A Summary and Analysis of ‘The Three Wishes’: A Curious Fairy Tale

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

The pattern of three is deeply imbedded in the structure of the fairy tale. Numerous fairy stories, from Goldilocks and the three bears to Rumpelstiltskin to the story of Snow White (to name but three) rely in part on the tripartite narrative structure (three bears, three bowls of porridge, three visits to the house, three nights, and so on). But perhaps the most concentrated example of this patterning is the fairy tale titled ‘The Three Wishes’, where the entire story hinges on the granting of three wishes to a character.

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