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Encyclopedia > Donor (fairy tale)
A talking wolf helps Prince Ivan in Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf

In fairy tales, a donor is a character in fairy tales that tests the hero (and sometimes other characters as well) and provides magical assistances to the hero while he succeeds. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1300x1755, 784 KB) Česky | Deutsch | English | Ελληνικά | Español | فارسی | Français | עברית | Indonesian | Italiano | 日本語 | 한국어 | Magyar | Nederlands | Polski | Português | Românǎ | Русский | Slovenščina | Српски | Sunda | 简体中文 | 正體中文 | Türkçe | Русский | Українська +/- Sources: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1300x1755, 784 KB) Česky | Deutsch | English | Ελληνικά | Español | فارسی | Français | עברית | Indonesian | Italiano | 日本語 | 한국어 | Magyar | Nederlands | Polski | Português | Românǎ | Русский | Slovenščina | Српски | Sunda | 简体中文 | 正體中文 | Türkçe | Русский | Українська +/- Sources: http://www. ... Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebirds feather, by Ivan Bilibin Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf is a Russian fairy tale collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki. ...


The fairy godmother is a well-known form of this character. Many other supernatural patrons feature in fairy tales; these include various kinds of animals and the spirit of a dead mother.[1] In fairy tales, a fairy godmother is a fairy or person with magical powers who acts as a mentor or parent to someone. ...


In Fairytale and Legend

In his analysis of fairy tales, Vladimir Propp identified this role as the donor and listed it as one of the eight roles found in fairy tales. Before giving the hero magical support or advice, the donor may also test the hero, by questioning them, setting them tasks, or making requests of them.[2] Then, the donor may directly give them a magical agent, advise them on how to find one, or offer to act on their behalf.[3] If the character itself acts on behalf of the hero, it also takes on the role of helper in Propp's analysis.[4] Indeed, because a donor is defined by acts, other characters may fill the role, even the villain; a boy escaping a witch may steal her magical handkerchief, making the witch an involuntary donor.[5] Conversely, the donor of Rumpelstiltskin converts himself into the villain by demanding the heroine's baby as the price of his work.[6] Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp (St Petersburg, April 29, 1895 – Leningrad August 22, 1970) was a Russian structuralist scholar who analysed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements. ... Illustration of Rumpelstiltskin from Andrew Langs The Blue Fairy Book, ca. ...


In Grimm's Fairy Tales, the hero often meets the vital helper in the woods, in liminal areas between other realms. [7] Frontispiece of first volume of Grimms Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812). ... Enchanted Forest entrance The Enchanted Forest is a now-closed theme park in Ellicott City, Maryland, on U.S. Highway 40 near the intersection with Bethany Lane. ... Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning a threshold) is the quality of the second stage of a ritual in the theories of Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner, and others. ...


When more than one character attempts the tasks, such as when the youngest son sets out last, all of them commonly met the donor. It is through failing in the test that the older sons are marked out as not the hero; only the youngest son passes the test and receives the aid. The youngest son is a stock character in fairy tales, where he features as the hero. ...


There may be three donors, distinguished by the fact that the first two are unable to help and so send him on to the next. A common motif, as in Farmer Weathersky, is that one can consult all the animals, the next all the fish, the third all the birds, and only the last can discover what he needs. In other cases, each of the three may give her something, but only the third has the information as well. The rule of three is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. ... Farmer Weathersky is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Chr. ...


Types of donors

Baba Yaga, though often the villain, acts as a donor in some fairy tales, as in The Death of Koschei the Deathless

The characters of donors are numerous. Fairy godmothers were added to Sleeping Beauty by Perrault; no such figures appeared in his source, "Sole, Luna, e Talia" by Giambattista Basile.[8] In the Grimm Brothers' variant of Cinderella, Aschenputtel is aided not by her fairy godmother but by her dead mother,[9] as is the heroine of the Finnish variant, The Wonderful Birch. A great variety of other figures may also take this place. In Vasilissa the Beautiful, the heroine is aided by a wooden doll that her dying mother had given her; in Rushen Coatie, by a red calf sent to her by her dead mother, a calf that can continue to aid her after its death; in Katie Woodencloak by a mysterious dun bull; in Tattercoats, by a gooseherd who is her friend for a long time before his mysterious powers are revealed. In East of the Sun and West of the Moon, the heroine is given vital gifts by three old women she mets on the way.[10] Baba Yaga, by Ivan Bilibin File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Baba Yaga, by Ivan Bilibin File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Yaga can refer to: Yajna (Hindu mythology) Baba Yaga (Russian mythology) Yaga (clothing company) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Death of Koschei the Deathless is a Russian fairy tale included by Andrew Lang in The Red Fairy Book. ... Giambattista Basile (1566 or 1575–February 23, 1632) was an Italian poet, courtier, and fairy tale collector. ... The Wonderful Birch is a Russian fairy tale. ... Ivan Bilibins illustration of the red rider from Vasilissa the Beautiful. ... Rushen Coatie or Rashin-Coatie is a Scottish fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs in his More English Fairy Tales. ... Katie Woodencloak or Kari Woodengown is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Asbjørnsen and Moe and included by Andrew Lang in The Red Fairy Book It is Aarne-Thompson type 510A, the persecuted heroine. ... Tattercoats is a Scottish fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs in his More English Fairy Tales. ... East of the Sun and West of the Moon is a Norwegian fairy tale, collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe. ...


