Slaying the Dragon of Fear

Slaying the Dragon of Fear

I adore stories. I especially love the good versus evil ones where it seems all is lost until the forces of good triumph in the end. Stories like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Lord of the Rings are great examples of some of my favorites. These also happen to be the types of stories that speak to children. In fact, they may impact them in a much more important way than just enjoying a good tale. The following is a quote by the incredible author G.K. Chesterton about fear and stories.

“Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.”

I simply could not agree more with Mr. Chesterton on this.  Stories do not open our children’s eyes to fear and evil, those they already know too well simply by living in this fallen world. What stories can do for them is to show them that evil can be beaten back, that the darkness of fear can be exposed by the light and thus their imaginations can be set free. They can know in their soul that the victory can be won and the dragon will be slain.

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