A child is exposed to patriarchy since the day they are born; to pink and blue pajamas, and to the toys they get, it is even in the smallest details of many classic fairy tales. The famous "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is a worldwide story transcribed by the Grimm Brothers during the 19th century; an era where human rights were negotiable on gender and sex. This tale is part of many fond childhood memories, although the underlying sexism is shown when analyzing that beauty is held to be the most valuable trait for a woman, it depicts them with stereotypical gender roles, and that good or evil women are decided if they are feminine or not.
Beauty will get you far; a message strongly carried throughout this story. The "...King took another wife, a beautiful woman, but proud and overbearing" (1), the father marries to have an alluring Queen not a caring mother for Snow White. The Queen receives her crown due to her looks despite her awful personality. Essentially, as long as the woman is attractive her, society will disregard her intelligence and character; her beauty is the preponderance of her value. Being known across the land for her beauty it is obvious to see why the Queen has such a high obsession over her looks, it is society's fixation on the worth of physical appearances. The conflict between Snow White and the Queen is on the subject of beauty; instead of living peacefully as a family it turns to jealousy and competition. Snow White without her charming face
Three plays, five movies, and two television shows. The story of Peter Pan has lived on for over one hundred years, dating back to the original play in 1906. Filled with mythical fairies, mermaids, and pirates, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is a beloved story centering around the adventures of Peter Pan, and the Darling Children. Wendy Darling, along with her two brothers fly to the island of Neverland, a place that had lived in their imagination for years, but the true story is unbenounced to most everyone who has read the text or seen the movie. How could such an innocent story have such a dark background?
The Snow Child is one such story by Carter, where connotations seen in fairytales such as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ are in evidence and are fused together accompanied by the emergence of feminism to the foreground
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).
“Oh, fairytales, where desperate, naïve girls sacrifice everything for their so-called prince charming”. The realities of these childhood classics are controversial, sexist, and dark, yet, it’s also adored by millions of young girls around the world. Cinderella, an often sugar-coated story, is a great example on how sexism and gender stereotypes prevail in literature. The Grimm Brothers touch on a variety of devices, from characterization to symbolism, all revealing the inequality in not only fictional literature but our real-life society as well. A feminist literary critic will interpret these controversial themes and apply their beliefs of equal rights into the study of the Grimm Brother’s Cinderella.
Snow White is a fairy-tale known by many generations; it is a beloved Disney movie, and a princess favoured by many kids. But did you know the fairy-tale was made to teach young children, especially little girls, their duties in life? It also values beauty over knowledge, portrays women to be naive and incompetent, and assumes that women cannot understand anything other than common household chores. Throughout this criticism, I will be using the feminist lens to analyze the fairy-tale, Snow White, through the perspective of a feminist.
As a child, I was told fairytales such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs every night before I went to sleep. Fairytales are an adventurous way to expand a child’s imagination and open their eyes to experience a new perspective. Modernizations of fairytales typically relate to a specific audience, such as adolescence, and put a contemporary spin on the old-aged tale. Instead of using whimsical themes heavily centered in nature, the contemporary poems connect with the reader in a more realistic everyday scenario. Also, many modernizations are written in poetic form to help reconstruct a flow in the piece and to develop or sometimes completely change the meaning from that of the original fairytale. Comparing Grimm’s Fairytale Snow White
“Through the cheerful music, funny characters, and happy ending, the character of Snow White starts the Disney trend of a domestic woman who becomes a damsel-in-distress relying on a prince to come and save her” (Barber, 2015). The original 1812 tale of Little Snow White by the Brothers Grimm portrays Snow White as a small, naive, self centered little girl who can’t seem to listen to anything she is told, and who has to rely a prince she doesn’t even know to wake her up from the dead. Two hundred years later, in the 2012 movie version Snow White and the Huntsman, the director Rupert Sanders revisits the original tale of Snow White, but decides to change it up a bit. In this version of the tale, Snow White is a strong, independent young woman who seems to be able to do anything she decides to do. In Sander’s version, Snow White not only conquers the cruel queen, but she conquers the labels society often places on women. Unlike the Grimms Brothers, Sanders develops his Snow White's character in a way that fits with women’s empowerment that the current generation now fights for everyday.
