2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Perceptions of Reality: Imagination and Symbolism in Romantic Literary Fairy Tales
Annie J. Schaeffer
Dr. David Partenheimer, Faculty Mentor

Do we lead our entire lives only to discover that it has all been an illusion? This is a fundamental question of the Romanticism and especially one of its German founders, Tieck, whose literary fairy tales explore human failure to distinguish between reality and the supernatural. My research question is why and how did writers from the Romantic period to now use the literary form of the fairy tale to address the question of personal reality and the consequences of failing to do so. Moreover, I will examine whether there is a conventional literary code of symbols drawing from religious, mythic, and folkloric traditions that writers use to signal this existential question and to recreate its psychological impact in words. Underlying my research is the premise that literary imagination illuminates life experiences as much as any other discipline because literature synthesizes many disciplines in an expression accessible to everyone.

Keywords: Literary Fairy Tales, Romanticism, Imagination, Symbolism

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 404-3
Location: VH 1328
Time: 3:00

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