This past week we read several fairy tales by the authors Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde (who I had never realized wrote fairy tales). The tales (“The Little Mermaid”, “The Red Shoes,” “The Selfish Giant,” “The Happy Prince,” and “The Nightingale and the Rose”) all contained the most basic elements of a fairy tale. All of them were infused with an unquestioned element of magic. The reader doesn’t have to ask how the red shoes possessed a young girl to dance or how a bird and a statue were able to communicate. Like some of the fairy tales we have read, such as those by Perrault, the stories also have an almost overly overt moral. Whereas Perrault stated his moral at the end of the tale however Anderson and Wilde seem more likely to weave their moral through the story. Another difference, Anderson and Wilde are seemingly preoccupied with religious themes, particularly the theme of salvation. In Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” the Mermaid’s ultimate goal was to achieve an immortal soul through suffering. In “The Red Shoes” salvation is achieved by sincere penance. In Wilde’s “The Happy Giant” on the other hand the Giant finds his salvation by giving aid to a child Christ figure. In “The Happy Prince” Wilde dictates the value of the protagonists sacrifice when he has them judged by God and and angel. “The Nightingale…” is the only story that doesn’t seem to have an obvious Christian moral, though it does still emphasis the important Christian principle of sacrifice.