Women Of The Times Of Fairy Tales And Fantasy Writing

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During the times of fairy tales and fantasy writing, there was a considerable amount of inequality between genders. As such during this time period, stories that were written most likely would have been written in a form that showed influence from the society of the author(s). I will be using the stories of: “Rapunzel”, “Rumpelstiltskin”, “Cinderella”, “Frog Prince”, “Snow White”, and “Hansel and Grethel” to represent the inequalities between the genders. These stories all have the common theme of men doing an action and women getting punished for it most of the time.
In the story of “Rapunzel,” the main character that the story is centered upon is a female. This female, “Rapunzel,” was depicted as a very incompetent and inferior
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The same is shown for the king. “Now set yourself to work, and if you have not spun this straw into gold by an early hour to-morrow you must die” (Rumpelstiltskin, Grimm 192). This quote shows an innocent girl being threatened by a man that she will die if she does not do what he asks. This man does not get punished, much like the other man, but yet the female who did nothing wrong to start with was about to be punished by having her newborn taken away from her in the story (Rumpelstiltskin, Grimm 193). These portrayals of women as being useless and helpless are solid examples of how people are treated differently depending on gender in fairy tales. According to the stories; “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, “Hansel and Grethel”; the women whom are step-mother’s of the protagonists in these stories have some sort of power of the fathers of these protagonists, and usually causing some form of conflict for the protagonist. Regardless of these women being the main source of conflict for the protagonist, the men still play a role. In Cinderella the stepmother made Cinderella a maid that is similar to that of a slave in Cinderella’s father’s home, yet the father just allows this cruelty happen without facing any consequence for benefitting from his daughter’s own belittlement and servitude; “The sisters treated her besides with every possible insult, derided her, and shook the peas and beans into the ashes so that she had to pick them out
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