I agree that # 7's interpretation is especially thought-provoking.
An interesting approach to this topic might be to compare and contrast different versions of the same basic story. Several of those versions are reprinted here, although there are undoubtedly many others:
Such comparisons and contrasts would provide insights into all the different versions as well as into any one particular version in which a reader might be especially interested.
I really enjoyed reading this thread because of the many wonderful interpretations of the story. Definitely there is much more to be said of a "fairy tale". We must not limit them to be merely cute stories that teach a moral. Certainly there are a number of topics that could be discussed from the story. For example, the importance of teamwork, the importance of prevention, not trusting everyone, the power of unity and family cohesiveness, and the overall need to understand the evils of the world.
Interesting take on the story from #7. I have always tried to avoid simplistic interpretations of such fairy tales, and so the reading of this tale as being about the value of hard work and building permanent, sturdy structures has never been that persuasive to me. Rather, what strikes me is the way that the three pigs are booted out of their house by their mother and forced to make their own way in the world. Two pigs show that they are clearly unready to make this journey, and one shows he is able to face the dangers that such exposure involves. Thus the story to me is more about a coming-of-age experience than anything else.
To a person who grew up in a non-western society, this story can have a different meaning. I always was struck by the idea that the pigs' troubles stemmed from their individuality and their inability to stick together. In the culture where I grew up, brothers are supposed to stick together and help each other. The smart pig should not have abandoned his brothers and allowed them to buidl stupid houses that would get them killed.
To Westerners (who are individualistic) this is a story about the need for hard work. But to others, it can be a cautionary tale about the need for family members to support one another.
Many of the politicians would do well to reread this story and understand that there can, indeed, be wolves that threaten the house, even if these same wolves vote for them. It is always a good idea to be prepared for danger. In this world there are predators and prey--in every respect.
Fairy tales are created to convey morals to children. It seems that this tradition has carried along for so long because the tales are short and are very specific to the lesson told.
As for the "Three Little Pigs", I agree with post #2. It is about the benefit of hard work, how slacking does not pay off, and the consequences of not doing ones best.
This being said, I also agree with post #3. It is creepy. But, the use of animals seems to be used because children can see the natural conflict between a wolf and pigs, a little girl and a wolf, or a boy and a wolf.
It just seems that the stories are easy to remember, do not need to be remembered word for word, and translate easy.
My guess is that this story, like so many fairy tales, originated in the Middle Ages and had a much more graphic ending than one normally encounters. They were told by parents to children to warn them about the dangers that they might encounter if they were not careful. Little Red Riding Hood in the original version ended with the wolf eating her; similarly Goldilocks was eaten by the three bears. Then, or course there is Hansel and Gretal, who wandered away--although in the story they are carried away. The stories were told to children to keep them out of the woods where wolves, bears, and other dangerous things were were prevalent. I'm sure the lesson to be taught by this story was work hard and don't cut corners, or else you are apt to literally find "the wolf at the door."
I assume you're referring to the classic fairy tale, and I have never have liked this story. There's just something creepy about such blowing and crumbling and "chinny-chin-chinning." I don't like either a wolf or a trio of pigs as the main characters, though I suppose there is something redeeming about the idea that we should build substantial things rather than quick, flimsy things. I still don't like it.
This is a timeless fairy tale, of course. When I saw your question, I stopped to think about WHY! I had always considered the story a parable of the benefits of hard work. Recent picture books focusing on rewriting the story, such as from the wolf's point of view, challenge that idea. They imply that things are not always what they seem. Honestly, I think that the story is still pretty scary.