An Introduction to Folklore and Literature Studies

In which the purpose and uses of Folklore studies coincide and compliment Literature studies and vice versa.

     Because the genre of fairy tales, at their root, stem out from the larger field of Folklore Studies, and in their literary form, crosses into the vein of Literature Studies, it is necessary to contextualize the fields in broad strokes.
     Folklore studies concerns itself with the folktales/miscellania of specific cultures and communities. For this research, of Western European folklore, some of the biggest scholar names people recognize are Joseph Campbell, Alan Dundes, and Jack Zipes—all of whom very frequently focus on folkloristics within the literary field.
     It is because of the integration of folkloristics and literary studies, as practiced by some of the biggest scholars in the conjoined field, that implementing these analytical connections can be very beneficial to literature students. By connecting literatures read for class, whether it be Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, or Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, there is an undoubtedly enriching experience in connecting literatures with their folkloristic roots, not only for the historical connections that deepen readers’ understandings, but also for the value of connecting with the humanities and what has sculpted the human narrative for centuries.

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