The Symbol of the Ghosts and Devil Characters in the Fairy Tales and its Influence on Modern Vietnamese Social

Authors: Nguyen Thi Dung (University of Labor and Social Affairs, Vietnam)
Speakers: Nguyen Thi Dung
Strand: Discourse Analysis
Session Type: General Session


The devil and ghost are symbols of humanity. In any culture in the world, one can find traces of demonic symbols. Of course, like any element in the cultural category, the ghost and devil symbol is also closely related to the material and spiritual life of the owner of that culture, so the specific manifestation of the demonic symbol in each ethnic group, each territory, each region has its own characteristics and influence.

The devil and ghosts are characters system with a strange attraction, enduring with time. For a long time, through fairy – tales, the devil has become a valuable “material” used as a template for a typical character type to convey the aesthetic conceptions that people want to reflect. light.

The idea of a soul and a spiritual existence, armed with previous experiences, causes people to cling to it and to come to a comforting belief in spiritual continuity and in life after death. However, that belief is always tested in people’s hopes and fears, because they themselves always have to witness and face death. At the heart of the Animism theory, representing the devil character always lies in the deepest emotional event of human personality – the desire for life.

As an important symbol in the life of many peoples in the world in general and Vietnamese in particular, the devil has been interested in exploiting by scientists. Studying the history of demonic symbol research, we found that there are few works referring to demonic symbols, especially demons in miraculous fairy tales. Therefore, we will decipher the devil and ghost symbol to show the cultural values that the devil symbol contains.

In general, the devil symbol and the classification of demonic symbols in Vietnamese miraculous fairy – tales are always mentioned by researchers. The above research works have more or less recognized the demon character system through many aspects such as: the devil from the perspective of ethnography, culture, literature etc..Although referring to the character. From any angle, these characters have more or less symbolic meaning, have deep roots in culture and need to be discovered and learned. These works really give us many ideas to develop our research direction on the devil character from the perspective of symbolism through the combination of culture and literature, from culture to culture.

Keywords: Symbols, ghosts, fairy tales, society, theory