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Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times

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Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times

The Three Little Pigs by James Finn Garner

A Review

Our childhood years may have been covered with all kinds of fairytales and not to mention the story of the “The Three Little Pigs.” Now here comes a version by Garner in which he added several qualities in the story which he characterized as politically correct story. But, in my own opinion, this version is not suitable for children.

Fairytale for Children

A fairytale is an imaginary story which has a happy ending. There have been a lot of revisions of the story and one that may be famous is the one adapted by Al Dempster and Milt Banta and the Walt Disney Company. We have grown to the story of The Three Little Pigs who built three houses, each of different kind of material. There comes the big bad wolf that blew down the first two pigs’ houses which are made of straw and sticks, but the wolf was unable to destroy the third pig’s house which is made of bricks (Tatar, 2002). The wolf then tried to trick the pig out but was then outwitted each time. At the end, the wolf tried to come down the chimney, where the pig catches the wolf in a cauldron of boiling water.

Children love fairytales. They can easily relate to the story because of the use of simple ideas and simple words. Children were made to listen to stories that are simple to understand. Yes, the story of Garner tells definitely the same thought as what other versions did but there are just too many words that do not fit for the children’s age.

Words and Phrases Used

        There are several words that I believe are not appropriate for the children because they are way too advanced already. Let’s take for example the word expansionist. A child who would read the story will definitely have this big question mark on his head. Now there are just two things that can happen, it’s either he will just ignore what the word means, or he will ask his parents for the definition. Now it’s up to the parents to explain in the simplest way so that the child can understand.

To list some of the other complicated words and phrases in the story are as follows: gunboat tactics, imperialistic, oppressor, condo resort complex, porcinistas, hemisphere, socialist democracy. These ideas and concepts are for adults already. Children are meant to enjoy and play and not be confused with the words that they read. One of aims of fairytales is that the children will easily understand the story. If these words are incorporated with the story, this will just put the children in great confusion and disappointment with the story.

I believe that the story is aimed at adults, the ones who can understand politics and the progress in one’s country. As an adult, I can relate the story to the progress that a country experiences. For example, the kind of materials used for the homes, from straw, to sticks, to bricks. Now this is progress. As what we have learned in history, people of early times made houses that are made from sticks or very light wooden materials. With just a blow of the wolf, or I can denote this as a storm or typhoon, the house will be easily destroyed unlike the house made of bricks which most people use nowadays.

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