Gender discourse in modern English and Russian belles-letters

Theories of discourse as theories of gender: discourse analysis in language and gender studies. Belles-letters style as one of the functional styles of literary standard of the English language. Gender discourse in the tales of the three languages.

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1.2 Belles-letters style as one of the functional styles of literary standard of the English language

According to J. Mistrk stylistics can be defined as the study of choice and the types of use of linguistic, extra-linguistic and aesthetic mean, as well as particular techniques used in communication. Considering the generally accepted differentiation between linguistic and literary stylistics, J. Mistrk suggests that we carefully distinguish between the language style, belles-lettres and literary style (ibid., p. 30):

The language style is a way of speech and/or a kind of utterance which is formed by means of conscious and intentional selection, systematic patterning and implementation of linguistic and extra-linguistic means with respect to the topic, situation, function, author's intention and content of an utterance.

The Belles-Letters style (artistic, aesthetic, in Slovak umeleck tl) is one of the language styles which fulfils, in addition to its general informative function, a specific aesthetic function.

The Literary Style is the style of literary works implemented in all components of a literary work, i.e. on the level of language, ideas, plot, etc. All these components are subordinated to aesthetic norms. (Thus Literary style is an extra-linguistic category while the language and belles-letters styles are language categories.) We can recognize the style of a literary school, group or generation and also an individual style of an author (i.e. idiolect). This means that on the one hand we can name the so called individual styles and on the other the inter-individual (functional) styles.

The object of lingo-stylistics is the study of the nature, functions and structures of stylistic devices and expressive means on the n hand, and the study of the functional styles, on the other. functional style of language is system of interrelated language means which serves definite aim in communication. functional style is thus to be regarded as the product of certain concrete task set by the sender of the message. Functional styles appear mainly in the literary standard of language.

The literary standard of the English language, like that of any other developed language, is not as homogeneous as it m seem. In fact the Standard English literary language in the course of its development has fallen into several subsystems each of which has acquired its own peculiarities which typical of the given functional style. The peculiar choice of language means is primarily predetermined b the aim of the communication. n set of language media stands in opposition to other sets of language media with other aims, and these other sets have other choices and arrangements of language means.

What we here call functional styles also called registers r discourses.

In the English literary standard we distinguish the following major functional styles:

1) The language of belles-Letters.

2) The language of publicist literature.

3) The language of newspapers.

4) The language of scientific prose.

5) The language of official documents.

Each functional style m b characterized b number of distinctive features. Each functional style is subdivided into number of sub styles. These represent varieties of the abstract invariant. Each variety has basic features common to all the varieties of the given functional style and peculiar features typical of this variety alone.

The belles-lettres functional style has the following sub styles:

) the language style of poetry;

b) the language style of emotive prose;

) the language style of drama.

The publicist functional style comprises the following sub styles:

) the language style of oratory;

b) the language style of essays;

) the language style of feature articles in newspapers and journals.

The newspaper functional style falls into

) the language style of brief news items and communiqus;

b) the language style of newspaper headings;

) the language style of notices and advertisements.

The scientific prose functional style also has three divisions:

) the language style of humanitarian sciences;

) the language style of exact sciences;

) the language style of popular scientific prose.

The official document functional style can be divided into four varieties:

) the language style of diplomatic documents;

) the language style of business documents;

) the language style of legal documents;

d) the language style of military documents.

The classification presented here is by no means arbitrary. This classification is not proof against criticism. Other schemes may possibly be elaborated and highlighted by different approaches to the problem of functional styles. Thus, for example, some linguists consider that newspaper articles (including feature articles) should be classed under the functional style of newspaper language, not under the language of publicist literature. Others insist on including the language of everyday-life discourse into the system of functional styles.

Prof. Budagov singles out only two main functional styles: the language of science and that of emotive literature. [36, 79]

When analysing concrete texts, we discover that the boundaries between functional styles sometimes becme less and less discernible. Thus, for instance, the signs of difference are sometimes almost imperceptible, between poetry and emotive prose; between newspaper functional style and publicist functional style; between popular scientific article and scientific treatise; between an essay and scientific article.

The language style of poetry emotive prose drama

Of all the functional styles of language, the most difficult to define is the belles-lettres style. Franz Kafka defines this style as organized violence done on ordinary speech.

