thumbnail blog fairytaleperspectives

Exploring Perspectives in Fairytales

Hi everyone, I’m Ms Atifa, an English teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. Today, we’ll be exploring perspectives in fairytales creatively!

First, what exactly is a perspective? A perspective refers to a character’s observations of what is happening within a story. When you write in first-person point of view (using “I”), you can choose to take any type of character’s perspective in your writing. For instance, you can take the perspective of a student, teacher, or a doctor.

A fairytale often follows the perspective of a protagonist, such as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. A protagonist refers to the main character in a story, most often the ‘good’ person or the ‘hero/heroine’. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is an antagonist, who is the villain or someone who opposes the protagonist in one way or the other. In the case of The Little Mermaid, the antagonist is Ursula, a sea witch who dabbles in trickery and eventually tries to endanger Ariel.

However, in recent years, there have been several movie adaptations of fairytales which focus on the perspective of a character who is not the expected protagonist. For example, have you ever watched the movie Maleficent?

In the old Sleeping Beauty animated movie, Maleficent is depicted as an antagonist who curses Aurora to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. She is shown to be intimidating, selfish and vengeful. Her revenge was triggered by the fact that she was not invited to a ceremony celebrating Aurora’s birth.

However, in the Maleficent movie which came out in 2014, the movie focuses on Maleficent’s perspective in the fairytale instead. The movie lends an empathetic backstory to how the powerful fairy, Maleficent eventually became villainous. It shows that the reason she secludes herself from others is because King Stefan, Aurora’s father, was in love with her. However, he was soon overshadowed by his ambition to become a king. As a result, he amputated her wings while she was sleeping in order to become King and left her. Although Maleficent still curses Aurora out of hurt and revenge, the movie shows how she eventually regrets it and tries to save Aurora. She also ended up forming a close bond with her.

Isn’t this an interesting perspective? Simply exploring another character’s perspective in a story could allow you to explore many aspects of the plot that would otherwise remain undiscovered. It might also reveal certain aspects of the character that we never knew were there, leading to a much deeper understanding of him/her. It might even make some minor characters appear more real instead of just being seen as a stereotype or caricature.Now, why don’t you try exploring a fairytale through the perspective of a character other than the protagonist? Think of a fairytale you enjoy or have heard of, and write a paragraph to depict a scene from the original story. However, this time, write from a different character’s perspective. For instance, in Little Red Riding Hood, you can depict the scene where the wolf meets Red at her grandmother’s cottage from the wolf ’s perspective.

As an example, I will show you a paragraph based on a scene from the Cinderella animated movie which I wrote from one of the step-sisters, Drizella’s perspective. In this scene, Cinderella’s step-sisters meet Prince Charming at the ball before Cinderella appears. Take a moment to pause and read through the passage on your own.

Flashing a wide grin, Prince Charming entered the castle in his sharp suit adorned with glistening golden buttons. Glancing at my sister, I smirked slyly. We knew that if either of us were to gain his interest, we could become an even wealthier family and make Mother happy. When it was finally my turn to meet him, I sashayed confidently towards him and gave him my best curtsy. However, in response, he gave me a quick, forced smile before gazing at someone in the distance. Indignantly, I spun around to see who it was. My jaw dropped when I saw a goddess-like lady with chiseled cheekbones and the kindest eyes I had ever seen. The kindness she exuded reminded me of someone, but I could not figure out who it was. She donned an elegant, flowing dress the colour of a crystal blue sea, and was roaming around as if she was lost. At that moment, I knew that once again, my younger sister and I would fail to make Mother happy.

See how writing from Drizella’s perspective allows us to flesh out her feelings and thoughts, which were otherwise hidden in the original tale? Doing so also allows us to explore the reason why she treats Cinderella so cruelly – i.e. perhaps it stems from her strong desire to please her mother.

Now, you try! Pick a secondary or minor character from your favourite fairy tale and retell a scene from the original story from this character’s point of view. Remember to include the character’s thoughts and feelings when writing from his/her perspective. However, if fairytales don’t really interest you, you can try writing from the perspective of a character who doesn’t have the main spotlight in a movie, show or novel that you like or are familiar with.

Isn’t exploring perspectives in fairytales interesting? When it comes to writing school compositions, this is also something that you can consider. Instead of sticking to the usual perspective of a student or child, why not explore other perspectives?

Depending on the topic, you could put yourself in the shoes of another person, such as a fireman, athlete, or a teacher. For instance, for a topic like ‘A Disappointment’, instead of writing as a child who disappointed his/her parent, you can try to write from the perspective of a parent who disappointed his/her child instead. It is definitely something worth exploring and if done well, can be a refreshing change for the teacher marking your essay! Of course, at the end of the day, make sure to keep the story relevant to the topic that you are writing on.

I hope that you’ve learnt more about perspectives today, and more importantly, will consider writing from a different perspective when you attempt your next writing assignment. Bye for now!


banner toolkit sec

Don’t find yourself at a loss for words again, be Wordstruck!

