The Story Of The Youth Who Went Forth To Learn What Fear Was --- German Fairy Tales (1)

@MALUSE (32921)
Denmark
November 28, 2017 1:33pm CST
The story in a nutshell: A father has two sons, the elder one is smart, the younger one stupid. He understands nothing, not even how to be afraid in situations that make his brother shudder. The father loses his patience and throws him out. While wandering along the road he keeps muttering to himself, “If I could but shudder! If I could but shudder!” He meets several men who think they can teach him how to shudder but all in vain. After some time he hears about “a haunted castle where anyone could very easily learn what shuddering was, if he would but watch in it for three nights. The king had promised that he who would venture should have his daughter to wife, and she was the most beautiful maiden the sun shone on. Likewise in the castle lay great treasures, which were guarded by evil spirits, and these treasures would then be freed, and would make a poor man rich enough. Already many men had gone into the castle, but as yet none had come out again.“ The young man goes there at once, but although he encounters outrageous situations, he doesn’t shudder. He marries the king’s daughter, becomes rich but goes on wishing he could shudder. This gets on his wife’s nerves and she empties a bucket full of cold water over him while he’s asleep. At last he learns to shudder. This fairy tale belongs to the group in which young men of a low social status or a prince in disguise - in any case someone from far away - gets to marry the king’s daughter and inherits the kingdom. In a society with matrilineal succession daughters inherit. If a tale moves to a society with patrilineal succession, a strong and persuasive reason must be found why a man should inherit instead of a woman. Here it’s someone with the rare gift not to be able to shudder. The typical upward climber of fairy tales is someone who appears to be stupid but who has a positive gift hitherto unknown. The young man of this fairy tale is different. It’s certainly not a positive gift not to be able to shudder. The real topic of the fairy tale is the young man’s emotional maturation. Courage includes the recognition of danger, whereas fearlessness means lack of imagination and insensitiveness. His constant wish to learn how to shudder expresses that he feels he’s got a deficit and not a positive gift. Only his marriage and his wife’s love enable him to feel empathy. The fairy tale can also be seen as a means of giving children courage and self-confidence who are bullied because they’re different. The young man may be stupid but he’s able to free the country from demons because of his special quality. It is his position as an outsider that helps him gain the princess’s love and riches and helps the others to gain freedom from evil forces. --- pic: interest --- If you’re interested in the whole fairy tale [from the folktale collection by the Brothers Grimm], you can listen to it here:
Play chapters in order: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZL7tynMEIMQT_LbWT6ly8M-zuPXdg5OD From "Grimms' Fairy Tales" by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Trans...
16 people like this
12 responses
@RasmaSandra (13379)
• Riga, Latvia
28 Nov
Never heard of this fairy tale. This was an interesting story. You are right that children can learn from stories. Latvians have many folk tales that come with lessons to be learned.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
28 Nov
@catsholiday @RasmaSandra All original folk tales include lessons to be learnt. The subject has been studied thoroughly.
5 people like this
• Austin, Texas
29 Nov
@MALUSE - Have never heard of this tale but I enjoyed your summary and interpretation. Made me think on it. This ought to be adapted to an animated film.
1 person likes this
• Derby, England
28 Nov
The Grimm brothers had some interesting tales and some odd ones but they did usually have some kind of moral to them
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
28 Nov
The Grimm brothers didn't write any tales, they only collected them. *All* folktales contain a moral. This defines this sort of literature.
• Derby, England
28 Nov
@MALUSE I didn't realise they didn't write them - well you learn something every day!
