The 10 Characteristics of the Most Important Fables

Some Characteristics of fables Most important are their pedagogical purpose, their animated characters and their simple structure.

In literature, the fable is a narrative genre of brief fiction whose message seeks to teach a moral truth at the end of the story. It is one of the forms of folk literature most used throughout history, whose survival is believed to be much less by written or printed anthologies than by oral transmission.

One of the characteristics of fables is that they are usually carried out by animals.

Its composition is, in the great majority, in the form of prose. Although less commonly, they can also be presented in metric language as a poetic composition. Given its brief and simple nature, fables in verse form maintain a certain narrative structure.

The first recognized use of the term"fable"dates back to the Anglo-French world of the fourteenth century. This word is derived from Latin fibula Which means history, story Or story and comes from the word Fari Which means to speak.

It was probably used by medieval troubadours, musicians, bards and poets to orally transmit their stories to the people

In the Western world, speaking of fable is definitely to conjure the name of Aesop . Many collections of moral narratives are now known under the title"Fables of Aesop"that have been circulating since antiquity.

Whether it existed or not, this character left a great impression on the classic literary history that has come down to modernity.

Their histories have been giving teachings and advice of life for generations, universalizing structures of behavior and moral values While at the same time entertaining people.

You may be interested These fables for children with moral .

Fundamental characteristics of fables

1 - The characters are usually animals

This is probably the most distinctive property of fables. The characters are almost always humanized animals or at most anthropomorphic, that is, they speak as humans and behave like humans.

This symbolism with man in the society Corresponds in some measure to the type of natural behavior of the animal in its habitat or to its role in it.

Within the Aesop universe, several animals are consistent in representing a particular aspect of human behavior: the fox is clever, opportunistic and cheating, the lion is powerful and proud, the wolf is treacherous and spiteful, the dog is innocent and trusting, The hare is presumed, the turtle is persistent, the porcupine is noble...

Fables can also be found whose protagonists are plants, elements of nature or some other type of object. The absence of human characters in fables is not exactly exclusive.

Although it is not stylized and is not common, there are exceptions. In the same way they are never main characters or determinants for the purpose of the genre.

2- Narrator

Fables usually have a non-participant observer narrator in the third person, who tells what happens to the characters in a place and time indeterminate. Like popular tales, fables tend to be timeless.

3- Very simple structure

Every fable begins with the presentation of a situation or problem where one or more protagonists are involved. In development, conflict resolution can sometimes be irrelevant or irresolute, since the message in the closure clearly depends on the situation itself.

A more complex structure would divert the attention of the moral message towards the development and conclusion of the story arc of the story.

4- Length

Fables are often very short stories that simply synthesize the argument of a human problem.

The idea has always been to present the characters in a given situation to provide the message in the most concrete way possible. A long narrative might distract the reader's attention on the main purpose of the story.

5- Human themes

For the most part, fables treat human defects and vices in the interaction of the characters; Illustrating the consequences of such behavior.

6- Aimed at all audiences

For length, simplicity and simplicity, the fable is focused so that even the little ones can learn the lesson, but the messages are perfectly applicable to any audience.

With deeper analysis, you can get more of an apprenticeship of the same story.

7- Literary resources

They can have funny, familiar and humorous tones, using mostly satire to criticize behaviors and behaviors. They resort to the humanization and personification of nonhuman elements.

8- Pedagogical purpose

Behind this type of story is always intended to offer a lesson or teaching, through criticism of certain behaviors or attitudes that are considered bad.

Although it is recognized that the scale of what is good or bad may vary depending on the culture of the collective and the time, a fable usually deals with more universal aspects of human behavior in society.

This has allowed him to convey effectively"correct"behavior conventions, in contrast to"wrong"and its consequences.

9- Respond to a socio-cultural need

Expanding the idea of ​​the previous point, the fable helps to maintain a structure of values ​​in a certain collective, transmitting the conventions of expected behavior in society through its narrative and message.

In this way, it attends to the need of the moment-especially in children-to teach how behavior should be, as well as the need for that same moral structure to endure over time.

10- The moral

Like any literary text, it seeks to leave a message in the audience. In the case of fables, this message is almost always explicit and presented at the end of the story in a small sentence outside the narrative, although it may not appear at all.

If that were the case, the moral of a fable is quite obvious and universal. The moral is the life and behavioral lesson offered by history.

By leaving the message clear, the author avoids any other interpretation of the lesson he wants to give. Whoever reads the fable will receive the same message.


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