Fable vs Fairy Tale
Story telling has been going on not only as a pastime but also as a means to make people learn moral lessons in a fun filled manner. Though in present times, because of the advent of electronic media and computers, the importance of these short stories has gone down a bit, there can be no gainsaying the fact that these short stories have been an important means of education and enjoyment for little kids as well as kids at heart. There are many different forms of these short stories such as fable, parable, fairy tales, folk tales, myths, and legends. There are people who cannot differentiate between fable and fairy tales because of their similarities. This article attempts to highlight their differences for the readers.
There is hardly a man who does not know about Aesop’s fables or has not heard or read these short stories as a child. Fables are short stories that carry an important moral lesson and have central characters as talking animals, plants or forces of nature. These stories have been passed down to new generations since time immemorial with Aesop’s fables being the most popular of these short stories. Panchatantra written by Vishnu Sharma in ancient times, in India is also very popular fables. The Fox and the Grapes and the Grasshopper and the Ant are some of the most popular sort stories ever that teach us important moral lessons. Fables talk about virtues and vices and intend them to be learnt by readers. The use of talking animals serves to make these stories more interesting for the readers.
A fairy tale, as the name implies, is a short story that contains fairies and their magic as its main ingredients. Fairy tales are found in nearly all civilizations. They were designed to make kids learn about good and evil in times, when there was the tradition of passing on moral values orally. Fairy tale as a literary genre is a much later invention than fables and the first ones appeared in 17th century in Italy. The most popular fairy tales of all times are of course Cinderella and The Red Riding Hood.
What is the difference between Fable and Fairy Tale?
• Both fables and fairy tales are short stories meant for enjoyment of adults as well as kids though fables are characterized by talking animals while fairy tales are full of fairies and their magical world.
• There is no hidden meaning in a fable, and it is meant to convey a moral truth. On the other hand, fairy tales weave a world of magic and leave much room for imagination and fantasy. It is up to the reader to decide if he grasps any message or just enjoys the imaginary world of fairies and elves.
• There is always conflict between the good and the evil in fairy tales, whereas it is not so in fables.
• Fables can be in prose or poem, but fairy tales are always in prose.