# Essay Significance of the Number 3 in Fairy Tales

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Significance of the Number 3 in Fairy Tales Numbers do not exist. They are creations of the mind, existing only in the realm of understanding. No one has ever touched a number, nor would it be possible to do so. You may sketch a symbol on a paper that represents a number, but that symbol is not the number itself. A number is just understood. Nevertheless, numbers hold symbolic meaning. Have you ever asked yourself serious questions about the significance, implications, and roles of numbers? For example, “Why does the number ten denote a change to double digits?” “Is zero a number or a non-number?” Or, the matter this paper will address: “Why does the number three hold an understood and symbolic importance?” My interest…show more content…
Therefore, I offer what I call the Utility-Based Approach, which attempts to explain the prominence of “three” by noting its usefulness in telling fairy tales. Indeed, the Utility-Based Approach proposes that “three,” being the smallest possible number that denotes a group, is a useful entity when recalling a tale whose audience is assumed to either (1) desire mental relaxation, or (2) lack advanced/complex mental capabilities. Background/Historical Context “Three” has a logical reason for its important role throughout history. It is not merely the number that happens to fall between two and four. “Three” is the union of oneness and duality. It is the first number that is a combination of various previous numbers (assuming, as most societies have done, that zero is not a number). One and two are special as they are representations of ‘oneness’ and ‘otherness’, but three starts the procession of all other numbers to follow (the set of numbers, 3 --> infinity, that can be the sum of a variety of previous numbers) (Symbolism). Whether this is realized consciously or subconsciously, it is an undeniable truth that seems hard to avoid. Indeed, this idea could be what gave rise to the spiritual significance of “three.” “Three” has always played an important part in the Judeo/Christian beliefs, as Ken Bassett outlines in his Pastor Note No. 138. First, and probably most