Literary works create their own world. Each is a unique entity. Just as a painter uses paint to create a new image, a writer uses words to create a text. An important thing to recognize about literary works is just how carefully and consciously they are crafted. Words are the raw material of literature and literary writers stretch them to their limits. [37, 94]

D. Crystal said that the literary language is the art in making the unnatural appear natural. For example, a playwright or novelist may write a dialogue which is naturalistic - i. e. it employs colloquialism, dialect words and so on - but this dialogue is very different from spontaneous speech. It will contain no non-fluency features; it will probably be less repetitious and more dramatic than ordinary speech. [38, 183]

Other forms of literature make no attempt to appear natural - in fact they deliberately surprise the readers expectations. They might use familiar words in unfamiliar ways as e. e. cummings does, or they might coin new words as Gerald Hopkins does. Perhaps we expect poets to use deviant language, but prose writers like James Joyce do it too. The belles-lettres style is a generic term for three sub styles in which the main principles and the most general properties of the style are materialized.

These three sub styles are:

the language of poetry

emotive prose

the language of the drama

Each of these sub styles has certain common features. First of all the common function comes which may be called aesthetical-cognitive. This is a double function which aims at the cognitive process and, at the same time, calls for a feeling of pleasure. This pleasure is caused not only by admiration of the selected language means and their peculiar arrangement but also by the fact that the reader is led to form his own conclusions. So the purpose of the belles-lettres style is to suggest a possible interpretation of the phenomena of life by forcing the reader to see the view point of the writer. Nothing gives more pleasure and satisfaction than realizing that one has the ability to penetrate into the hidden tissue of events, phenomena and human activity and to perceive the relation between various seemingly unconnected facts brought together by the creative mind of the writer.

From all this it follows, that the belles-lettres style must select a system of language means which will secure the effect sought. The belles-lettres style rests on certain indispensable linguistic features which are:

genuine, not trite, imagery, achieved by purely linguistic device

the use of words in contextual and very often in more that one dictionary meaning

a vocabulary which will reflect to a greater or lesser degree the authors personal evaluation of things or phenomena

a peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax, a kind of lexical and syntactical idiosyncrasy

introduction of the typical features of colloquial language.

The belles-lettres style is individual in essence. Individuality in selecting language means and stylistic devices is one of its most distinctive properties.

So, the first sub style we shall consider is verse. Its first differentiating property is its orderly form, which is based mainly on the rhythmic and phonetic arrangement of the utterances. The rhythmic aspect calls for syntactical and semantic peculiarities which also fall into a more or less strict orderly arrangement.

Both syntax and semantics comply with the restrictions imposed by the rhythmic pattern, and the result is brevity of expression, epigram-like utterances, and fresh unexpected imagery. Syntactically this brevity is shown in elliptical and fragmentary sentences, in detached constructions, in inversion, asyndeton and other syntactical peculiarities.

The second is the sub style of emotive prose has the same common features as have been pointed out for the belles-lettres style in general, but all these features are correlated differently in emotive prose. The imagery is no as rich as it is in poetry, the percentage of words with contextual meaning is not as high as in poetry, and the idiosyncrasy of the author is not so clearly discernible.

Apart form meter and rhyme, what most of all distinguishes emotive prose form the poetic style is the combination of the literary variant of the language, both in words and syntax, with the colloquial variant. It would perhaps be more exact to define this as a combination of the spoken and written varieties of the language, inasmuch as there are always two forms of communication present - monologue (the writer's speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters).

It follows then that the colloquial language in the belles-lettres style is not a pure and simple reproduction of what might be the natural speech of living people. It has undergone changes introduced by the writer. The colloquial speech has been made literature-like. This means that only the most striking elements of what might have been a conversation in life are made use of, and even these gave undergone some kind of transformation. Emotive prose allows the use of elements from other styles as well. Thus we find elements of the newspaper style in Sinclair Lewiss It Cant Happen Here, the official style in the business letters exchanged between two characters in Galsworthys novel The Man of Property, the style of scientific prose in Cronins Citadel where medical language is used.

But all these styles under the influence of emotive prose undergo a kind of transformation. Passages written in other styles may be viewed only as interpolation and not as constituents of the style. Present day emotive prose is to a large extent characterized by the breaking-up of traditional syntactical designs of the preceding periods. Not only detached construction, but also fragmentation of syntactical models, peculiar, unexpected ways of combining sentences, especially the gap-sentence link and other modern syntactical patterns, are freely introduced into present-day emotive prose. [39, 387]

The third is the language of the drama. The stylization of colloquial language is one of the features of plays which at different stages in the history of English drama has manifested itself in different ways revealing, on the one hand, the general trends of the literary language and, on the other, the personal idiosyncrasies of the writer. Thus the language of plays is a stylized type of the spoken variety of language. The analysis of the language texture of plays has shown that the most characteristic feature here is to use the term of the theory of information, redundancy of information caused by the necessity to amplify the utterance. This is done for the sake of the audience.

