Мир людей и мир животных в английских сказках

Муниципальное бюджетное образовательное учреждение
«Шахунская гимназия имени А.С.Пушкина»
Исследовательская работа по теме
«Мир людей и мир животных
в английских сказках»
ученица 7 «А» класса
Барданова Виктория
Научный руководитель:
учитель английского языка
Держурина Е.Н.
г. Шахунья
2013 год
Introduction …................................................................................................. 2 – 4
The tale “Lazy Jack”………………………………………………………….. 5 – 6
The tale “Jack and his friends” ……………………………………………….. 7 – 8
The tale “Johnny-cake” ……………………………………………………... 9 – 11
The tale “Goldilocks and the three bears” …..................................................12 – 13
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………. 14
Literature ………………………………………………………………………... 15
Тема моей исследовательской работы – «Мир людей и мир животных
в английских сказках». Цель: на материале английских сказок выяснить,
какую роль в них играют персонажи – животные и люди и как
взаимоотношения таких разных героев раскрывают основную идею сказки.
Приступая к работе, я ставлю перед собой исследовательские вопросы:
1. Какие персонажи присутствуют в английских сказках?
2. Каково их соотношение?
3. Как «уживаются» персонажи из мира животных и мира людей? Как
взаимодействуют в сказочной ситуации? В каких сказочных событиях
4. Зачем в сказке нужны герои – животные в мире людей и люди,
попадающие в мир животных? Какую миссию они выполняют?
Из поставленных вопросов вытекают задачи моего исследования:
1. Прочитать английские сказки и выбрать тексты для исследования.
2. Проанализировать английские сказки, ответив на исследовательские
3. Определить, какие черты характера ассоциируются с персонажами
сказок – представителями животного мира и мира людей.
4. Объяснить, с какой целью в сказке появляется человек в мире
животных и зверь в мире людей, и что символизируют созданные
Я выдвигаю гипотезу:
Герои сказок (животные и люди) тесно взаимодействуют в сказочных
ситуациях. Каждый персонаж имеет своё предназначение в сказочном
сюжете и играет важную роль в понимании идеи сказки. Персонажи-люди и
герои-представители животного мира, «встречаясь» друг с другом на
страницах произведения, помогают понять мораль сказки и дают читателям
уроки жизни.
“Granny, told me a fairy tale, please.” How often we say these words when
we are little children! Grandmother sits down on the chair and begins a story. We
listen to and imagine the world of fairy tales, the mysterious images of heroes and
wonderful palaces, deep magical forests, small picturesque villages and farms,
meadows and gardens. I love reading tales where the heroes are both humans and
animals. It’s very important that all of them have “equal rights”. These tales don’t
tell readers about animals’ life, they are about people’s qualities and relationships.
Although animals have all specific natural features, they act like humans and their
actions can’t be called “true-to-nature”.
Once as I was reading I asked myself some questions:
1. Why are there people and animals in fairy tales?
2. Do animals help humans or make their lives harder?
3. What are the relations between people and animals in English fairy tales?
4. Can animals be replaced by ordinary people? If not, what do these
animals symbolize?
I decided to do a research to answer these questions in details. And the theme
of my research work is “The world of people and the world of animals in English
and Russian fairy tales”. Why do I find my research actual? I can explain it
using the following arguments:
1. I have always been interested in reading tales. My mother, a teacher of
Russian Literature, started a family tradition: reading aloud and exchanging
opinions about a book read. Besides, I’ve got a baby sister and I want to
understand everything about tales in order to explain to her later how people
and animals interact in fairy tales.
2. I have been learning the English language for 6 years and I think I will be
able to read and analyze a lot of fairy tales in English. It will enrich my
research work and it will allow me to compare Russian and English tales.
3. “Tale is a lie, but it has a hint, to teach a lesson to a young fellow” («Сказка
ложь, да в ней намёк, добру молодцу урок»). When we read tales, we
always try to make conclusions and be wiser. In other words, we read a tale
and learn how to deal with troubles, how to treat people and live in the real
So, the aim of my research work is to find out how animals and people
interact in English fairy tales. I would like to find out why characters from two
different worlds (animals and people) meet in some tales.
The term “tale” has come to mean almost any of children’s stories with
fantastic circumstances. I have found the meaning of the word “tale” in some
dictionaries. I have tried to make up my own definition of this word: “A tale is a
story or description of imaginary events which are not real and perhaps not
completely true”. Tales are connected with ancient legends and folklore and
contain moral messages. Classic tales often contain talking animals who serve as
guides to the characters. Sometimes, animals are the main heroes who
communicate with other animals or people to make a greater point. Many times,
animals serve as the voice of reason: they either caution the hero against bad
actions or give them valuable advice to help the hero overcome a given obstacle.
