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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 203

The Hazel Wood is part dark fairy tale and part psychological horror. It offers a new perspective on fantasy and dissects childhood fairy tales. A reviewer from NPR highlights how traditional fairy tales often include teatime with talking animals and magical creatures. However, the reviewer insightfully comments that The Hazel...

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The Hazel Wood is part dark fairy tale and part psychological horror. It offers a new perspective on fantasy and dissects childhood fairy tales. A reviewer from NPR highlights how traditional fairy tales often include teatime with talking animals and magical creatures. However, the reviewer insightfully comments that The Hazel Wood provides a dark twist and alternate look at a magical world. For example, there is still teatime; however, you come to learn that the tea is harvested by dwarfs that are enslaved.

It is important to know that The Hazel Wood is not the first example of dark fairy tale. The original fairy tales we think of today, such as "Cinderella," "Snow White," "Sleeping Beauty," etc., were melancholic as written by the Brothers Grimm. It wasn't until the reproduction of these stories by Disney that fairy tales gained a type of purity. It is likely that The Hazel Wood was written to push back on this false sense of purity. It forces readers to consider things that are too good to be true. A comparable piece of literature in the same genre would be Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Both stories engage our imagination but don't gloss over the realities of humanity.

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