Clarification of her beauty is there to aid the reader in understanding that she is good and valuable. Furthermore, her hair not only symbolizes beauty but fertility and sexuality; proving that she is an object. Once she loses her hair, it is evident that she also loses what makes her of value to men, which in this case is the innocence of her untouched beauty or her virginity (pg. 35). In addition, the story “Little Snow-White,” presents an initial description about Snow-white centered around her beauty: “as white as snow, and as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony” (pg. 124). Because of this description, the reader defines Snow-white’s importance with the base of her pure white skin, passionate red lips, and seductive black hair. These three characteristics show the value of Snow-White to the prince, who begs the dwarfs for her coffin. While persuading the dwarfs to give over Snow-white, he attempts to trade objects to compensate the dwarfs (pg. 130). To young women, values defined in fairy tales depict a horrid, demeaning view of
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
The older mentality for the female was that their purity on the inside reflected their countenance on the outside. Thus, Snow White, being the fairest, was also the purest of them all. The plot relies heavily on the queen trying to remove Snow White. Yet, even though this is important to the queen, to the readers there is still the question of why. Why was it so important for the queen to be the fairest of them all when she had the highest status for a woman? The Grimm Brothers claim it was her envious heart at work, that her vanity filled every want and whim she had. They Portray her as Aphrodite, beautiful and fair for sure, but ready to destroy any girl who might take her place.
Remarkably throughout all of history, females have encountered the issue of oppression while any form of power is ripped away from them. The concept is plainly indicated within countless fairytales, much like Cinderella as it is narrated from the female perspective. When examining and using the feminist lens for the folk tale of Cinderella, numerous power relationships were clearly viewed. In other words, the relationships correspond with both gender, and how the individual is portrayed. At the beginning of the story’s context, the power connection between Cinderella and her step-mother is rather obvious. In addition, the constant power relationships among male and females within the general public greatly influences Cinderella. Therefore every
Feminism and gender roles play a huge role in our everyday lives, even if you do not quite notice right away. It can be anything from men having more power than women in, work areas, or political equality. It can be seen in stories, movies even newspaper articles to this day. One story in particular is Cinderella by the Grimm Brothers (1857). This essay will provide an in-depth look of feminism and how it is seen in the story such as; not being able to choose your own husband in certain situations, to women have to wear tight clothing, and the most obvious women not having the power men do.
Despite gender, living conditions or cultural backgrounds most people grow up reading or hearing stories of heroism and damsel in distress scenarios. Anne Sexton turns stereotypes on their head in her satirical poems of classic fairy tales, including Snow White and The Seven Dwarves and Cinderella. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves tells the tale of a young princess with hair as black as coal and skin as pale as snow, whose life is thrown into turmoil at the hands of her overbearing stepmother. Cinderella tells the story of a young girl who she spends her life is yearning for the prince’s ball, and similar to Snow White, Cinderella’s stepmother is influencing her life, however she is a positive character throughout the story. This sheds light on the stepmother in Snow White’s piece as despite the fact that Snow White’s stepmother clearly does inherently evil things, a re-reading demands a re-examination of why. It is throughout these tales’ where stepmothers are only trying to protect their children from the world around them, however in Snow White an outside motive, the beauty provided by the mirror and the pride manifested by poison, creates a barrier between the queen and her stepdaughter, thus giving her the title “Evil”.
Children fairy tales are some of the first books we’re introduced to growing up. Typically, the princess is saved by the heroic prince and they lived “happily ever after”. Some may think our life should be like a fairy tales while others don’t. These tales created gender roles in which appeared to be very important. In the Grimm Brothers fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel”, the parents leave the children in the forest to starve due to not having enough money to buy food in order to sustain life. The children later find a house deep in the woods where an old, evil witch lures them in and tried to eat Hansel and Gretel. They eventually kill the witch and find their way home to their father with no stepmother to be found as she has died while the children were away. In the fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel” gender and feminist criticism are highlighted throughout the tale by defining characteristics, consequences from their actions, and societal roles and expectations that were both prominent in German history and modern society.