Forms of Literature

Do you like to read? I hope so. Reading can be fun and educational. Check out this page, or our links to other sites on reading and literature.

 

 
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Introduction

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Literature refers to the different forms of literary works. Literature includes some popular forms of written works. Different historical periods have emphasized various characteristics of literature. The most important forms of literature are fairy tales, folk tales, fables, myths and legends.

 

Fairy Tales

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Fairy tales
Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are the most magical place for a child to go exploring. Fairy tale offers a sufficiently wide variety of theme and enchantment to whet the appetite of young readers.
You look for the touch of magic, a sense of enchantment, of some mysterious force, which changes the ordinary into extraordinary.

Children love listening to fairy tales. As many fairy elements as possible are included like promises, wishes, transformations, a giant, a witch, elves and of course a fairy godmother. We see heroes and heroines rise from unhappy and humble origins to happiness and riches such as Cinderella, the poor, ill treated youngest daughter goes to the ball and wins the love of a prince.

Examples:
 Jack and the Bean stalk, Beauty and the Beast, Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, and Cinderella.

Myths

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Myths
Myths

One characteristic of a myth is that it uses the supernatural. Myths are usually stories of Gods and supernatural beings. Myths are stories that are passed on from generation to generation and usually involve religion. It is an anonymous story designed to explain the mysteries of life, generally with larger than life awe-inspiring characters.

A myth gives a religious explanation for something: how the world or a particular custom began.

Example: How the Kangaroo got his Tail

Folk Tales

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Folk tales
Folk Tales
Folk tales are stories that grow out of the lives and imaginations of the people, or folk. It is believed that folktales were created at early stages of civilization. Children enjoy the humor in these stories. The tale starts off quickly with action throughout. These stories also appeal to a child's sense of justice as good is rewarded and evil is punished. Characters are usually stereotyped as good or bad. Stories are usually short with a definite conclusion. In short a folktale has all the ingredients that small children like. A folktale generally represents the world, as children perceive it.

Example: The Jaguar and the Little Skunk

Legends

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Legends
Legends

A legend is a story from the past about a subject that was, or is believed to have been historical. A legend is usually a traditional tale with a historical basis. Legends are usually very old stories with little or no evidence to prove them. Legends are often passed on down the generation by word of mouth. Legends can also be about historically famous people, places, art etc.

Example: Robin hood, Trojan War, Shakespeare's stories, King Arthur

Fables

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Fables
Fables

Fables are instructive tables that teach morals about human social behavior. Fables are short stories, which take abstract concepts such as good or bad, wise or foolish, and try to make them concrete. Fables frequently feature animals.

Example:  Aesop's fables, and fables of lafontaine. Fables like some myths, feature personified animals or natural objects as characters. Fables almost end with an explicit moral message and this highlights the characteristic features of fables.

 

Links to other sites on Literature

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Fairy Tale Rubrics http://www.abcteach.com/FairyTales/fairy_tale_rubric.htm
Myth Web http://www.mythweb.com/
Folk Tales - Stories in a Nutshell http://www.storyarts.org/library/nutshell/index.html
Animal Myths and Legends http://www.planetozkids.com/oban/legends.htm
Aesop's Fables http://www.aesopfables.com/
 

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