Seven Deadly Sins of Fantasy
Imagination is the key to the universe. In order for one to use it, they may create a world of their own. Fantasy literature uses imagination as its key source, and everyday life as its secondary. Not one element can bring a piece of the art form together. Society lives on both factors as well. Fantasy art can either make or brake a world, just by the ideas and thoughts that are used with the imagination. This fantasized world is mainly inspired by reality and especially religious beliefs. Considering that fantasy literature is one of the oldest works, that any period of history can relate to; many stories seem to be fictional, if analyzed they become parallel to any cultural society. The characters in fantasy art works may represent actual people in everyday life, for example an evil witch may be compared to a mean motherly figure.
One major contribution to fairy tales is the religious influence of all societies. Gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, and lust are the seven most deadliest sins of the Biblical universe, all these examples are related to the idea of temptation, which brings the fairy world happiness. Chesterton wrote,
“The whole happiness of fairyland hangs upon a thread, upon
one thread. Cinderella may have a dress woven on supernatural
looms and blazing with unearthly brilliance; but she must be
back when the clock strikes twelve. The king may invite fairies
to the christening, but he must invite all the fairies of frightful
results will follow. Bluebeard’s wife may open all doors but one.
A promise is broken to a cat, and the whole world goes wrong.
A promise is broken to a yellow dwarf, and the whole world goes wrong. A girl may be the bride of the God of Love himself if
she never tries to see him; she sees him, and he vanishes away. A girl is given a box on condition she does not open it; she opens
it, and all the evils of this world rush out at her. A man and woman
are put in a garden on condition that they do not eat one fruit; they
eat it, and lose their joy in all the fruits of the earth,” (256).
“Wrath 1: violent anger: RAGE 2: divine punishment,” (Web. dictionary, 609), in other words, revenge. Take Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the wicked stepmother hated her stepdaughter with such anger that she became angry enough to commit violence. The queen becomes obsessed with her looks which makes her conceited, which leads to pride, and the envy of Snow White. The dwarfs who are betrayed as obese, lazy and selfish, include: gluttony, sloth, and greed. A question comes to mind that, is it ironic that there are seven sins and seven dwarfs?
To many authors, fairy tales or any imaginative stories are places and people that are unknown to us. “We do not know anything about the laws of nature; we do not even know whether they are laws,” (Chesterton, 105). Why is it that all evil characters in fantasy are portrayed as ugly and lead up to achieving beauty? Today’s society has come to think that the obsession of looks just entered our minds in the past few decades, but naturally as portrayed in these stories, it has been evident from the beginning.
What are these so called fairytales: “(a) A tale about fairies, or generally a fairy legend; with developed senses, (b) an unreal or incredible story, and (c) a falsehood,” (Tolkien, 4). Other authors go to the original ideas of stories that contain supernatural fairies. These beings are of micro size and possess magical powers, with a great influence over good and evil in the human world. According to Tolkien many of the stories contain ideas of diminutive power and
states that, “a ‘fairy-story’ is one which touches on or uses Faerie, whatever its own main purpose may be: satire, adventure, morality, fantasy.” In more ways than one, these four qualities relate back to all of the sins created by the religious world.
When originally written these tales were to tell a piece in history as well as entertainment. Religion influenced the ancient world, and forced the beliefs of good and evil upon everyone and everything. Each fairytale was to teach the world about sinning and evil. It now subliminally influences our ways of thinking and creating new fantasy literature.