"What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon"

"FAIRY TALES, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.

"Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear."

~G.K. Chesterton: The Red Angel.
Continue reading The Red Angel here

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite quotes by GKC. People often try to "protect" kids by not addressing serious issues when they are young. But children are already thinking about these things. If they don't hear it from their parents, they are going to hear it from someone else, who may well be less reliable. (e.g. A lot of parents shy away from discussing romance with their four-year-old daughter. They don't want to fill their girl's head with thoughts about love and boys. But girls are already thinking about love and boys anyway, and they'll need their parents' guidance. Besides that, if the parents don't teach them, there's always Disney and the princesses.)