Structure and motif in the 'innocent persecuted heroine' tale in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries

Tran Quynh Ngoc Bui

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Abstract

Through a study of structure and motifs in the innocent persecuted heroine tale in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, this article argues that although folktale traditions across the world share the same plots, themes, and motifs, the function and significance of plots and motifs may perform differently in local cultural contexts. Folktales originate in a time at some distance from the present, and may contain traces of various archaic modes of thought and custom that accrue as social apparatuses change. By focusing on the different structure of the innocent persecuted heroine tale type in Vietnam and in other Southeast Asian countries, and making a comparison with other tales of the same type in other cultures, the article explores some historical layers contained in these tales. The article also offers an explanation for the existence of this unusual structure and confirms the cultural uniqueness of apparently international structures and motifs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-48
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Research in Children's Literature
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Vietnam
  • Southeast Asia
  • innocent persecuted heroine
  • folklore
  • Cinderella story

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