Chesterton On Imaginative Stories And Evil

“Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles

HT: James Grant


  1. This is such an awesome quote. My five year old is constantly asking me:
    “Daddy, are there bad guys in that book?”
    “Are there good guys in that movie?”
    “Do the good guys win?”

    🙂 Good stuff, thanks for sharing.

  2. Speaking (of) Chesterton, yesterday I was reading the latest installment of the Jellybean Highfive tales, and today I was reading in “The Club of Queer Trades” by said author, and the one reminded me of the other. And I was pleased.

  3. Outstanding quote. Raises an issue that’s big with me – sometimes I feel that storytelling has focused so much showing how things are in this tough and harshly world of ours, that we forget stories can also inspire hope and show what it can be. As Chesterton, says let the story provide the reader with the St George to kill the dragon, not just concentrate on the dragon itself. (I have a lot more to say on this issue, but that will need a blogpost of its own!) 🙂

    It’s really a great quote.
    Judy, South Africa

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