The language of plays is entirely dialogue. The authors speech is almost entirely excluded except for the playwrights remark and stage directions. The language of the characters is in no way the exact reproduction of the norms of colloquial language, although the playwright seeks to reproduce actual conversation as far as the norms of the written language will allow. This variety of belles-lettres style has used the norms of the literary language of the given period. So 16th century drama is much different from 20th century drama. [40, 200]

So, resuming the theory on belles-lettres, let us put the question right here:

What is belles-lettres?

Well the answer is definitely to be:

Literature written for its own sake, not purely informative or factual. Works of the imagination. If the work is not meant chiefly to inform, but rather to please the aesthetic sense, it's probably belles-lettres. It's synonym is literary works.

What forms does it take? Chiefly three: fiction (novels and short stories), poetry, and drama. Occasionally prose essays of a very speculative or general nature can be considered belles-lettres.

We also refer tales to the three mentioned forms of belles-letters and the reasons are that tales are:

short stories - within each tale there is, though fairy or mystic or magic, a story with all its characteristics (we are not to specify `story' characteristics in our paper as it is not the essence of our paper);

any tale can contain piece of poetry (there are plenty of tales we know with verses, poems);

a tale can be dramatic by content too.

At least nowadays all the tales are finally recorded, digitized and available in any form a reader wishes.

These arguments are the main pushers for us to proceed our research with the analyses of the tales in the forthcoming part of the paper.

2. Gender discourse in the tales of the three languages

2.1 A short excursus into tales

english language gender discourse

The question of gender in literary texts has been approached by linguists in two different ways. The first involves a comparison of the fiction created by male and female authors and is typified by the search for the female sentence or a specifically female style of writing. The second involves a study of the uses to which the linguistic gender system of different languages has been put in literary works. In the former, gender is seen as a cultural property of the author, in the latter, a morphological property of the text. A third perspective on language and gender in literary texts is provided by translators and translation theorists. Translation theorists typically view a text as expressive of a particular time and place as well as being expressed in a particular language.

We are going to consider gender discourse in the context of fairy tales of the three languages. The reason we have chosen English, Kazakh and Russian fairy tales is that during the course of the studies in the University we have been closely dealing with these languages. One more reason is that we think that through the prism of comparison gender discourse in the three languages will reveal and illustrate the uniqueness of language opportunities to penetrate into the depth of human thought. Moreover, fairy tales are the product of not only one person's writing activity, but the accumulated experience of history, culture and traditions of a nation, of people, of men and women - so, this is how the choice of the material for the analyses and the research topic get interwoven.

We have taken for the analyses the following works:

v in English - English Folktales (edited by D. Keding and A. Douglas): The Pottle of Brains, The Old Woman and her Pig, The Farmer and the Cheese, Jack Turnip, Lazy Jack [41];

v in Russian - - , , , , [42];

v in Kazakh - , , [43].

Fairy tales uncover various aspects of reality through fictitious characters and places. Initially, fairy tales were an integral part of folk-lore, being constantly expanded and changed in different cultures until the spread of written language.

The fact is that in an oral form fairy tales were created by adults for adults, demonstrating values and traditions of people, though later acquiring a more loving audience in children. Although tales differed much due to social distinctions. Fairy tales created for children of the upper-class reflected specific moral norms and manners, while fairy tales of common people revealed a criticism of this higher society and uncovered various social vices.

French male writers contributed to the development of the fairy tale in the eighteenth century; this is especially true in regard to Charles Perrault whose Mother Goose Tales acquired unusual popularity among children and adults of various nations. Such Perrault's tales as The Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Puss in Boots are still popular nowadays. In the eighteenth century Histories, or Tales of Times Past by Charles Perrault were published in English. Cullinan and Galda consider that this collection of tales transformed adult fairy tales into children's fairy tales that were admired by both boys and girls, because early children's literature mainly dealt with biblical myths and oral stories. [44, 172]

Being now adults who have read so many readable materials, we can presume that the best fairy tales are supposedly universal. It does not matter when or why they were written. [45, 1] The main characteristic feature of these literary fairy tales is that they conform to a linear structure, that is, the end of the tale is the start. For instance, in the fairy tale Rapunzel written by the Brothers Grimm the two principal characters Rapunzel and the Prince manage to overcome many difficulties and start a new life. As the Grimms put it, the Prince led her [Rapunzel] to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented. [45, 54]

In 1756 a French female writer Madame Le Prince de Beaumont produced a simple literary variant of Beauty and the Beast, a fairy tale that was intended for youngsters. Madame Beaumont also issued Magasin de Enfants, a collection of literary fairy tales for children's education, which she primarily used for girls to diversify her lessons with them. This book gave rise to the idea that fairy tales were especially useful for children. However, some people in the middle of the eighteenth century made constant attempts to oppose the spread of the fairy tale in children's literature. In particular, the protestant Samuel Goodrich under the assumed name Peter Parley pointed at the negative impact of fairy tales on children, presenting various scientific data to prove his viewpoint. To some extent, the attempts of Goodrich and his followers restricted fairy tales, but with the emergence of Romanticism children's fairy tales became more and more popular.

