The Owl, The Raven, and the Dove : The Religious Meaning of the Grimms' Magic Fairy Tales
The fairy tales collected by the brothers Grimm are among the best known and most widely-read stories in western literature. In recent years commentators such as Bruno Bettelheim have, usually from a psychological perspective, pondered the underlying meaning of the stories, why children are so enthralled by them, and what effect they have on the developing child. In this book, Ronald Murphy takes five of the best-known tales ("Hansel and Gretel," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella," "Snow White," and "Sleeping Beauty") and shows that the Grimms saw them as Christian fables. Murphy examines the arguments of previous interpreters of the tales, and demonstrates how they missed the Grimms' intention. His own readings of the five so-called "magical" tales reveal them as the beautiful and inspiring "documents of faith" that the Grimms meant them to be. Offering an entirely new perspective on these often-analysed tales, Murphy's book will appeal to those concerned with the moral and religious education of children, to students and scholars of folk literature and children's literature, and to the many general readers who are captivated by fairy tales and their meanings.
- Hardback | 204 pages
- 162.56 x 241.3 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
- 20 Jul 2000
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
- 9 line illustrations
perhaps the best service this admirable book can do is to send us back to the stories themselves. Many of them are unread, or known only by courtesy of Walt Disney. As Ronald Murphy makes clear, they can still tell us, grown-ups and children, much about what it means to be human. * Melanie McDonagh, The Tablet 23/12/00. * Fr Ronald Murphy has done the Brothers Grimm a great service. He has put their stories into the context of their Christianity, something which wouldn't be necessary except in an invincibly secular age such as ours is. But he has done more than that. He has brought home to us the essentially hospitable nature of the stories. * Melanie McDonagh, The Tablet 23/12/00. *
About G. Ronald Murphy
Ronald G. Murphy is George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German at Georgetown University.