Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Secondary Belief

Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories" mentioned something called Secondary Belief. While talking about the value and purpose of fairy stories Tolkien said that Secondary Belief was something that adults felt when reading fairytales. Rather than enjoying the tale itself, they enjoy the tale because of the sentimental feelings and reminders of childhood that come with the tale. However, Tolkien argues that fairy tales should have the same value as other types of literature; Fairy tales offer a sense of Recovery and Escape (among other themes listed in the essay) that adults can enjoy just as much as children, even though fairy tales have been directed mainly at children. I agree with Tolkien's argument; while we may lose our beliefs in Faerie and the fantasy world as we age, I believe we can still appreciate fairy tales as much as children, albeit in a different light.

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