In the nineteenth century children's stories began to bring much income, and the tales written by the French salon writers appeared under the pseudonym Mother Goose. In addition, German writers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm managed to publish their well-known collection of fairy tales Childhood and Household Tales that contains such great tales as Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Rumpelstiltskin. It was in that period when fairy tales began to be chiefly utilized for children's education and acquired a crucial place among other genres of children's literature. As Jack Zipes puts it, the fairy tales for children were sanitized and expurgated versions of the fairy tales for adults, or they were new moralistic tales that were aimed at the domestication of the imagination [46, 14]

Some considerations on some characters in the tales referred below

Therefore, moral values and notions of fairy tales were strongly controlled in nineteenth-century literature; the authors of the fairy tale adhered to strict censorship and had to reflect the ideals that were considered appropriate for that society. Some of Andersen's fairy tales, such as The Princess on the Pea and The Wild Swans, are borrowed from folk-lore, although other tales are first-hand pieces, including The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Red Shoes and The Ugly Duckling.

At the end of the nineteenth century Walter Crane produced his illustrations to Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Puss in Boots and Sleeping Beauty, and Alexander Afanasyev gathered many Russian tales. In fact, the development of Russian fairy tales differs much from the development of the fairy tale in Western cultures. While the fairy tale in France, Germany, Great Britain and other European countries was closely connected with myths, fairy tales in Russia were perceived as the real past of Russian people. As a result, the fairy tale in Russian literature is usually divided into three principal kinds: tales of animals and birds, supernatural fairy tales and daily tales.

Although Russian fairy tales differ from European tales, they also reflect the impact of France and Germany on the plots and ways of expression. However, Russian fairy tale writers made everything to decrease this influence, thinking that the revival of [native] fairy tales would promote the triumph of the Russian language over the French language, which had been adopted by aristocracy. This is especially obvious in fairy tales written by Alexander Pushkin who adheres to French literary traditions and the structure adopted by Charles Perrault. Contrary to Western fairy tales, Russian fairy tales became a part of children's literature much later due to the existing notion that fairy tales resulted in nightmares, that is why, for a long time they were appropriate only to adults. [47, 334]

In the twentieth century such Russian fairy tale writers as Aleksey Tolstoy, Olga Larionovna, the Brothers Strugatsky, Valentina Zhuravleva, Ivan Efremov and Evgennii Zamiatin rejected Western traditions and advanced Russian fairy tales. In their turn, Western authors Orson Scott Card and China Mieville borrowed some elements of Russian tales using them in their own fairy tales. The twentieth century is also characterized by the formation of different versions of early fairy tales, including film adaptations and operas, especially Walt Disney's film version Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the ballet Cinderella by Sergei Prokofiev. Besides, these popular fairy tales have a great impact on contemporary writers of the fairy tale, such as Emma Donoghue, Delia Sherman, Robert Coover, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and Tanith Lee. [48, 8-18]

Contrary to other literary forms, the development of the fairy tale was one of the most important inventions of children's literature. The fairy tale, with its rather simple plot, provides valuable lessons to children and inspires their interest in other literary genres. It not only develops children's imagination, but also gives them an opportunity to take part in the described events and understand some aspects of reality; the true history of mankind is contained in fairy stories, they make it possible to guess, if not to discover, its meaning. Although the fairy tale Snow White has been exposed to different changes since its initial creation and every variant of this story reflects certain cultural traditions of various countries, the crucial role of the tale is explained by its impact on the formation of children's identities.

For example, Snow White reveals German culture and the essence of their times, but what is more important is that this fairy tale deals with the inner world of a personality rather than with specific events of reality. Despite the fact that the beginning of the Grimms' Snow White is written in a realistic manner, depicting a birth of a beautiful girl and her mother's death afterwards, in whole the tale is unrealistic. For instance, Snow White's step mother has an unusual mirror that can speak to her; the only question that the Queen asks is Mirror, mirror upon the wall, who is the fairest of all? - and the only answer that satisfies her is - Thou, O! Queen, art the fairest of all. [49, 280]

As Queen's soul is filthy, she is obsessed with her appearance and needs a constant confirmation of her beauty, while Snow White is beautiful inside. In this regard, the Brothers Grimm draw a parallel between inner and outer beauty, implicitly revealing the connection of their fairy tale with ancient myths. If a child follows the behavior of the Queen, he/she will finally lose, but if a child acts, like Snow White, he/she will benefit. Children's identities are shaped by their environment; however, through most of man's history, a child's intellectual life apart from immediate experiences within the family, depended on fairy tales.

