26 November 2020

On fairy tales

Figure: Hansel fooling the witch. Source:

Last weekend my wife and I had a discussion about fairy tales. We came to the conclusion that it would be a strange child indeed that sided with the witch in Hansel and Gretel, or the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, or Rumpelstiltskin. And yet by the time we reach adulthood, many of us have turned into nasty kings or evil queens, or at least vote for them.

What is it that changes the ethics of a child into the ethics of an adult? Is our education system failing us? Is it all caused by ill-conceived reward structures in our society? Is there something fundamentally wrong with us human beings?