Stone Soup by Barbara Kingsolver employs the use fairy tales to pass across her message of the changing perception of family values in the United States. Fairy tales about family ideals can be harmful if they stereotype the family unit along certain preconceived notions (Thomas, 2005). Kingsolver uses the Family of Dolls analogy to speak against stereotyping. The Family of Dolls makes people have negative attitudes towards families that do not fit the nuclear family construct.
This can be evidenced by such expressions likes calling marriages that end in divorce failed marriages. It also contributes to unrealistic expectations of the family, marriage and life (Kingsolver, 1996). Fairy tales lead to people acquiring mindsets of the fairy tales such as wearing skirts four inches above the knee and questing for Mr. Right. Fairy tales would lead to the wrongful notions of sticking out even in marriages which do not present what every human being is entitled to such as respect and happiness.
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Fairy tales on family ideals may be helpful in that it provides for the sanctity of marriage which is to be respected. The fairy family ideal prevents the marriage institution from becoming too complex by restricting the number of people such as new spouses. According to Thomas (2005), Fairy tales such as the Stone soup story help to forge family values of mutual dependency and helpfulness. For instance, large families comfort each other during times of calamity.
These tales may in some instances serve to give hope to people. For instance, the Cinderella story gives hope to people going through hard times of better times to come. Fairy tales in our times play a tremendously crucial role of preventing the constant reshaping of families and serial monogamy (Kingsolver, 1996). Fairy tales stress the importance of family integrity ahead of personal happiness and hence protect the members of the family from painful family breakups.
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