Fairytales May Convey a Hidden Message

1382 WordsFeb 24, 20106 Pages
As innocent as they seem, from the cute fairytales of Cinderella and her submissive character to the passionate story of Beauty and the Beast, a maiden who falls in love with a beast, the true meaning that lies beneath the pretty shell delivers a different message to children. The idea of the “traditional” role of women is constantly portrayed in many fairytales. Fairytales, although fantasy-like, still resemble aspects of the world and throughout history, women were considered inferior to men. “…it is a fair assumption that in a world dominated by men, the fairy tale reflects the world as defined and organized by men…” (Oliver 86). Stories such as The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, Cinderella and Snow White by the Grimm’s…show more content…
(Oliver 87). With the “loving father” and the “envious mother”, the message sent to children can be misleading and one-sided. Another example of the “wicked step-mother” is illustrated in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The innocent beauty, Snow White, and her feminine charms are similar to the common house wife by doing chores around the house while maintaining a certain image of perfection and beauty. Her step-mother is in “competition” with Snow White; activeness and power versus submissiveness and obedience. “The competition between Snow white and the queen turns into a struggle for survival between two halves of a single personality: passivity and tractability as opposed to inventive and subversive activism.” (Barzilai 520). Once again, another fairytale shows the rivalry which the mother figure is set to destroy the daughter. The over-assertive woman (in this case, the queen) is represented as an envious monster. “The queen is characterized throughout in unremittingly negative terms: she is most often deemed “wicked”, but she is also proud, overbearing, and envious.” (Barzilai 520). There are many examples in “Fairyland” which give a bad reputation towards the step-mother or the mother figure. Beauty and the Beast is a popular fairytale about a girl who falls in love with a beast and in return the beast becomes her prince. Luckily, for Belle,

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