I have read a lot of tales before I have chosen four of them for my research.
They are: “Goldilocks and the three bears”, “Jack and his friends”, “Lazy Jack”,
“Johnny - cake”.
I have analyzed the tale “Lazy Jack”. The number of people in the tale “Lazy
Jack” is bigger than the number of animals. The world of people includes the main
character Lazy Jack, his mother, a beautiful girl and the girl’s father. The animal
world consists of two animals: a cat and a donkey.
The plot of the tale is very realistic. The boy whose name was Jack lived with
his mother. They were very poor and the old woman made her living by spinning.
But Jack was so lazy that he did nothing but lie in the sun in the hot weather in
summer, and sit by the fire-place in winter. His mother couldn’t make him work.
One day she said to Jack that if he didn’t begin to work, she would turn him out of
the house. Mother’s words made the son start doing something. The next day he
hired himself for a day to a neighboring farmer. He earned a penny but when he
was going back home in the evening, the penny was lost. Jack worked the whole
week from Tuesday till Sunday. He was given different rewards (a jar of milk,
large soft cheese, a large cat, a shoulder of mutton). Unfortunately, all these things
were lost on the way home. On Monday Lazy Jack hired himself to a cattle keeper
who gave him a donkey for his work. Jack put the donkey on his shoulders and
began to walk home.
The donkey symbolizes hard work and Jack’s efforts to earn his living and
help Mother. Jack worked the whole week, on the seventh day he got the biggest
“salary” and put the heaviest burden on his shoulders. It was certainly the most
difficult task for Lazy Jack and the main character was rewarded with love and
happiness. The tale tells us that if someone starts working, his life changes for the
better. This miracle happened when Jack passed the house of a rich man. This man
had an only daughter, who was a beautiful girl, but she was deaf and dump. She
had never laughed in her life, and the doctors said that she would never speak till
somebody made her laugh. It happened that this young lady was looking out of the
window when Jack was passing by with the donkey on his shoulders. The sight
was so funny and strange that she burst out laughing and people found that she
could hear and speak. The girl’s father was so happy that he married his daughter
to Jack, and Jack became a rich gentleman. They lived happily in a large house,
and Jack’s mother lived with them in great happiness until she died.
What does it symbolize?
Hard work
A heavy burden
A wish to reach the target
В этом произведении образ осла ассоциируется с «тяжёлой ношей»,
которая олицетворяет большой человеческий труд, серьёзность намерений
человека, который хочет исправиться и побороть свою лень.
благодаря тому, что главный герой начал трудиться, судьба подарила ему и
счастье, и богатство. Так образ животного напоминает нам, что в жизни не
нужно бояться взвалить на себя какую-то работу, «непосильную ношу» и
каждый раз, когда мы выполняем тяжёлый труд, мы получаем награду за
своё трудолюбие.
I have analyzed the tale “Jack and his friends”. The number of animals in the
tale “Jack and his friends” is bigger than the number of people. The world of
animals includes the cat, the dog, the cow, the goat, the cock. The people world
consists of the main character Jack and robbers.
The plot of the tale is very realistic. The
main character Jack set out to seek his fortune.
On the way he met different animals. First, he
saw the cat, then the dog, the cow, the goat and
finally, the cock. And Jack took them with him
every time. Jack and his friends walked until it
got dark, but they couldn't find a place to spend
the night. The friends walked to the house. Jack
looked out of the window and saw the robbers.
Jack and his friends decided to teach them a
lesson. So in a minute, after Jack’s order the cat
mewed, the dog barked, the cow mooed, the
goat bleated, and the cock crowed. And the friends all together made such a
dreadful noise that it frightened the robbers and they all ran away. Then Jack and
his friends went inside the house to have a good sleep. But the robbers decided to
return to their place. So they told one man to go back and see if everything was all
right. He went on tiptoe to the house, as quietly as he could. But soon he ran back,
all out of breath and very frightened. He thought that an old woman had stuck her
knitting-needles into him (that was the cat), an old man who was sitting under the
table had stuck his pincers into him (that was the dog), an old woman with a
sweeping-brush had knocked him right down again (that was the goat), a man
chopping wood had hit him on the head with his axe (that was the cow), a dreadful
little old man up there had shouted loudly at him (that was the cock). And the
robbers never went there again. Jack and his friends stayed in the house as long as
they liked.