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
28 Nov
@catsholiday The Brothers Grimm were professors at the University of Göttingen which is in the north of Germany. The compiled a dictionary of the German language and visited old people in the villages nearby and asked them to tell them the fairy tales they knew from times gone by. Many people make the mistake of seeing them as authors. No, they were only collectors.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For the comic series, see Grimm Fairy Tales (comics). Not to be confused with Grimm Tales (disambiguation) or Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics. Children's and Household Tales or Grimm's Fairy Tal
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (122333)
• Switzerland
29 Nov
This is an interesting story, but in our days it seems that all the stories we used to read can be seen as a problem by some crazy parents. Have you heard in the UK, a woman sued the school because they showed the "Sleeping Beauty"? In her mind, the fact that the Prince kissed the Princess while she was sleeping is a case of abuse. If this is the trend of the modern generations, I do not see how the world can become a better place where to live.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
29 Nov
This happened in the UK? Such an overreaction sounds more American to me. I'm so glad to live in Europe where political correctness isn't such an overrated topic as on the other side of the Atlantic.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (122333)
• Switzerland
29 Nov
@MALUSE I was also surprised to read that it happened in the UK, but may be the mother was an immigrant from the United States. At least in the UK, nobody cared about the request to ban this kind of cartoons.
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (11811)
• United States
28 Nov
I had never heard of that one. Interesting as you pointed out - it can be seen from a couple of viewpoints.
1 person likes this
@much2say (35424)
• United States
28 Nov
I've never heard this one, but yes, how interesting it is to read into it to understand the lesson(s) from it. These lessons can be timeless too. I think of some children I see today . . . the deficit of "fear" - even if that means not fearing authority and consequences. Yet it's also a lesson about overcoming - being different does not necessarily mean it is a handicap.
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
28 Nov
I'll also write on the better known fairy tales in the near future.
2 people like this
@much2say (35424)
• United States
28 Nov
@MALUSE Please do !
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
28 Nov
@much2say When have you ever had the chance of deciding what to read next? :-) -Rumpelstiltskin -Little Red Riding Hood -Hänsel und Gretel -The Bremen Town Musicians -The Fisherman and his Wife ???
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (81872)
• United States
28 Nov
A wonderful lesson in this fairy tale that definitely stands the test of time. When I did a stint as a special education teacher, and as a teacher of struggling readers, I knew all my students had gifts. I would focus on finding that gift in each one. After I had worked with the students for a few months, I would have them take a seat. I would then point to each student and describe in great detail, the gift I discovered in each one. My students were different from the norm, but their gifts were amazing if one took the time to find them. Who knew that Delaney, with Down syndrome, could perform every song from the musical she loved in front of the student body on talent day? Delaney knew, I knew, and eventually everyone else knew too. Delaney's courage and self-confidence grew by leaps and bounds due to someone pointing out that marvelous gift she had.
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
28 Nov
You had a very satisfying job and did a lot of good!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (81872)
• United States
28 Nov
@MALUSE I did go on a bit too much in that response.
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
29 Nov
@Corbin5 The response is fine.
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (18563)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
1 Dec
I thought I was familiar with all of the tales that were collected by The Brothers Grimm. I don't recall this one. I wonder if the edition that I own skipped it, or if my memory is slipping.
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
1 Dec
There are quite a lot of fairy tales in the collection which never made it to the front so-to-speak. I don't know how some became immensely popular and others didn't. This was the case already before the advent of film and other media.
@thelme55 (11873)
• Germany
29 Nov
I have not heard about this fairy tale. Nice story. Thanks for sharing.
@MALUSE (32921)
• Denmark
29 Nov
It's not one of the well-known fairy tales.
1 person likes this
@just4him (92290)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
29 Nov
Very interesting fairy tale. I've never heard that one before. Interesting gift he had and a wonderful way to bring it to light.
@valmnz (13199)
• New Zealand
29 Nov
I've always enjoyed Grimms fairy tales but not heard this one before. Thank you.
@JudyEv (101135)
• Bunbury, Australia
28 Nov
The old fairy tales all have a moral. This is a new one to me.
@allen0187 (27530)
• Philippines
28 Nov
First time I've heard of this fairy tale. Thanks for sharing it and for sharing the link. Courage isn't the lack of fear. It is still pushing through even in fear.