“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
It was Fitzgerald’s idea, but George Orwell gave it a name.
Nothing better describes my feelings about fairy tales is doublethink. Doublethink is a simultaneous belief in two contradictory ideas, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.
I think it’s a great notion for a fairy tale feminista, who likes reading stories that are anachronistic and hard to like when they’re so bad for women. But doublethink is all about perspective. There are days when the thought of reading a fairy tale just feeds my anger to some article I’ve read about sexism. Other times I can see wisdom through the old-fashioned archetypes.
Here’s a list of some of my doublethinks:
- I love walking on rainy days, but hate getting water on my face.
- Auntie Mame is still one of my favorite movies even though I cringe when the racist representation of the Asian butler comes on screen. And speaking of movies…
- Romantic comedies are ridiculous, and I still watch them.
- Cold days are better when spent in warm rooms. (Not really a doublethink, more of a truism)
- I think fireflies are magical and wish all flying insects would disappear.
Do you have any doublethinks?