Social fiction in folktales: The relationship between social system and narration
The context of social folktales is based on the individual’s position within the social system. Folktales reflect the collective components – the culture, traditions and arts – of the society from which they emerge.
A nation’s literary tradition is composed of the collective intellectual and emotional experience that results from the interactions among individuals and the individuals’ interactions with society. The more social in nature the art production, the more widely it is shared, so we find that elite literature is not as widely shared.
The narration in folktales questions the social structure, so folktales are more akin to collective literature than modern fiction. The supernatural elements in folktales are restricted by conventional beliefs, but supernatural elements in modern fiction are the product of an individual’s imagination, which allows more opportunity to invent stories.
Folktales are influenced by the actions and reactions among collective and individual cultures. Society shapes culture, which shapes society. Language is a cultural component of utmost impact, so – as a manifestation of language – folktales play a significant role in shaping the social intellect.