Analysis Of The Poem ' Fairy Tales '

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Fairy tales are full of tropes and stereotypes that exist from story to story, one of the main ones being the “happily ever after” ending. Most fairy tales, especially the traditional Perrault or Grimm versions, fall prey to this trope where the main goal is for the princess to find her prince, get married, and live happily ever after. Many critics, particularly feminist critics, find this trope to be problematic because of the extreme emphasis placed on marriage as women’s main, if not only, objective in life. Karen Rowe, for example, states in her essay “Feminism and Fairy Tales”, that “fairy tales perpetuate the patriarchal status quo by making female subordination seem a romantically desirable, indeed an inescapable fate” (342). In other words, Rowe relates the “romanticizations of marriage” portrayed in fairy tales with promotions of “passivity, dependency, and self-sacrifice” expected of women in their everyday lives (342). However, it can be dangerous to assume that every fairy tale conforms to the singular promotion of marriage as women’s only option. While early fairy tales such as “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” tend to glorify the romantic ideal of marriage, and in turn female subordination, contemporary tales and adaptations such as Brave and Frozen, are working to give women a more powerful position. In order to better illustrate the transformation of women from within tales like “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” to the more recent portrayals, one must
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