In the fairy tale “Jack and his friends” some animals are helping Jack. I could
compare these domestic animals with relatives or people whom we meet and don’t
notice at first. Later, they help us when we face troubles: they give us good advice,
protect our house and even save our life. So, the animals in the tale “Jack and his
friends” symbolize true and loyal companions whom a human can always ask for
What do they symbolize?
В этой сказке, как и в жизни у людей, есть такие товарищи, от которых
мы не ждём помощи, но в трудную минуту они могут нас поддержать.
Незаметные на первый взгляд домашние животные, которые всегда рядом с
человеком, в трудную минуту проявляют свои лучшие качества: заботу, силу,
смекалку, находчивость и спасают Джека от лихих людей. Сказка учит нас
внимательнее относиться к близким людям, которых мы часто не замечаем,
но которые первыми приходят на помощь в беде.
I have also analyzed the tale “Johnny-cake”. The characters of the tale
“Johnny-cake” can be divided into two groups: people and animals. The world of
humans is presented by the members of the family: an old man, an old woman and
a little boy – their son. Besides, later on we meet some people who try to catch
Johnny-cake – well-diggers and ditch-diggers. The animal world includes the
bear, the wolf and the fox. The plot is very similar to the Russian folk tale
Once the old woman made a Johnny-cake. While the parents were working in
the garden, their son, a little boy, was told to look after the Johnny-cake. The boy
didn’t watch it all the time. Suddenly, the Johnny-cake jumped out of the oven and
rolled towards the open door of the house. All the family ran after Johnny-cake as
fast as they could, but he outran all of them and soon was out of sight. Then,
Johnny-cake met some people and some animals that started the chase to catch
First, the main character met people who were working with picks and spades.
They threw down their tools and ran after Johnny-cake, but couldn’t catch him.
The well-diggers and the ditch-diggers gave up their chase as Johnny-cake had
outrun them all. What do these people symbolize in the English tale? – wicked
creatures, threat, dangerous situations. The fact these people use sharp tools,
strengthens the danger. Such words as “picks”, “spades”, “throw down”, “chase”
create the atmosphere of menace.
Then, Johnny-cake met some animals which weren’t very friendly either. The
animals’ behaviour was frightening. It is shown with the help of their voices: the
Bear was speaking with his gruff voice (“gruff” means rough and unfriendly); the
Wolf was talking to Johnny-cake in his horrible angry voice. Neither the bear nor
the Wolf could catch Johnny-cake.
The Fox’s appearance was not frightening at all. The fox lay quietly in a
corner by a fence. The Fox called Johnny-cake in a sharp (= clear) voice. At the
end of the tale, the Fox’s behaviour was a striking contrast with its appearance and
manner. The Fox cried and snapped up Johnny-cake in his sharp teeth in the
twinkling of an eye. The words “snap up”, “sharp teeth”, the idiom “in the
twinkling of an eye” show how rapidly this animal changed from good to evil.
So, people from the family in the tale “Johnny-cake” represent a quiet secure life.
The idea is when someone leaves home and breaks off family relationships; he
becomes a victim of enemies and always gets into troubles. The fact that the main
character was brave, confident and quick didn’t help him survive. The little boy is
too small to look after somebody, but I think he symbolizes a careless person. Not
all people in the tale are kind and hearty. There are some of them who can cause
troubles to Johnny-cake. I mean the well-diggers and the ditch-diggers.
The animals personify menace and evil (the Bear and the Wolf) and slyness
and hypocrisy (the Fox). If we compare the animals in English and Russian folk
tales, the English beasts are more cruel; all of them chase and try to catch Johnnycake. The Fox from the Russian tale “Kolobok” seems more cunning and
resourceful than aggressive.
Animals and people
What do they symbolize?
Hidden Evil
I have analyzed the tale “Goldilocks and the three bears”. The number of
animals in the tale “Goldilocks and the three bears” is bigger than the number of
people. The world of animals includes Father Bear, Mother Bear and Baby Bear.
The humans’ world consists of one person – it is Goldilocks.
