I have a soft-spot for fairy tales. They are an authentic way to tap into the stories of my Anglo-Germanic heritage. When people compare life to a fairy tale, they are asking whether or not it measures up to some beautiful ideal. But really, fairy tales are more often stories of fear, death, and magic far beyond control; they are frightening, not perfect.
I believe these types of stories give a particular growth to the soul that cannot be accomplished sweetly in any other way. They form our minds in the ways of good and evil. They teach us to desire the impossible good, to be the hero, to see what cannot be seen. They lead us to desire adventure as the place where we are tested and found worthy. We question whether things have to be the way they are.
They train us to question reality; are we really in control?
Without these stories, we can only learn these wonders the hard way, by painful experience.