Heroes seldom have actual fairy godmothers, but similar figures are common.[11] In The Golden Bird, the hero is aided by a fox whose advice he takes; in The Red Ettin, by a fairy not his godmother; in Puddocky, by an enchanted frog that takes pity on him; in Prince Ring, by an enchanted dog; in Fair Brow and The Bird 'Grip', by a dead man whom he had aided; in The Horse Gullfaxi and the Sword Gunnfoder, in an unusual reversal, by his stepmother. The Golden Bird is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about the troubled pursuit of a golden bird by a kings three sons. ... The Red Ettin or The Red Etin is a fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs. ... Puddocky is a German fairy tale. ... Prince Ring is an Icelandic fairy tale. ... Fair Brow is an Italian fairy tale collected by Thomas Frederick Crane in his Italian Popular Tales. ... The Bird Grip is a Swedish fairy tale. ... The Horse Gullfaxi and the Sword Gunnfoder is an Icelandic fairy tale from Islandische Märchen. ...


The hero may also meet up with several extraordinary men who will help him as in The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, How the Hermit helped to win the King's Daughter, Long, Broad and Sharpsight, and The King Of Lochlin's Three Daughters. Each one has an ability, such as seeing things miles off, hearing things miles off, an extraordinary shot, ability to drink a river, or others that allow them to fulfill the hero's tasks.[12] The Flying Ship or The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship is a Russian fairy tale. ... How the Hermit helped to win the Kings Daughter is an Italian fairy tale, collected by Laura Gonzenbach in Sicilianische Märchen. ... Long, Broad and Sharpsight or Long, Broad, and Quickeye is a Bohemian fairy tale, collected by Louis Léger in Contes Populaires Slaves. ... The King Of Lochlins Three Daughters is a Scottish fairy tale collected by John Francis Campbell in his Popular Tales of the West Highlands, listing his informant as Neill Gillies, a fisherman near Inverary. ...


Talking animals are often the hero's helpers, perhaps more than any other type.[13] The most common motivation of the animals is gratitude, after protection, receiving food, or (less commonly) settling a quarrel between several animals.[14] In another variation, featured in The Three Enchanted Princes and The Death of Koschei the Deathless, the hero's three sisters have been married to animals. These prove to be shape-shifted men, who aid their brother-in-law in a variant of tale types.[15] Because of its retelling by Perrault, Puss in Boots is among the best known animal helpers, although in other variants of the tale, the hero (or heroine) is helped sometimes by a fox and occasionally by other animals.[16] Horses, as in The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa, Făt-Frumos with the Golden Hair, The Magician's Horse, The Princess on the Glass Hill, and Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful, are popular in the oral tradition; several tale types normally feature a horse almost as important as the hero.[17] WPA poster by Kenneth Whitley, 1939 The talking animal or speaking animal term, in general, refers to any form of animal which can talk or conduct speech. ... The Three Enchanted Princes is an Italian literary fairy tale written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, The Pentamerone. ... The Death of Koschei the Deathless is a Russian fairy tale included by Andrew Lang in The Red Fairy Book. ... Gustave Dor s 19th century engraving of le chat bott Puss in Boots is a European folktale collected by Charles Perrault in his Contes de ma m re lOye (Mother Goose Tales), and earlier in 1634, by Giambattista Basile as Gagliuso. ... The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa is a Russian fairy tale collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... The Princess on the Glass Hill is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Chr. ... Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 126. ...


This magical helper is often long faithful to the hero; the hero may fail many times after the initial test, often by not respecting the helper's advice. Indeed, in The Golden Bird, the fox declares that the hero does not deserve his help after his disobedience, but still aids him.[18] The Golden Bird is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about the troubled pursuit of a golden bird by a kings three sons. ...


References

  1. ^ Katharine Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures, "Fairy godmother", p147. ISBN 0-394-73467-X
  2. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 39-43, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  3. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 44-45, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  4. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 80-81, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  5. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 81, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  6. ^ Maria Tatar, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, p 259 W. W. Norton & company, London, New York, 2004 ISBN 0-393-05848-4
  7. ^ Jack Zipes, The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World, p 115, ISBN 0-312-29380-1
  8. ^ Jane Yolen, p 23, Touch Magic ISBN 0-87483-591-7
  9. ^ Max Lüthi, Once Upon A Time: On the Nature of Fairy Tales, p 60, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, 1970
  10. ^ Maria Tatar, p 193, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, ISBN 0-393-05163-3
  11. ^ Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, p 191, ISBN 0-691-01298-9
  12. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 53-4, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angelos London, 1977
  13. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 55, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977
  14. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 56, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977
  15. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 55-6, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977
  16. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 58, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977
  17. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 59, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977
  18. ^ Maria Tatar, p 264, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, ISBN 0-393-05163-3

 
 

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