Dragons Can Be Beaten

“Fairy­tales don’t tell chil­dren that drag­ons exist. Chil­dren already know that drag­ons exist. Fairy­tales tell chil­dren that drag­ons can be killed.”
— Para­phrased of G. K. Chesterton.
“Fairy tales, then, are not respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing in chil­dren fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the pos­si­ble defeat of bogey. The baby has known the drag­on inti­mate­ly ever since he had an imag­i­na­tion. What the fairy tale pro­vides for him is a St. George to kill the drag­on. Exact­ly what the fairy tale does is this: it accus­toms him for a series of clear pic­tures to the idea that these lim­it­less ter­rors had a lim­it, that these shape­less ene­mies have ene­mies in the knights of God, that there is some­thing in the uni­verse more mys­ti­cal than dark­ness, and stronger than strong fear.”
— G. K. Chester­ton, Tremen­dous Tri­fles (1909), XVII: “The Red Angel”

Quote dis­cov­ered in lis­ten­ing to an inter­view with artist, author, and musi­cian Andrew Peter­son.

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