Similar to Snow White, such fairy tales as The Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel, The Goose Girl and Cinderella reveal certain patterns of behavior and morality that boys or girls should follow, if they want to succeed. Many fairy tales reflect gradual changes of their characters, as they acquire experience in the process of narration, teaching children to behave in a similar way. For instance, the Scarecrow from the fairy tale The Wizard of Oz written by Frank Baum becomes wiser in his search of his identity and avoids mistakes that he made at the beginning of the story.

A fairy tale The Goose Girl by Brothers Grimm brings up the issue of female independence, revealing the transformation of a princess into a goose girl and her realization of her true self. The girl's change helps her to understand many crucial things of life.

Such fairy tales are especially important for children who have some inner conflicts and problems, as these tales reveal certain ways to overcome their difficulties. The fairy tale is created to reveal both good and bad sides of life, simultaneously stressing the importance of struggle for a person. In fact, the development of the fairy tale in literature reflects the attempts of adults to guide children towards appropriate ways of behavior. For instance, such fairy tales as Little Red Riding Hood warns children, especially little girls, of the dangers and reveals the consequences of their disobedience.

Fairy tales differ in their patterns of appropriate behavior. In particular, the researcher claims that such Perrault's fairy tales as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Bluebeard embody the features that are appropriate for young women, including patience, obedience, politeness, inner power and kindness. The principal female characters of the mentioned fairy tales possess these features and they finally benefit from their good behavior.

However, other fairy tales of Perrault, such as Ricky of the Tuft, Hop o' My Thumb and Puss in Boots, reveal the desirable male features, including intelligence, good manners, education, devotion and strength. But these particular features are gradually implemented into the fairy tale by various writers who change the earlier versions of these tales. This is obvious on the example of Little Red Riding Hood that in the interpretations of Perrault and the Brothers Grimm differ much from the oral folk tale. In the earlier version a little girl encounters with a werewolf () and tells him where she goes; the werewolf kills her grandmother and then makes a girl eat her meat.

The tale of the Brothers Grimm resembles Perrault's tale, but they introduce a woodcutter who saves the girl and the grandmother, giving the girl an opportunity to act in a different way in future. In this regard, an earlier version of the tale demonstrates people's fear of being killed by wild animals, while Perrault's version symbolizes the relations between an innocent young girl and a dangerous man who is presented in the image of the wolf.

The Brothers Grimm's interpretation pays much attention to cultural traditions of their nation, revealing women's dependence from men; neither the grandmother, nor the girl is able to save themselves in the face of danger, while a man, a woodcutter, helps these female characters. The same regards the Brothers Grimm's tale Snow White, where the girl is first saved by the huntsman and then by dwarfs, serving as their mother and performing various household duties. Through these tales the Brothers Grimm manage to reflect their ideals on social roles of men and women and to convey experience of the previous generations in regard to various aspects of life.

On the other hand, the Grimms considerably change various folk elements of their tales, introducing their own morality and ways of expression. For instance, developing their fairy tale Rapunzel, the Brothers Grimm follow some folk traditions of earlier versions of this tale, making major stress on magical elements rather than on folk elements.

In particular, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast deals with the magic that is closely connected with psychological maturation of the principal female character. At the beginning the tale presents an awful beast, but as the fairy tale progresses, the Beast appears to reveal many human features, such as loneliness, kindness and care. When a Beauty meets the Beast, she perceives him as 'terrifying', because she is afraid of males; however, as she is changed from a girl into a woman, the Beast also changes into a good-looking Prince.

It is clear that such an interpretation is made by an adult, but not by a child who does not realize the complex subtext of this fairy tale, but Beauty and the Beast is still one of the most popular fairy tales of children's literature. The fact is that fairy tales have a gradual impact on a child; although he/she may not understand all meanings of the fairy tale at once, he/she starts to uncover its subtext and symbolism in the process of maturation. Perhaps, it is this variety of profound meanings that makes the fairy tale the most crucial genre of children's literature.

