A fairytale is a fictional story that serves the purpose of teaching both children and adults moral lessons. It’s simple to construct once you know exactly what a true fairytale consists of: a protagonist, an antagonist, a goal, and an obstacle. The protagonist, either a male or female, is usually portrayed as the beautiful, or handsome, outcast. They are often very different from all other characters included in the story. For example, in Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, or Brier Rose, seems to be the only living being in the entire kingdom with blonde hair. The antagonist, most often both physically and emotionally unattractive, always has one specific goal, which is usually to overcome the protagonist. The protagonist’s goal is generally what leads them on an adventure. For example in Little Red Cap, the goal is to deliver food to the elderly and sick grandmother, and in order to perform the task, Little Red Riding Hood must set out on a journey through the woods where she eventually encounters the next thing on the list – the obstacle. The obstacle in a fairytale is usually closely related to the antagonist. Sometimes the obstacle is actually the antagonist himself or herself, like in Little Red Cap.
Fairytales may have variations or surprises; sometimes the protagonist may prevail victorious over the antagonist in a good vs. evil scene, but other times, the protagonist might fail and return again, or fail altogether. Although fairytales are obviously a way to engage a wide variety of audiences with their memorable storylines, they also have this important lesson-learning kernel. These lessons are meant to hold a purpose, which may be to warn children of certain things or teach them valuable lessons. These lessons can also teach adults to perhaps think differently about things such as beauty, loyalty, or curiosity. But most of all, these timeless tales are designed to be memorable and transmit information and lessons from one generation to the next. If the tale is memorable, then it is more likely to spread both its entertainment value and its light of lesson learning to many other people for generations to come.