Author: Athina Kappou
Undergraduate student, University of Athens
Department of Turkish & Modern Asian Studies
Fairytales of Disney; fairytales of the Grimm Brothers; fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen; fairytales in general… We all grew up reading fairytales – I am sure that you first book was also a fairytale. What happens in fairytales is pretty much well known. The good guy and the bad guy or as their colours show, the “white” and the “black”, are in a constant fight. Two characters so different from each other as if they were two parallel lines never to be met.
Why it has to be like that in fairytales? And the story goes like that; the bad guy -always- loses and the good guy lives happily ever after. I still remember how much satisfaction and happiness I felt when the good guy won. Since then, I started to believe that the universe will offer me all the goods just because I was trying to be just like the good guy from the fairytale. But fairytales also did something else; they created in our childish mind and souls the thought that justice means the punishment and destruction of the bad.
As a grown up child, I understood that fairytales are “black” and by “black” I mean that they are fake and evil. They are fake not only because of their content about princesses and far away lands, but fake because they categorise humanity in -only- two different types of people: the good (who always wins) and the bad (who always loses). And evil because they teach us that punishment equals justice. But the truth is always in the middle just as Aristotle once said. Is there any human being who is absolutely bad (or “black”) or absolutely good (or “white”)? The yin and yang symbol depicts in the best way possible the human soul. It has equal parts of black and white. I would like to believe that people are way more than just the absence of colour or all the colours combined.
And suddenly from fairytales my mind wondered and thought of our society because unfortunately the punishment (or justice) we see in fairytales is also present in the here and now, in our own real-world societies and relationships. “An eye for an eye” mentality applies not only to relationships but also to criminals who get an one way ticket to jail or for the demented destined for asylums… the list goes on and on….
It is so easy to pay back the bad with revenge…We are fed up by all those ‘’good’’ who judge the ‘’bad” ones. In the end, which is more utopian: the fairytale as we know it or to give a helping hand to those who scream for help?