Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Floyd E. Merritt


An explanation of oral tradition and its portent for language clarifies the fairy tale genre. Its purpose, various cultural impacts, criticism and limitations are introduced. Ludwig and Wilhelm Grimm translated their personal interest into a form of speech that endures past cultural and linguistic barriers. The Grimms' scholastic credentials and lifework reveal the original storytellers and subjects in a historical/geographical framework. Part II isolates 68 tales of animal dialogue, discusses human-like character responses of help and harm, and submits a brief narrative criticism of the conglomerate rhetorical entity. Character insights and communication findings are resolved with Delphi compilations of 27 open-ended questionnaires. The import and value of the study are reinforced by descriptive, historical and qualitative research.