Fairy Tale Analysis

Decent Essays

Fairy tales never cease to be retold. They are translated to different languages and changed to fit different cultures. Often they are changed to have a modern setting, while maintaining the basic outline. Sometimes, due to their familiarity, fairy tales are simply used as reference points for modern stories to relate to. A prime example of this is Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett. Many times in this book characters are connected to classic fairy tales, “‘That must have been before those two children shut her up in her own oven?’ said Magrat, untangling her sleeve from a briar” (Pratchett 100). In this conversation, they are discussing an extremely powerful witch whose end resembles that of the witch from Hansel and Gretel. This is done …show more content…

It helps that he’s handsome. (Atwood 134-135) In this passage, Sally is comparing her husband to the classic dimwitted “youngest son” of Grimm fairy tales. She uses this comparison to portray herself as his princess prize and other women as “witches and traps and pitfalls.” Another example within this story is when Sally’s writing instructor reads them a story entitled Bluebeard. In this story, a girl must protect an egg at the cost of death if she fails. Sally spends the rest of the story trying to figure out what the egg symbolizes and how it pertains to her life. (Atwood 156-166) Sally’s story is told through the similarities with this classic tale and how she perceives it. A final example is Surviving Childhood by Terri Windling. Windling uses classic stories to tell her own story. She starts out with a scene from Hansel and Gretel where their parents abandon them in the woods. She shows how this pertains to her life by describing her absent and how her mother tried to “edit” Windling out of her life. (Windling 354-356) Soon after, she quotes a scene from The Seven Swans where the female protagonist must remain quiet in order to protect her brothers. She emphasizes the vow of silence and relates it to how talking about the past may harm her brothers more than help them due to the violence of it. (Windling 356-358) Towards the end, she uses the tale Donkeyskin, about a girl whose father takes a romantic interest in her, to tell the story of her own

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