The plot of the tale is fantastic. The girl whose name was Goldilocks went for
a walk in the same wood and soon she came to the house where the three bears
lived. She knocked at the door and as there was no answer, opened the door and
came into the house. The first thing she saw was the bears' three chairs. She
climbed into Father Bear's great big chair, but it did not fit. Then she tried Mother
Bear's middle-sized chair and it did not fit either. Then she sat down in Baby Bear's
little chair and it fitted. But Goldilocks was too heavy for the little chair and she
broke the bottom out of it. Then Goldilocks smelt porridge and she saw the three
bowls of porridge on the table. She was very hungry as she had not had any
breakfast. First she tried the porridge in Father Bear's great big bowl. But it was
too hot. Next she tried the porridge in Mother Bear's middle-sized bowl. But that
was too cold. Then she tried the porridge in Baby Bear's little bowl. It wasn't too
hot and it wasn't too cold. It was just right. And Goldilocks ate up all the porridge
in Baby Bear's little bowl. Then Goldilocks decided to go upstairs to see what was
there. She saw three beds; Father Bear's great big bed, and Mother Bear's middlesized bed, and Baby Bear's little bed. They were all neat and tidy. First, she lay on
the great big bed but it did not fit. Then she lay on the middle-sized bed and it did
not fit either. Then she lay on the little bed and it fitted. Goldilocks was so
comfortable that she soon fell fast asleep on Baby Bear's pillow. After a while, the
three bears came back from their walk. They thought their porridge would now be
cool enough to eat. As soon as they entered the house, Father Bear, Mother Bear,
Baby Bear were outraged, why their chairs, spoons and blankets were not in the
right places. When Father Bear was looking at the girl and speaking, his great
voice sounded deep like a thunder, but Goldilocks did not wake up. When Mother
Bear was speaking in her middle-sized voice, Goldilocks did not wake up either.
Baby Bear was the first who found Goldilocks. When Baby Bear cried in his shrill
baby voice, Goldilocks woke up and sat up in bed. I think that Goldilocks heard
Baby Bear, because his voice was like her own sweet pleasant voice.
In both Russian and English tales the girl attempted to try to live in the bears’
house. She had never been among wild animals before. The Three Bears’ house
can be compared to an unknown place or dangerous situation. When we visit an
unknown place, we should be polite and good-mannered, we mustn’t disturb other
people . The moral of the tale is that life often prepares a lot of troubles, it is full of
dangers and difficulties. We should be very careful to avoid dangerous events.
Bears are angry, but not cruel in the tale. These strong animals symbolize a hidden
threat. A Baby Bear personifies somebody who can become a supporter or adviser
in a new place.
What does it symbolize?
Hidden Evil
While doing my research I proved that the hypothesis was true. The heroes of
English tales (animals and people) interact in imaginary situations. Each character
plays a special role and contributes to our understanding of the main idea of the
tale. When animals and humans meet on the pages of tales, they help readers see
the moral and teach us a good lesson.
Why do animals and people, the representatives of two different worlds meet
in tales? Animals become the main characters to make a greater point on human
qualities, for example, a fox – a cunning person, a wolf – a violent person, a bear –
a strong person who can be dangerous under some circumstances. A cat, a dog, a
cow, a cock – domestic animals which symbolize loyal friends or companions who
are always beside you; it’s a pity we don’t notice them most of the time, but we
should know that they are ready to support us and be active helpers if it’s necessary
(like in the tale “Jack and his friends”).
It’s easier to show danger or threat with the help of animals. It’s much more
difficult to create the atmosphere of coming danger with the help of people. In
order to make people dangerous and aggressive, they are given tools such as
spades or picks which can become weapons in some circumstances (like in the tale
“Johnny - cake”).
So, animals “live” in tales to symbolize a danger (or a threat), help (or
support), guidance to a better life or a reward.
In most tales people and animals interact with each other: animals lead people
to fortune and happiness. They make people overcome obstacles and develop
better qualities (like in the tale “Lazy Jack”).
To sum up, animals highlight the main human qualities, they make people act
and take decisions. Animals acting near people express two main ideas:
1) friendship and companionship;
the achievement of goals (in Russian tales the characters want to
win, they need a victory, in English tales the heroes expect success,
they don’t want to win, but would like to avoid failure).
1. Oxford Wordpower Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2006
2. Dictionary of English Language and Culture, Longman, 1998
3. Dictionary of Contemporary English, Longman, 2001
4. Верхогляд В. А. Английские народные сказки: Кн. для чтения в VI кл. шк.
с преподаванием ряда предметов на англ. яз./Сост. В. А. Верхогляд.— М.:
Просвещение, 1986
5. www.nota.triwe.net
6. www.hobbitaniya.ru
7. www.ru.wikipedia.org
8. www.ru-skazki.ru