What is a Fairytale? Definition, characteristics, structure, and elements

Definition of Fairy Tales – Fairy tales are imaginary stories or stories that do not really happen. In general, fairy tales are entertaining and contain educational value. This fairy tale itself is made up and retold repeatedly by people. The story was made because it was inspired by an event.

This fairy tale is also an inheritance from our ancestors which from generation to generation needs to be preserved. Although true or not a fairy tale needs to be questioned again. This fairy tale itself is a literary work that can build a child’s character to learn imagination.

In addition, fairy tales are an old literary form that tells about an extraordinary event that occurs beyond human reason with full of fantasy and fantasy or fiction. Fairy tales are considered by society as something that doesn’t really happen in the real world.

A. Definition of Fairy Tales Based on Experts

Here are some definitions based on experts that you need to know, including:

1. According to James Danandjaja

James Danandjaja, stated that a fairy tale is a folklore that is not considered to have really happened by the masters of the story. This fairy tale pyla is not bound by any place or time. Because fairy tales are told to entertain.

2. According to Poerwadar Minta

Based on Poerwadar Minta, stated that fairy tales are stories about strange ancient events or stories that did not really happen.

Fairy tales are told specifically to entertain, although many also describe the truth, contain lessons or morals and even satire. The storytelling of fairy tales contains implicit and explicit hopes, wishes, and good advice.

3.Charles Perrault

According to Charles Perrault, stated that a fairy tale is a short story about an imaginary adventure with supernatural and extraordinary situations and characters.

B. Characteristics of Fairy Tales

After you know about some of the meanings of fairy tales from experts, then you also need to know the characteristics of fairy tales.


These characteristics of fairy tales are used to distinguish whether the story presented is a fairy tale or not. Here are some of the characteristics of fairy tales that you need to know, including:

1. Spread orally

In ancient times, fairy tales were transmitted orally. Later, fairy tales became known after being spread by word of mouth through words and from generation to generation.

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2. Distributed With Long Enough Time

People will understand the meaning of fairy tales and their contents because they were spread for quite a long time, namely since the time of their ancestors. Because it was spread orally, this fairy tale also reached listeners for quite a long time.

3. There are various versions

Because the spread of fairy tales is done orally, it is not surprising that there are various versions of fairy tales that appear.

4. Anonymous

The author and creator of this fairy tale generally do not know who. But this fairy tale is always known and popular in society, especially in children.

5. Has a Pattern

The definition of fairy tales generally has characteristics that have patterned or formulaic forms, for example cliché words, standard opening words, and closing words.

6. Has a Function

The characteristics of the next story that has a function. This fairy tale itself has a function and use in collective and social life as an educational tool, solace, social protest, and projection of hidden desires.

7. Has a Pralogical or Logical Nature

The next characteristic of fairy tales is that they have their own prelogical and logical nature that are not in accordance with general logic or logic beyond human reason.

8. Belongs to the Commons

Because it is not known who was the first author or creator, people can feel they own it or in the sense that fairy tales become stories that belong together.

9. Has a Plain Nature

Fairy tales are generally innocent and innocent. So that it often looks harsh and too spontaneous when the delivery is deeper. It is understandable that this fairy tale itself is a projection of the most honest human emotions.

10. Characterizations that are not detailed

In fairy tales, they generally do not explain in detail about the nature and characterization of a character.

C. Fairy Tale Structure

After you have understood the meaning and characteristics, this fairy tale also has a standard structure in each writing. Please note that this fairy tale itself consists of three important parts, including:



1. Introduction

Introduction is the introductory part that is in a fairy tale. This section is generally made to briefly describe the contents of fairy tales.

2. Event Contents

The contents of events are the main and most important part in a fairy tale where the contents describe sequential events.

3. Cover

Closing is the final part contained in a fairy tale. In general, it contains a moral message and also a closing word.

D. Elements of Fairy Tales

In a fairy tale, of course there are several intrinsic elements that complement one another. The goal is that the readers understand what message it conveys and can feel the storyline that the fairy tale tells. Here are some elements that need to be in a fairy tale, including:

1. Theme

The theme is the main idea or idea that underlies a fairy tale. There are two types of themes in a story, including implied stories and explicit stories.

2. Background

Setting is a description of space, time, and also the atmosphere at the time an event occurs in a literary work.

3. Groove

The plot is a sequence of events in a fairy tale that are interrelated based on a causal relationship. Understanding plot will make it easier for readers to understand and understand an event in a story.

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4. Figures

Characters are the actors in a fairy tale who play various events in the story.

5. Characterization

Characterization is the author’s way of presenting several characters with characters in fairy tales, both the nature, character and physical condition of the characters.

6. Point of View

Point of view is the author’s way of placing himself in a fairy tale and from what point of view the author views the story.

7. Figure of speech

Figure of speech is a style of language used in fairy tales with the aim of giving a certain effect so that fairy tales become more alive.

8. Mandate

Mandate is a moral message that fairy tale writers want to convey to their readers.


E. How to Write Fairy Tales

Anyone can make a fairy tale with their own version. After you get to know about the definition, characteristics, structure, and elements, this time you can make a fairy tale. Some tips for writing fairy tales include:

1. Determining Characters

The first tip you can do when writing a fairy tale is to first determine who the characters are in the fairy tale.

2. Creating Conflict

Every fairy tale certainly has its own story conflict. Therefore, you need to create conflict in a fairy tale you want to make.

3. Determine the plot and setting of the story

After you determine the characters and conflicts in a fairy tale, a writer also needs to determine what will happen to the story characters who experience conflict and how these characters find solutions to solve problems, how problems are encountered, and finally achieve the expectations they want.

Also determine where the events of the story take place. You need to remember that fairy tales don’t have to be about events in the real world. Writers can create their own dreamland in the fairy tales they create.

4. Write a Story

After all the elements in the fairy tale have all been found. It’s time for you as a writer to be able to tell stories in a fairy tale based on sentence by sentence. If you want to make it more interesting, the writer can describe the storyline or make narration and dialogue so that it is not too boring. Don’t forget to choose an interesting point of view and everyone can accept the story.

5. Read a lot

Before writing fairy tales, a writer needs to read a lot about various fairy tales that have been created in order to get an inspiration to write.

6. Practice

Don’t forget to always practice so that the writing in fairy tales is systematic and easy for readers to understand and understand.

F. Types of Fairy Tales

Here are some types of fairy tales that you need to know, including:



1. Mites or Myths

Mites or myths are a type of fairy tale that describes things related to spirits, such as jinns, demons, and others. Examples of this myth or myth itself are Joko Tarub, Nyi Roro Kidul, and so on.

2. Sage

Sage is a type of fairy tale that tells the story of a certain historical character who has heroism, courage, supernatural powers, and kindness. Examples of sage are Airlangga, Calon Arang, Ciung Wanara, and so on.

3. Fables

Fable is a type of fairy tale that describes the life of animals where the animals can behave like humans. Examples of fables are mouse deer and crocodiles, ants and grasshoppers, and so on.

3. Legend

Legend is a type of fairy tale that some locals believe is true but is not considered sacred. Examples of legends are the Crying Stone, Lutung Kasarung, Lake Toba, and so on.

4. Parabel

Parabel is a type of fairy tale whose story contains educational value, whether it is moral or moral education, religion, and even education which is conveyed implicitly. An example of parables is Malin Kundang.

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