|Stories - Part Two: Why Do People Do What They Do?
Fairy stories make assumptions about people that may seem right, but do not match up with reality. In Cinderella the Prince has a choice of many ladies, but chooses Cinderella. On the other hand, Cinderella only has one choice. There are no other Princes, and no other men, so the story assumes that she will put up with him whether or not she loves him.
In Red Riding Hood, the wolf, having learnt where the granny lives, would have been wiser to eat RRH on the spot, and then save granny for later. Aladdin becomes rich enough to marry the princess, with the help of his magic lamp, but would someone suddenly becoming rich in that way make a suitable prince. It might be compared with a working man winning the lottery, and marrying a princess on the basis of this.
Rumplestiltskin gets a very raw deal in that he made an agreement with the Princess to have her first child in return for weaving gold from straw (something her husband the King made her do), yet she chooses to stay with the King, and cheat Rumplestiltskin of his just payment. She might have been better off running away with Rumplestiltskin and having both the gold and the child.
In a world where everyone was totally happy all the time there would be very few stories because stories are most commonly about peoples problems. It's reasonable to assume that most of the time women are worried about something, and most of the time men are angry about something. When a woman cannot solve a problem she may cry, while a man who can't solve a problem might express his anger in a hostile way.
But there are many variations on this. A person might be outwardly happy but cry to himself or herself when alone. Another person might express their feeling through art, and share the experience with others. Some people help others with problems as a way of dealing with their own troubles. Again, some might turn to work to stop themselves thinking of their problems.
On the negative side, people may not try to solve their problems, but simply try and forget them with drinking, drugs, gambling, or having unfulfilling relationships. In extreme cases, becoming anti-social or criminal.
There are three main ways that people react to problems:
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