I wonder whether A Christmas Carol is a fairy tale or not.

I looked up the word in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the entry for fairy tale reads a story about magic or fairies. As there are ghosts but no magics or fairies in the story, I think A Christmas Carol can not be a fairy tale but I am not sure.

May I ask you to explain about this and answer what is right?

  • I fixed the title of the story - I don't know if it gets translated differently in your language, but the title is A Christmas Carol, not "The". – stangdon Aug 8 '16 at 20:47
  • A Christmas Carol isn't really a children's story. It's suitable for them, but it is a morality tale that was intended for an adult audience when it was published. – Jason Patterson Aug 8 '16 at 20:52
  • @JasonPatterson I didn't know it was initially for adults, but as now I am thinking about it, it makes sense pretty well. Thank you. Then, how about it being a fairy tale or not? – Smart Humanism Aug 8 '16 at 21:09
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about interpretation of literature, and not about learning English specifically. – user3169 Aug 8 '16 at 22:59
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    @user3169 - I can see that, but IMO this question is also about how English is actually used in practical speaking - e.g., what we actually call a fairy tale in practice. – stangdon Aug 8 '16 at 23:39

This is somewhat a matter of opinion, but I would say no, A Christmas Carol is not a fairy tale.

A fairy tale is usually defined as a simple story for children which involves mythical creatures; they also usually do not have just one author or version, but are passed on as folk stories. Typical examples might be Rumplestiltskin, or Jack and the Beanstalk. A Christmas Carol involves ghosts, but has one specific version by one specific author, is not intended specifically for children, is not particularly short, and contains thematic elements, like social commentary, which are not usually part of fairy tales.

  • A matter of opinion - yep. Fairy tale is a broad term, shading into metaphor, dependant on context. 'Wasn't me who broke that window' could be described as a fairy tale. . . – peterG Aug 9 '16 at 23:49

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