Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Claudia Schwabe

Second Advisor

Lynne McNeill

Third Advisor

Keith Grant-Davie

Abstract

Fairy tales are an integral part of our culture and have been for hundreds of years. Most of us grew up hearing certain stories, reading the Grimm brothers, watching Disney adaptations of classic tales, and passing these things on to the next generation. But even though we sometimes dismiss fairy tales as we get older as “stories for children,” that does not mean that fairy tales do not play an important role in our lives and cultures. Studying and understanding fairy tales can provide insight into our history, our cultures, and ourselves. As stated by Dan Ben-Amos, “The folktale has found its way into new realms and adapted to modern means of communication [and] the traditional folktale has been subjected to an array of criticisms” (qtd. in Rohrich xx). Scholars are continually looking for new approaches to folklore criticism to help us understand both how and why fairy tales are still relevant, which is why I am studying fairy tales from a rhetorical perspective.

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