EUROPEAN AND AFRICAN TOM THUMBS
AVRUPALI VE AFRİKALI PARMAK ÇOCUKLAR

Author : Mustafa SOLMAZ
Number of pages : 52-66

Abstract

Since every society sees its children as the future of the country, it uses fairy tales to convey its traditional values to the children. Although fairy tales are narratives aiming to prepare children for the future; that the ways of living are different can change the way they approach events, and the phraseology, even in the same type of fairy tales. Although some of the things told in the tale seem like imaginary products that are incompatible with reason and logic, they support the child's adaptation to the society and contribute to learning and applying the behaviors that are seen as right or wrong in terms of society. This is because the environment and lifestyle have a great influence on the formation of cultures. Therefore, it is natural for the contents of fairy tales that reflect social values to be different along with their similarities. Even though there are beings like fairies, giants, dwarfs in fairy tales, there are not many examples of Tom Thumb as a fairy tale hero. Those in western literature such as French and German are generally similar in content because they are fed from similar cultures. Niger society, which has been under western exploitation for centuries like other peoples of Africa, has succeeded to protect its own personality to a certain extent although it was influenced by western customs and habits in many areas from its language to daily life, and with the Izé-Gani tale, Niger culture has shown that it is quite different from those who exploited them. In this study, we will compare the similar and unlike aspects between Grimm brothers' Thumbling tale from German literature and Izé-Gani which is the Tom Thumb tale of Boubou Hama from Niger literature. Thus, how different life styles affect even fairy tales of the same type will be shown with an example from African literature, which has not been studied much in our literature, and a contribution from a different literature will be presented to the field of comparative literature.

Keywords

Keywords: Tom Thumb, culture, social values, difference, similarity

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