Clever Characters in German Folktales and Vietnamese Folktales

Author: Thi My Linh On (Thai Nguyen University of Education)
Speaker: Thi My Linh On
Topic: Narrative and Metanarrative
The CALA 2021 General Session


Clever character is a type of character that is popular in German folktales and Vietnamese folktales. In this paper, we have conducted a survey to show that clever characters in German folktales and Vietnamese folktales include clever mothers, clever wives, clever husband, clever son-in-law and clever maid. However, there are some typical clever characters that appear only in German folktales such as clever princess, clever farmer and some types that appear only in Vietnamese folktales such as clever mandarin and clever teacher. The clever character in folktales reflects the viewpoint of people in Germany or in Vietnam about the wisdom, the foolish, the beauty and happiness. The question mentioned in this paper is how to be defined as wisdom and how to be defined as foolish. Another question is how to be defined as beauty and how can people receive happiness. Some answers for these questions are the same in German folktales and Vietnamese folktales but some others are different. The differences of view points has originated from German culture and Vietnamese culture.

Keywords: Clever Characters; German Folktales; Vietnamese Folktales