Comparison of tales in different cultures

Although the development of the fairy tale differs in various countries, reflecting the peculiarities of certain cultures, many tales reveal common structures and motifs. For instance, such fairy tales as The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bear and Sleeping Beauty demonstrate three protagonists or three Fates, while in the tale Snow White the Queen makes three attempts to kill her stepdaughter. However, in the Brother Grimm's fairy tale The Juniper Tree that greatly resembles the tale Snow White a wicked stepmother manages to kill her stepson from the first time, but the boy is revived by the end of the tale, similar to Snow White.

Another common feature of these tales is the existence of supernatural helpers, such as a magical godmother in Cinderella or dwarfs in Snow White. Cinderella is one of the most important fairy tales that exists in various cultures; despite the fact that the principal character has different names, such as Cendrillion (Italy), Yeh-hsien (China), Catskin (England) and Aschenputtle (Germany), the plot and morality of this fairy tale are similar. In general, there are more than three hundred variants of Cinderella, including the versions written by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. In all these different versions two characters, Cinderella and the stepmother are opposed to each other, revealing the struggle between good and evil.

The same opposition is shown in the tale Snow White, where the stepmother is presented as a cruel woman, while Snow White is a beautiful and kind girl, similar to Cinderella. Thus, the image of a stepmother in fairy tales is negative, demonstrating social reality in regard to families: the poor girl suffered it all patiently, and didn't dare complain to her father, who would have scolded her, because he was completely under the [stepmother's] sway. In Perrault's and the Brothers Grimm's versions Cinderella is portrayed as a real beauty, because in the eighteenth-nineteenth centuries outer beauty was associated with inner beauty.

However, in some other versions of Cinderella the principal female character is presented as an ugly girl who is further changed into an attractive young woman, while her stepsisters who are initially beautiful are transformed into freaks, with the exception of Perrault's tale, where Cinderella forgives her stepsisters and finds appropriate matches for them. In the Brothers Grimm's tale the stepsisters of Cinderella are punished with blindness for the rest of their lives.

In Perrault's version of the tale much stress is put on fancy dresses and the image of the godmother, while in the Brothers Grimm's version Aschenputtel there is no godmother; instead, there is a tree near the grave of Cinderella's mother that helps the girl. Similarly, in Rashin-Coatie, the Scottish variant of Cinderella, there is a red calf that gives aid to the protagonist. Thus, Western culture implements the image of the fairy godmother, while other cultures mainly deal with certain magical things that possess great power.

In Perrault's variant of the tale Cinderella is given the glass slippers to match her beautiful dress and when the Prince finds a lost slipper, he announces to the sounds of trumpets that he would marry the girl whose foot fit the slipper. But in the Chinese version of the tale and the Brothers Grimm's variant the principal female character gets the gold shoes. In general, shoes and boots are crucial elements of the fairy tale; for instance, the cat in Puss in Boots wears boots that provide him with higher position and the Queen of Snow White is given the red hot shoes that kill her.

Tracing the development of the fairy tale in children's literature, we can suggests that fairy tales were created from the myths and folk stories and acquired a literary form approximately in the seventeenth century. Although at the beginning fairy tales were written for adults, gradually they began to occupy one of the most important places in children's literature. It was in France, where fairy tales were first exposed to these changes, followed by such countries as Germany, Great Britain and America. In Russia, where fairy tales were closely connected with country's history, they were used in children's literature several centuries later, implicitly revealing the difference between Western and Russian cultural traditions. Although Russian fairy tales reveal certain influence of Western culture, they create their own reality, introducing native elements, characters, settings and plots.

Applying to children's emotionality, fairy tales allow children to solve their inner conflicts in the ways depicted in the narration. Among the most famous fairy tale writers are Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm who combine ancient mythical traditions with their own cultural traditions in their tales. However, while the Brothers Grimm and Perrault worked with earlier folk tales, Anderson wrote novel fairy tales, conforming to a conventional literary form. In this regard, each fairy tale has a variety of versions that, despite their diversities, reflect common plots and motifs. Some of them are Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Three Little Pigs, Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and The Princess on the Pea. Overall, all these fairy tales were developed as the principal educational tool that adhered to serious censorship and implemented the desirable patterns of children's behavior. In addition, fairy tales written by Andersen and the Brothers Grimm reflect some principles of Christian morality that were absent in folk tales and myths.

2.2 Comparative analyses of the tales in Kazakh, English and Russian languages

So, as we have already stated above, the following is the material for carrying out the comparative analyses: English Folktales: The Pottle of Brains, The Old Woman and her Pig, The Farmer and the Cheeses, Jack Turnip, Lazy Jack; .. - , , , , ; , , . (The full versions of the texts of the tales are available in Appendix 1, 2 and 3 accordingly to the languages appearance in the paragraph).

