Decoding the Grimm Brothers

2114 WordsDec 12, 20129 Pages
Decoding the Grimm Brothers "Once Upon a Time" is a very common introduction to a fairy tale. Many fairy tales are well known by people throughout the globe. People may know these tales but they do not actually know what they mean. The Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales contain much symbolism and unique stylistic trends which have the ability to drastically change the meaning of each story that the brothers wrote. Some of these symbolic aspects include childhood innocence, justice and vengeance. A common stylistic trend would be the authors’ lack of inner character description along with advanced character development. Childhood innocence is something that every one only has once in their lifetime. In many cultures children are depicted as…show more content…
In the story “The Juniper Tree” the young boy taunts his stepmother with a song: "It was my mother who slaughtered me, It was my father who ate me, But pretty Marlinchen looked for my bones, and laid them 'neath the juniper tree" (Grimm “Juniper” 22). Christa Kamenetsky also states" the spirit of the dead mother appeared in the shape of a white bird to avenge the murder of the little boy"(Kamenetsky 232) This further displays the vengeance of the previous occurrences (the murdering of the young boy). By singing this song, the boy causes the stepmother to become delusional and afraid. While she is distracted, the boy then drops a lime stone on her, ultimately ending her existence, and she control over him. In the story “Little Brother and Little Sister”, the wicked stepmother and her hideous daughter are punished in the most severe of ways. The mother is burned alive at the stake, and the daughter is sent into the woods to be eaten alive by wild wolves. These cruel forms of punishment are meant to prove justice toward the problems that the antagonist caused the protagonist. According to Maria Tatar, the author of the introduction to Grimm's Grimmest, " The similarities across cultures undermine the notion that violent endings for fairy tales are peculiar to the Grimms' collection . . . . . by overdoing the realm of storytelling, these narrators

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