What makes a fairy tale?

Meaty Trial #2: What makes a fairy tale?

  Flatness  Defamiliarization  Everyday Magic  The Shock Effect of Beauty    Sublime
  Depthlessness  Abstraction    Propp’s
  The 8 Character Types    Fairy Way

For Meaty Trial #2, you will be defining each term in 150 words or more by doing the following:

  1. Define ALL the terms found in the table above according to the authors who used them or the discourse of our class (lecture/discussion). Follow the template from the example I’ve provided below. 
    1. You may cite an author’s definition/example of a term directly if they provide one, AND/OR you can infer/interpret the definition from the author’s use of the term in addition to a dictionary definition or notes from lecture, if needed/applicable.
    2. Remember that each term may have more than one definition from more than one author, but you are being asked to define these terms as they apply to our class and the authors of our class, specifically. Generic definitions that do not pertain to the class will not be accepted.
  2. Define the term in your own words. Then, write an example through which your understanding of this term is made clear.
  3. Explain how this term functions within a fairy tale or within the discourse of our class.

Follow the template of this example (bolded term followed by numerical list, 150 words or more per term):


  1. In “Art as Technique,” Metonymy is defined through the following example: “I want to attract the attention of a young child who is eating bread and butter and getting the butter on her fingers. I call, “Hey, butterfingers!” This is a figure of speech, a clearly prosaic trope…(In the first example, “butterfingers” is metonymic;” (Shklovsky 1). The dictionary defines metonymy as, “a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another or which it is an attribute or with which it is associated (such as ‘crown’ in ‘lands belonging to the crown’)” (“Metonymy” n.).
  2. In other words, metonymy is the substitution of a name for a characteristic or part of the thing being named. An example of this would be: when Cinderella walked into the room, she turned heads. In this example, Cinderella’s beauty is capturing the attention of whole persons, though they are only being named by a part of the whole, their heads, in the sentence.
  3. Metonymy creates flatness, a cornerstone technique of fairy tales, by focusing on brevity without the interiority of the characters. Metonymy also lends itself to abstraction, as the characters who are moved by Cinderella’s beauty lack specificity and have interchangeable characteristics.

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