Content opening

We find it reasonable first to open up the content of the tales, so as to give a wholesome picture of the texts of the tales to the people evaluating the work. For the convenience the description is given in tables, as we consider that structured presentation of information enables quicker and better comprehension of the materials; also it is easy to find and grasp the necessary pieces of information while carrying out comparison of the tales.

Table 1. English Folktales The Pottle of Brains [41, 20-25]


Story development





Jack's, Mother Jack,


Yong woman, cow, chickens, neighbors, doctor, priest

Jack, a young man existing on his Mother's account, until she is fed up with his idling. She sends him to a strange creature for a piece of advice on further living - for a pottle of brains, to Henwife. The Henwife agrees to help on condition that Jack solves the riddles. He goes to Henwife three times failing to find out the right answers to her riddles, until he meets a young woman, whom he marries and who helps him with the right answers at his fourth visit to Henwife.

A house,

the top of the green hill, hut.

Jack was told to get a a pottle of brains, but he never knew what it meant. Looking for a pottle of some thing, he lost the most precious person. In the end he himself gets no brain but in the person of his wife - embodiment of brains, wisdom with him but not still his own.

Table 2. English Folktales The Old Woman and her Pig [41, 48-49]


Story development





An Old Woman,

Pig, dog, stick, water, ox, butcher, rope, rat, cat, cow

On a casual sixpence the old woman buys a pig, which did not want to go through the stile. For solving that, the old woman involved a dog, a stick, water, an ox, a butcher, a rope, a rat, a cat, a cow to help her in succession. They did help and she did get the pig home.

An old cottage, market

Trying to solve a tiny problem, the old woman had evoked a big chain of actions and actors instead of doing it herself and at once.

Table 3. English Folktales The Farmer and the Cheeses [41, 18-19]


Story development






People in the market

A farmer, cheese maker, on the way to the market stumbles and drops his goods. Instead of picking them up, he gets angry with them and lets them roll to the market on their own. Of course, coming to the market he finds no cheeses.

Market, Nottingham, river Trent, hill, inn,

Cheeses are cheeses, they can roll down as they are rounded. But! They are no thinking creatures!

Table 4. English Folktales Jack Turnip [41, 26]


Story development





Jack Turnip


Jack falls on the ice and thinks how ice might make him fall and then continues his thoughts about who or what is stronger. He concludes that he is stronger, when at that triumphant moment he falls again on the ice.

Winter lane

His wisdom is a fool's wisdom!

Table 5. English Folktales Lazy Jack [41, 27-34]


Story development





King, queen, princess, Jack, Jack's mother,

Servants, artists, messengers

The king and the Queen have a daughter, the Princess who never smiles or laughs. That's considered to be an illness as no one could make her laugh.

At the same time there is Jack who never ever does anything but sit the fireplace. When his mother gets fed up, she sends him to a farmer to work as Jack was a quite strong lad he worked hard and every day as worked out more and more the grateful farmer paid him more and more until the payment counted a donkey. Silly Jack carries it on his shoulder making the whole town laugh. When the Princes see that, she bursts into laughter.

So she gets cured and Jack marries her and his Mother did not have to do anything but sit by the fireplace.

Village, palace, farm

Though a rolling stone gathers no moss, but sometimes and very often - Fools have fortune

Table 6. Russian Folktales Awake Eye - [42]


Story development





Attorney, folk, Agaphyia


A boy was with one eye awake and the other eye asleep was born. Eventually he becomes an attorney who sees nothing as all bribe-takers and law-breakers keep on the side where his eye is asleep - so the other veiled things are seen to the eye that's awake. A sleeping eye serves him bad fortune as he had chosen a beautiful woman but married a woman like him - with different eyes, who had been also selling stolen goods. They live together and getting old he gets worse in seeing and hearing, on the way to senate, where he wanted to find a job, the policeman - the only one - tells him the truth about his physical deficiencies that made him go back home.

Small settlement

God sends a cursed cow short horns - even attorneys wife and son had such like eyes like his, such people do need two sound ears or eyes or nose as they will all the same be blind and deaf to the things that they do need or that bring no profit but just troubles

Table 7. Russian Folktales An Uncouth landowner - [42]


Story development





Landowner, men - serving the land-owner (muzhiki), district police officer (ispravnik),

4 generals, the bear

A landowner having all the material wealth could not find rest for his soul. So he asks God to take all men (muzhiki) away; but God did not satisfy his pray, He decided to help the men instead as the landowner, having become very greedy, deprived them of everything as the landowner stays alone there was no one to take care of him and he gets more and more savage until he becomes as wild as an animal. His desire to prove everyone that he could live without the men, brought many problems to the life in the district in the whole; so his men were returned and the landowner was restored to the previous way of life again.

