Saturday, December 1, 2012


Coming into this class in the beginning of the semester, I wasn't quite sure what we would be doing because I had never heard of The Grimm Brothers before. I was excited to learn about the history of fairy tales and where they come from. In high school I interpreted different stories and novels for my English classes, so i knew most of the different approaches to interpretation which helped me in this class. One huge thing that i learned in this class was all the different contributors to fairy tales, such as Basile and Perrault. In the beginning of the semester when read Sleeping Beauty I gave a presentation of the uses of enchantment in that story. The article was written by Bettelheim and gave me a different insight to the psychoanalytic perspective and how much symbolism there is in Sleeping Beauty. This report helped give me more understanding of how to exactly interpret some symbolism related to the psychoanalytic perspective. When we read Cinderella and Snow White I learned much more about the role of women in fairy tales and how that has changed over time. I also learned how Disney used fairy tales to get his ideologies out, which many fairy tale contributors have been doing for centuries. I ended up writing my research paper on this topic because I found it very interesting how women's roles in fairy tales have changed over time. I also learned from these stories how the role of the prince has changed over time as well and how the prince has gone from being a background character to playing a huge part in the story. When we read Little Red Cap and Hansel and Gretel I began to notice the trend of the woods as a symbol in many fairy tales. Also when we discussed these stories I learned how children play a role in many stories, their innocence and naive ways is what many villains in fairy tales find attracting. When we read the different version of Bluebeard I learned how Bluebeard is a reverse fairy tale. It does things backwards. The marriage is in the beginning and acts a punishment, almost trapping the heroine in. It is her worst nightmare. In many fairy tales marriage acts as a reward, but not in the different adaptions of Bluebeard. When we read Rapunzel I really enjoyed it because I felt that symbol of being trapped in your own reality, can be very relate able to many people. When we watched and compared the Silence of the Lambs to Little Red Riding Hood, i enjoyed it. I did not quite understand the movie, but I understand how it could be seen as an adaption of Little Red Riding Hood. Throughout the semester I have learned many different things from the stories we have read, such as symbols, interpretations, and themes. I have learned that in all fairy tales there is a pattern. Many people get fairy tales confused with folklore. They are different, that is another thing that i learned this semester. I really enjoyed this class and I have learned a lot about different fairy tales and what they mean (in the story and relating to real life).

Little Red Riding Hood vs. Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs is a 20th century adaption of the famous fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Many believe that the relationship between Clarice and Lecter can be seen as the wolf and little red. Throughout the movie Clarice is intrigued by Lecter and very curious to find out what makes him do what he does to solve her case. Both stories begin in the woods. In many fairy tales going into the woods represents the unknown, dangers, etc. In Little Red Riding Hood little red is very eager to speak to the wolf and give him information. She is innocent and intrigued, just like Clarice is in the movie. Lecter is fascinated by her innocence and general curiosity. She doesn't necessarily want to persecute Lecter, but learn from him. However; in Little Red Riding Hood, the story ends with the wolf being killed. This could be similar to "Buffalo Bill" being shot and killed by Clarice in the story, because it could be a version of Lecter (the wolf) being killed. In the movie although, Clarice knows that the real wolf is still out there. In Little Red Riding Hood, the real wolf is killed, however; little red promises her mother that she will never stray from her path again because there is still many dangers out in the woods, just like life. Silence of the Lambs can be seen as a recent adaption of this famous fairy tale because it shows many fairy tale qualities and the relationship between characters is the same.

Monday, November 19, 2012


This cartoon is using using humor to relate to the fairy tale Rapunzel. It is mocking how many times the prince came to visit her by saying that he shouldn't come up tonight due to her splitting headache. It is assumed that her headache is a result from how many times the prince has had to climb up her hair. Compared to the Disney film there are a few differences. In the film, the main male character is not actually a prince. He is actually an outlaw on the run from the kingdom. Here in the cartoon, the male character is dressed in armor and has a horse, so it is assumed that he is a prince. Another difference in the movie and the cartoon is how long Rapunzel's hair is, In this cartoon it doesn't even reach the ground which means it would be harder to climb up it. In the movie her hair is extremely long and magical. It can heal wounds. No where in the cartoon does it talk about Rapunzel's hair having magical powers.

