Essay on Envy and Beauty in Snow White

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Envy, Beauty, and Snow White Few people can grow up within today's society without knowing the tale of Snow White. From the Grimm Brothers to Disney, it has been told and retold to children throughout the ages. However, what is often overlooked are the true meanings within the story. Fairytales typically have underlying messages that can be found written between the lines, generally in terms of the key themes. Snow White discusses the themes of envy and beauty, and shows how humans' obsessions can lead to their own downfall as well as the harm of others. When focusing on the relationship between Snow White and her step-mother the Queen, it is evident that the combination of these two themes results in a power struggle in which beauty…show more content…
Trina Schart Hyman reiterates this point in her analysis of story, particularly in examining the Queen, where the ?only power was her beauty. She didn?t think about [Snow White] as a person. She hated only what Snow White symbolized, which was youth and the power and beauty of youth? (Haase, 2003). It is interesting to note that when the Queen receives Snow White?s heart, she eats it. ?And [the heart] was salted and cooked and the wicked woman ate it up, thinking that there was an end of Snow White? (Grimm and Grimm 168). This is a remnant of a primitive cannibalistic belief that one receives power and characters through what is consumed. By devouring what she is told to be Snow White?s heart, the Queen believes she is capturing Snow White?s beauty and power within herself (Sale, 1979). These instances show that the Queen was driven to act by her envy of Snow White?s beauty, which was said to be more beautiful than her own. As she saw Snow White?s beauty as a threat to her own (and through it, her power), she saw the need to eliminate Snow White completely. In consuming Snow White?s heart not only is she celebrating her triumph over Snow White, but she is reinforcing her own beauty and vitality. However, as those who are familiar with the story know, this was not the end of Snow White. When the Queen finds out Snow White escapes death from the huntsman and ends up living with seven dwarfs, she still considered Snow White a
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