The major nineteenth-century British texts of the fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" are read in light of the colonial impulses and backdrop that helped "write" the story. The oral tradition (represented by Benjamin Tabart) and the literary (represented by Joseph Jacobs) are each inscribed with an ethic in which the "happy ending" is ensured through material success. Importantly, this material success is played out through a colonial mindset, which uses the character of Jack, acting in the role of both colonizer and trickster, and his bid to overthrow the Giant to demonstrate the moral and social efficacy of an imperial world view.
Szumsky, Brian E.. "The House That Jack Built: Empire and Ideology in Nineteenth-Century British Versions of "Jack and the Beanstalk"." Marvels & Tales 13.1 (1999). Web. <http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol13/iss1/2>.