Name of cartoonist was unavailable 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


There are three different versions of the fairy tale Bluebeard. Two were by the Brothers Grimm, and one was by Charles Perrault. Fitcher's Bird and the Robber Bridegroom were the two German versions. There are similarities and differences between all three versions of Bluebeard. The Robbers Bridegroom and Bluebeard both begin with marriage. Fitcher's Bird also begins with a relationship between a man an a young girl. The man wants to take of the young girl and provide for her, much like marriage. Unlike other fairy tales where marriage and relationships are in the end and seen as a reward, marriage and relationships is present at the beginning of the story and symbolizes death. The is unique to Bluebeard because marriage in fairy tales is so often seen as a reward. Also, the heroine in each story. In each story, the wife, allows for her curiosity to deceive her and she ends up disobeying her husband, and in these three stories that is punishable by death. The key and the egg both symbolize a females unspoiled sexuality. When the husband returns home to find his key and egg to be stained with blood, he is outraged. The blood aspect represents a wife's infidelity to her husband. The Robbers Bridegroom does not contain a specific room or forbidden chamber, however, the bride still learns the evil ways of her husband by witnessing the murder of another women. In each version of Bluebeard the main heroine of the story is seriously deprived for knowledge. There is almost a sexual attraction to knowledge. Each of the three main features in Bluebeard is present in each three of these versions. There is a forbidden chamber she is not allowed to go in, however, in the Robbers Bridegroom this is a metaphorical chamber. The Robbers house itself is the chamber. The young girl constantly avoided going to the robbers house because she knew she did not trust him. When she finally enters the house, she discovers the truth about him. The next function seen in each three of these versions is the agent of prohibition and who is punishing. This in each story, is the main male character. The husband in each story tells the bride to do something or not doing something and if she does or doesn't she is punished. Next is the figure who violates this prohibition and will be punished. The girls in each of the stories allow their curiosity to overcome them. The husband then tries to punish them, but in the end the husband is outsmarted by the girl(s). Curiosity and disobedience are the two central themes present in all three versions of Bluebeard. My favorite version of Bluebeard is The Robbers Bridegroom. I prefer this version because there isn't as much gore. Yes, you witness the murder and possible rape of a young girl, but the original bride in the end is able to most wittily outsmart her husband. In the other two versions, each husband does get outsmarted, however, in the Robbers Bridegroom, the wife is able to trap her husband in the most secret of ways. She is able to escape his house with no trace of ever being there and confess to her father the truth. I believe in this version evil is most directly defeated and that is why I prefer it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cupid and Psyche vs. The Frog King

     I believe that the Greek tale Cupid and Psyche is nothing like the German tale The Frog King. There are some major differences between these two stories. A main is the story line in general. There is really no similarities involved in the story line other than the fact that Psyche is a princess. In The Frog King by the Brother's Grimm, the princess drops her golden ball in a well. A talking frog agrees to retrieve it for her if she promises to be his companion (marriage). She willingly promises this because she wants her gold ball back and realizes that this little frog can't do anything if I don't keep my promise. Once the ball is retrieved for the princess she goes back to her palace and leaves the frog by the well. Later when she is eating dinner the frog is at the door and yelling for her to come let him in and keep her promise. Her father hears this and makes the princess follow through with her promise of being the frogs company. Later that night when her father makes her take the frog to bed with her, once she gets to her room she throws him against the wall, then he turned into a handsome prince. When the princess realized this they fell asleep together. The next morning the princes servant, Heinrich arrived with the carriage. He was so overwhelmed by the princes enchantment that he had to wrap three iron bands around his hear to keep it from bursting with sorrow. When they were all pulling away in the carriage, the bands burst because he was so happy his master was back.
     Cupid and Psyche is different in many ways. It is still a more fantasy of a tale, but it is based off of the myths of the ancient Greek gods. Psyche is a beautiful mortal who the goddess, Venus, is inherently jealous of due to mortals constantly comparing Psyche's beauty to hers. She sends her son cupid to cause Psyche to be madly in love with an undeserving man as her punishment. Cupid makes a mistake and accidently causes him to be in love with Psyche. Psyche is obsessed with getting married and because of her immense beauty she is denial as to why a rich and high class suitor hasn't come her way and demanded marriage. They then consulted the oracle of Apollo and found out that Psyche was destined for a hideous monster at the top of the mountain. Once Psyche was taken to her fate, she found pounds, beauty, a huge house filled with everything she could desire and more. Her husband only came at night and would not let her see him. Eventually her husband allowed her to bring her sisters up to her sanctuary and they implanted the idea in her head to sneak a peak at her husband with a lamp at night, and if he was a monster to kill him. Her husband caught her doing this the next night. Her husband turned out to be Cupid. As her punishment, Cupid leaves her forever. Psyche is so distraught and doesn't know what to do she goes out looking for her husband. She comes across Ceres, who gives her the advice to go to Venus's temple and beg for her forgiveness. Psyche does this. Venus makes her complete a few tasks and each time does not believe that Psyche could have completed them alone. Her final task is to receive some beauty in a box from Proserpine and bring it back to Venus to heal her son. Psyche is too not look inside or open the box, but again her curiosity fails her and she opens the box and is put into a deep sleep. By this time cupid is better. He could not stand being away from Psyche so he consults the help of Jupiter, who pleads the case to Venus. She eventually agrees and Psyche becomes immortal and her and Cupid can finally be together.
     These two tales are different for many different reasons. The tale itself is completely different with only a few striking similarities. One similarity I find very clear is the attitude of the princess's. Both are quite selfish and material item obsessed.Once Psyche sees her palace, she doesn't complain at all about not seeing her husband or any one else. The princess in The Frog King is only concerned with herself and what makes her happy. She doesn't intend on keeping her promise to the frog. These stories are inherently different with really only one or two similarities.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Little Red and Deforestation

