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January 17, 2021

Fairy Tales and the Real World

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 8:38 am

Yesterday, in order to fill our Covid-19 restricted day, we watched two movies: a 1938 movie called Pygmalion, and a 1960s musical called My Fair Lady. Both of these movies tell the story of Eliza Doolittle, a lower-class flower girl in London who is tutored by a language professor named Higgins and successfully becomes a member of high-class society by changing her manner of speaking. The part of these movies that struck me this time was how unrepentant and unchanging professor Henry Higgins is in his attitude of superiority and contempt. This morning, I have been reflecting on another old movie I saw some time ago called Maid to Order. This movie is a reverse Cinderella story where the Fairy Godmother changes the young heroin from a spoiled rich kid into a homeless orphan who has to take a job as a maid to survive. In Maid to Order, the young woman transforms from treating all around her with contempt, to realizing that the servant class of people are also good and valuable human beings. Fairy tales like Cinderella, The Prince and the Pauper and The Bear Coat all teach the real-world lesson that the ordinary people we meet and treat each day may turn our to be royalty in disguise: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40. The message these stories contain about the human potential for change is icing on the cake.

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