Fairy Tales= Incognito Moral Tales about the conflict between our "selves"
All fairy tales on the surface have this saccharine quality. In many ways, they are quaint and even delightful. Yes, there are momentary threats to the story world of a fairy tale. But in the end, some good force normally overcomes it with the sudden realization of the antagonist's weakness. What do these good and evil forces even represent? Are they merely shapes that are representative of some larger ideas, beyond the characters themselves?
Fairy Tale protagonists are occasionally symbols of ourselves: weakened, flawed humans that are in great necessity of rectifying one huge flaw within themselves. This character flaw is usually something like greed, arrogance, or pure maliciousness. It could even be the flaw of fear that prevents the protagonist from effectively acting in full participation with their true selves.
What does the antagonist fully represent? Remember the shadow being in Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin. For anyone unfamiliar with that work, the shadow self is our Mr. Hyde that is the self that fully captures that flawed self of ours that we rather not admit to having within ourselves. The protagonist cowers from this shadow self because it is the deplored self, filled with all the flaws we do not like in ourselves. Therefore, we physically seclude the antagonistic force of ourselves away in some dark region of our mind. In order to fulfill the whole creepy, Gothic exterior, we even offer this unpleasant self an inhabitable, melancholy castle that just screams "Villain."
In the end, the journey of the protagonist ultimately structures this spiritual journey of ourselves into that dreaded territory of moral flaw. But, we must trespass into the sinister territory of the antagonist even if he shows us our most abhorred form. Yes, he might be the darker Dorian Grey that greatly portrays our worst inner narcissist self.
But the hero must take up the sword of humility that is accepting of this ulterior self. We must acknowledge this antagonist or flaw's existence and allow it to fully walk within the light of conscious thought. From there, we can effectively subdue it by fully realizing that this terrifying self of vice really does not represent our true self. Behind that sword of confidence thrust in front of ourselves, there lies the fully realized self that strives in vain for a life of greater value or one filled with love. That one flaw of ourselves was only ever created to make us complacent with our unbalanced self. When we vanquish the flawed self, we are allowing ourselves not to live in fear of the flaw or to allow it to submerge our real self into an idea of nothingness. Instead, we allow it to go off into obscurity and then we can see the greater path of achieving the full potential of our real selves that has no reason to hide in the regions of nonexistence.
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