Fairytales, Folktales and Fables- The Difference

Fairytales, Folktales and Fables- The Difference

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We all are fans of bedtime stories. We always love to hear stories of magical and mythical creatures. My daughter, especially, loves listening to stories of witches, princesses and fairy godmothers. So what is a folktale, a fairytale and an Aesop’s fable?
Folk Tales:
Folk tales are traditional. These kinds of stories have been orally passed from one generation to another. They do not have an author and are anonymous. These can have added or subtracted elements as they are being told and retold from the perspective of a particular teller. Folk tales are usually centred around a commoners’ day to day life and are based on cultural practices of the folk tales’ origin. The characters are usually humans, animals and supernatural creatures. In folktales, there is a conflict between the characters like human vs nature or human vs human, and these conflicts are actively resolved in the story. Folk tales reflect real-life events, and may or may not have a moral.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a folktale.
Fairy Tales:
Fairy tales are made up and are works of fiction. Hence, fairy tales definitely have an author. They have magical creatures such as dragons, witches or fairies. The conflict between characters take the form of human vs magic and, thus, can only be resolved by magic. In fairy tales, the major characters are the victims and they are subject to sufferings which are usually resolved with the help of minor characters like fairies and other mythical beings. These stories are usually more inclined towards aristocracy. These stories do not have a moral.
Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and The Little Red Riding Hood are a few examples of fairy tales.
Fables:
Fables are short, traditional narratives that always have a moral. They have mainly animal characters who speak and act like human beings. These may or may not have an author.
The Oak Tree and the Woodcutter is one of the examples of Fables.
Fairy Tales teach us lessons like “Never give up”, “Follow your dreams” and “Dreams come true”.
Folk Tales teach us lessons like “Honesty is the best policy”, “Hard work pays off” and “Be true to yourself”.
Fables teach us lessons like “Do not be greedy”, “Always be happy with what you have” and “Never cheat”.
Storytime is a much-cherished part of childhood, and introduces kids to the world of reading and builds imagination. Do make it a point to read any one of the above tales to your child before bed every day!
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