Gretel in Darkness Essay

875 WordsNov 10, 20054 Pages
While comparing the two poems, "Gretel in Darkness" by Louise Gluck and "Hansel and Gretel" by Anne Sexton with the original Brothers Grimm tale "Hansel and Gretel", different perspectives, point of views and messages are shown. In "Gretel in Darkness" Gretel is reciting the poem. It is written in the first person. In this poem Gretel is overcome with certain darkness in her life. Something is haunting her from the past. Gretel describes an experience that she and her brother have shared together. The experience is Gretel killing the witch, saving herself and her brother, Hansel. At first it seems life is perfect and all troubles are forgotten, but the memory seems to haunt Gretel. Gretel is alone, suffering,…show more content…
Sexton also uses references to racism in the poem. Blood being as red as the "Jap flag", the reference to the final solution. This was the mother's solution to the father to eliminate the children. As history shows, this was the term Hitler and Germany used to describe the Holocaust. These two poems both written by women seem to have a feminine point of view. Gluck's poem shows Gretel as a tormented adult so haunted by the act of murder she committed that it consumes her every thought. It is ironic that her brother, for whom she committed the murder, goes on with his life without a care in the world, as if the murder never happened. Sexton's poem, though sticking closely to the original fairy tale, shows a mother's nurturing and caring side if only for a few lines. This introduction in the poem gives you, as the reader the feel that the speaker is indeed a woman. The Grimm Brothers original fairy tale is filled with religious symbolism. The children are mindful of God's loving care for them ("God will not forsake us") other religious symbols include the color white for the innocence of childhood. The white bird leads them to a house of bread where they can get their fill and satisfy their hunger. The reference to "half a loaf" call to mind the Biblical story of the loaves and fishes.
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