Land-owner's house, his garden, the woods

Let everyone look to himself, and no one will be lost (Dutch) - this is not about our hero, as he loses himself completely; Each man must suffer for his own sin (Chinese) - this best suited to him.

Table 8. Russian Folktales An oblivious ram - [42]


Story development





Merino ram, sheep, sheep-breeder,


A merino ram has a weird dream, the meaning of which he did not understand. The dream was beautiful and bothered the ram to such extent, that it was carrying out his function no more - to create a merino-sheep flock. The landowner paid big money and did not send it to slaughter; so once in the night the merino seems to see something up in the skies, jerked and died of a mysterious morbus.

Farm, sheep-fold

There's a black sheep in every family. (American) - the ram saw itself free in his dream, forgetting it was just a ram and no more. All other sheep in the flock did not understand his worries and just laughed at it. Ignorance is the cause of fear. (Roman) - the ram died in vain in ignorance, so for him ignorance was even death.

Table 9. Russian Folktales A tale of one man who fed two generals - , [42]


Story development





Two generals, a man - muzhik.


The author places two generals on an uninhabited island. The two were in their pyjamas and had nothing more but a journal. They wanted to eat and searched the island but found nothing but fruit high on the trees, birds flying alive, rabbits and other animals that needed to be cooked. They had no idea of how to treat all that to turn it to eatable food. Tired and hungry they could think of nothing but food and nearly ate each other. One of the generals remembered that they miss a man - muzhik, who ought to be somewhere over the island too. So they find one. This muzhik takes good care of them, feeding them with different meals. The generals lived happily since then but missed home; so they made him bring them back home. Getting home, they thanked the man by sending a glass of vodka and a-five-copeck silver coin () to have a feast.

Uninhabited island, Petersburg, Podyacheskyi district

A hungry man is an angry man - but our generals' best thing to do was to make a muzhik work for them; they have died if not that man; Gratitude is the heart's memory (French) - will they meet the same care for such gratitude?

Table 10. Kazakh folktales Beauty Kunkey - [43, 100-107]


Story development





A young man, vizier,

Kunkey, rock carrying batyr, hear-all batyr, lake carrying batyr, fast running batyr,

khan, mother, an old man, an old woman, an ant, Kunkey's father

A young man brings a fallow-deer with golden horns to khan; the vizier, who envies much, tells khan to send him for a silver-golden stand and then for a golden tree - the young man manages all that: with the stand by his mother' help and with the tree by an old man's help. The plotter-Vizier tells to send him after Beauty Kunkey, who lived right under the sun. on our hero's way, he meets rock carrying batyr, hear-all batyr, lake carrying batyr, fast running batyr and an ant - the batyrs and ant, who help him to overcome the traps of Kunkey's father. Kunkey falls in love with the young man and turns his khan into a wolf and turns Vizier into a fox, making the wolf chase the fox. So, the young man and Kunkey stay together.

Palace, steppe, cave

Curses like chickens come home to roost - for the vizier, and Enough is as good as a feast - for the young man.

Table 11. Kazakh folktales Three sons of the poor - [43, 76-91]


Story development





Ashken, Moshken, Zhumakeldi - three brothers,

The father of the three brothers, three old women, two princesses, a sister of giants, three khans, a witch

The father of the three brothers, getting disappointed, sends them away from home. On their way they 1) stop in the woods first night, where Ashken at night kills a seven-headed monster-bird; 2) second night Moshken kills a seven-headed dragon under the ground that had much gold and silver; 3) third night Zhumakeldi kills 40 giants and cuts out each giant's ear. None of them told anything to each other. Coming to city they find out that khan is looking for the batyr, who killed the 40 giants and seven-headed monsters. He finally finds out who was it and offers his throne and daughter to marry, but the youngest son gives that opportunity to the eldest brother.

In the second town they find out that there also was a monster - a snake, who every night ate a girl. Zhumakeldi kills that monster too, thus saving khan's daughter. Zhumakeldi again refuses to marry and gives that opportunity to Moshken - the second elder brother.

Coming to the third town, Zhumakeldi again sees there is a tragedy - three giants, who killed many young men, as khan wanted to marry their beautiful sister but giants refused him, destroyed all khan's men. Zhumakeldi kills the giants and their sister marries him. But khan sends a witch, who cunningly kills Zhumakeldi and brings his wife to khan. Zhumakeldi's brothers find out about the tragedy from the stars. They save their brother, who kills the khan, the witch and became khan. He brings his father and treasure from the dragon's cave. And they all lived happily ever after.

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