What you can expect from our FREE Toolkit:

  • Comprehensive Guide to all O Level Components
  • Quick access to last minute revision tips required to ace the examinations!
  • Watch free online pre-recorded videos and read detailed articles on essential topics such as:

1. Approaching Different Types of Continuous Writing Essay Questions
2. How to Tackle Situational Writing (in its Various Forms)
3. Identifying and Mastering All Types of Comprehension Questions

  • Hands-on interactive practice for Oral and Listening Comprehension
profile atifa
Ms Atifa

In her time teaching, she has incorporated elements of drama into her classes to engage her lower primary students. She tries her best to get to know all of her students and is always keen to find out each of their interests and hobbies. She believes that each student has personalised needs, and aims to make lessons fun and helpful for all of her students.

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share

Other related posts

Creative Writing | 3 Easy Steps to Write Your Own Haiku!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 3: Changes in Verb Forms
Ketchup on English! – is, are, was and were!
Audience In Visual Text | Visual Text Comprehension
Exploring Points of View (POV) in Composition Writing
Metaphors For? | Part II – Implied Metaphors
10 Beautiful Vivid Verbs to Boost Your Writing and Oral! | Primary School English
Metaphors For? | Part I – An Introduction to Metaphors
3 Family-Friendly Shows on Netflix (Educational & Entertaining)!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 2: Tenses
2021 Father’s Day Contest Winners
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 1: Subject-Verb Agreement
10 Beautiful Words You Can Use in Narrative / Descriptive Writing | Secondary School
Ways To Create A Well-Rounded Character | Creative Writing
Understanding Purpose-Related Questions in Visual Text Comprehension
How Playing Video Games Can Improve Our English (With Practical Tips for Parents!)
Primary School Composition | Onomatopoeia – What’s That?
2021 Mother’s Day Contest Winners + Our Founder’s Journey (Mother’s Day Special)!
Composition Revision: Using Your 5 Senses in Your Writing
How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms
Ketchup on English! – Subject-Verb Agreement
Punctuation Marks: Colon Vs. Semicolon
4 steps to Create Suspense
That Simile Though 2 | Using Stronger Similes
Up-Close and Personal: Getting to Know the Personal Recount Essay
PSLE ORAL | Compiled Prelim 2021 Oral Topics + Questions!
If you’re looking at getting recent PSLE Prelim Oral topics and practice questions, this will be an excellent resource for you!
5 Steps to Convert a Newspaper Article into a Cloze Passage
I would like to share with you 5 steps on how authentic articles can be transformed into cloze passages easily. Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Free SG50 Sample Practice + Model Answers
In this blogpost we will be touching on the oral stimulus-based conversation topic of National Day and SG50! Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Filling your Story with Details Easily + Free Revision Cards
By simply using the 5W1H, your children will be able to lengthen their stories (hence, the conversation!). Read on here!
PSLE English | Situational Writing: Q&A + Formal vs Informal Writing Comparison Chart
To aid you in your situational writing revision, here is a comparison chart that shows the differences between formal and informal writing!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Stimulus-Based Conversation Checklist
To help my children handle the Stimulus-Based Conversation examination, here are some instructions again about using the checklist!
A Little Encouragement | DIY Motivational Bookmark (Easy to personalise too!)
A bookmark with a quote to motivate is also a chance for them to see the power of words and how words can mean more than what they seem.
Situational Writing: Step-by-Step Guide + Free Revision Card
I believe a walkthrough on the process of doing situational writing is in order. Here are the requirements for content and language!
I Love Reading | 5 Ways to Motivate Reluctant Readers
One of the most important ingredients necessary for a child or anyone learning English is the habit of reading. Get motivated to read now!
PSLE English | Printable Ultimate Grammar & Synthesis Summary
Today, we are sharing two lists of essentials in our Ultimate Grammar and Synthesis Summary Printable. Download them free here!
How Well Do You Know Your Past Participles?
While we are familiar with the past, present and future tenses, the little less known but equally important tense is the past participles.
Primary Composition Writing | Starting Sentences with Introductory Clauses
Today, we'll be revising the use of sentence starters to help you create variety in your sentence structures. Read on here!
The Sentence Train | Lower Primary English
Today, we are going to learn what makes up a sentence. It will come in handy when you do the word order activity in school! Read on here!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Reading Checklist
This Oral Reading Checklist can be used by children when they practise reading on their own. Download it now!
Language of COVID | 10 Words Added to the Dictionary
Using Personification to Show, Not Tell!
Expressing Character Feelings Too! | Using Show-Not-Tell (Part 2)
How to Choose a Book to Read: 8 Ways
How to Dress Up A Boring Paragraph | Creative Writing
Ketchup on English! – Halloween Special: Prepositions of Time!
Ketchup on English! – Verbs Are Not Just Action Words!
Expressing Character Feelings | Using Show-Not-Tell
Which Picture Should I Use? | Choosing the Best Picture to Use for Composition!
Oral: Reading Passage | Long Vowels – Have You Been Reading Your Vowels Correctly?
Previous
Next

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

shape icon 06
shape icon 05