Feminism and Fairy Tales

1250 WordsJun 22, 20185 Pages
In a society unbridled with double standards and set views about women, one may wonder the origins of such beliefs. It might come as a surprise that these ideals and standards are embedded and have been for centuries in the beloved fairy tales we enjoyed reading as kids. In her analytical essay, “To Spin a Yarn: The Female Voice in Folklore and Fairy Tales”, Karen Rowe argues that fairy tales present “cultural norms which exalt passivity, dependency, and self-sacrifice as a female’s cardinal virtues.” Rowe presents an excellent point, which can be supported by versions of the cult classics, “Cinderella” and “Snow White”. Charles Perrault’s “ The Little Glass Slipper” and the Brothers Grimm’s “ Snow White” exemplify the beliefs that…show more content…
This is the same case of women in society, those that don’t conform are looked down and reprehended. Perrault perfectly embodies the ideal female cannon in his fairy tale “ The Little Glass Slipper”, the Brothers Grimm also embody this cannon in their tale of “Snow White.” They embody this cannon and its ideal virtues in the character of Snow White, who much like Cinderella is trusting, passive and dependent on the care of the dwarfs and the handsome prince. Snow White’s dependency is first showed when the Brothers Grimm write “Snow White was so beautiful that the huntsman took pity on her and said: ‘Just run away, you poor girl” (84). The Brothers Grimm show that Snow White is not in control of her own life, she has to depend on a man in order to live. During one of the queen’s murder attempts Snow White falls for her tricks and falls as if dead. The Brothers Grimm record that when the dwarfs came home “She didn’t move in the slightest, and they were sure she was dead. They lifted her up, and when they saw that she had been laced too tightly, they cut the staylace in two. Snow White began to breathe, and little by little she came back to life” (86). Through this seen the Brothers Grimm insinuate that females are dependent on men in every -and -which way. By making Snow White dependent on the
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