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Article

The Thorns of Trauma: Torture, Aftermath, and Healing in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Literature

Department of History and Anthropology, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
Humanities 2021, 10(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/h10010047
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2021 / Accepted: 3 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Confronting the Real in Fairy Tales)
While classical fairy tales do not portray much depth of suffering, many contemporary fairy-tale retellings explore trauma and its aftermath in great detail. This article analyzes depictions of trauma in fairy tales, utilizing as a primary case study the “Beauty and the Beast” retelling A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, arguing that this text provides a scientifically accurate representation of trauma and its aftermath, thereby articulating the real in fairy tales. Further, this article classifies that work as not simply a “dark” fairy tale (a contentious term that invites rethinking) but rather as fairy-tale torture porn, in a nod to the horror genre that foregrounds torture, surveillance, and the disruption of bodily boundaries and safety. However, the text’s optimistic account of healing is uniquely relevant in a time of widespread trauma due to a global pandemic, thereby demonstrating that fairy tales remain germane in contemporary contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: fairy tales; trauma; darkness fairy tales; trauma; darkness
MDPI and ACS Style

Jorgensen, J. The Thorns of Trauma: Torture, Aftermath, and Healing in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Literature. Humanities 2021, 10, 47. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10010047

AMA Style

Jorgensen J. The Thorns of Trauma: Torture, Aftermath, and Healing in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Literature. Humanities. 2021; 10(1):47. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10010047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jorgensen, Jeana. 2021. "The Thorns of Trauma: Torture, Aftermath, and Healing in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Literature" Humanities 10, no. 1: 47. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10010047

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