’s bedroom and slips a whole bunch of random household objects in between the mattresses. He sneaks in again near morning to remove them all. The girl wakes up and complains about how uncomfortable her bed was, and the mother is sure it’s a fluke. The next night, the mother adds more mattresses to the pile, and the prince once again sneaks in to stash a bunch of objects in between the mattresses, and the girl once again wakes up complaining about her discomfort. This goes on until the mother relents and lets the prince and the girl marry. I thought it was hilarious growing up because of the way the mother set up a “test” that she thought no one could win, and then when the prince fixes the test the other way, the mother has to accept (or admit it was a bad test to begin with)... but I cannot find that version of the story anywhere, and my childhood books are stored in a hard to reach place…. The closest I can find after a brief search online is “The Princess and the Bowling Ball” from The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, and maybe I embellished and added to the story on my own? If you happen to know a version of the Princess and the Pea that resembles what I just described… I’d be very grateful if you shared it!

crazycool's avatar

No,,,no story told to children would teach killing anything…..I don’t know what reasoning is behind the story but it is clever.

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