 Little Red Riding Hood is a popular fairy tale and is known all over the world. In this environmental cartoon above, Little Red Riding Hood is showing a different approach. The theme of this cartoon is the environment and deforestation. The aim of this cartoon is to show how the environment is rapidly changing. In the traditional fairy tale Little Red has to travel through a thick forest to get to her grandmas house. This cartoon mocks that by getting rid of the entire forest and having Little Red say how deforestation has made it easier for her to reach her grandmas house. I think this cartoon does a great job of getting the point across that deforestation is having a huge effect on our earth. Millions of trees are being destroyed each year across the globe. This environmental cartoon does a great job of demonstrating that. They are taking a common and well known fairy tale to help get their point across that the environment and our forests are disappearing right in front of our eyes. I believe that more people should be focused on the declining state of our environment. Deforestation is getting rid of trees which help produce oxygen. Without trees and plant life, we would all die. The state of our environment is slowly becoming a more well known and addressed problem. This cartoon does a great job of helping bring this issue to the table in a way people can relate and that is sensible. More people will be able to understand the devastation of this problem if they can relate to the way that the information is presented. I really like this cartoon because it allows people from across the world to relate and understand the problem our environment is facing today.
Spikey's Studio

Friday, October 5, 2012

Grimm Brothers vs. Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton and the Grimm Brothers both have very similar versions for the tale of Snow White. Although there are a few distinct differences in the tale. One key difference is the age of Snow White in the tales. In the Grimm Brothers version Snow White is seven years old and in Anne Sextons version Snow White is thirteen.  I believe this could have something to do with puberty. When describing Snow White in the first stanza, Sexton says, "rolling her china-blue doll eyes/open and shut./Open to say,/Good Day Mama,/and shut for the thrust/of the unicorn." This could be interpreted to refer to sex. The poem goes on to say how Snow White is pure and innocent. Maybe the reason that Sexton changed the age of Snow White was so that the princess was closer to puberty and maturing. Another key difference in these two version is what the queen asks the hunter to bring back the heart of Snow White for her. In Sextons version the queen wants the heart of the princess, but in the Grimm Brothers she wants the lungs and liver. The reason for this change could be that the heart symbolizes life and the queen wants to take Snow Whites life away so no one can be more beautiful than her.Another difference is how long it takes Snow White to reach the Dwarfs cottage in the woods. In the Grimm Brothers version it only takes Snow White around a day to reach the cottage. In Sextons version it takes the princess seven weeks to reach the cottage. This could be better to better represent how long it would actually take for a little girl to cross seven mountains. In the Grimm Brothers version Snow White is humble and polite. She only eats a little bit of food off of each little plate because she doesn't want to upset the Dwarfs who life in the cottage in hopes that they will let her stay there. In Sextons version Snow White is more greedy than that. She eats each each chicken liver, fully, off of all of their plates. I believe this is the first evidence in this version that Sexton is trying to change the character of Snow White. Another difference is how the story ends. The last few lines of Sextons version say this, "Meanwhile Snow White held court,/rolling her china-blue doll eyes open and shut/and sometimes referring to her mirror/as women do." Sexton changes the complete character and meaning of the story here. She is taking some innocent little pure girl and turning her into the thing she is trying to run away from. In the Grimm Brothers version Snow White is pure and would never want to harm anyone. Sexton turns her into her stepmother by making her just as obsessed with her looks as the witch. Those are a few of the differences between the two versions. There are a few similarities as well. In both versions the queen uses the same devices to try and kill Snow White. Sexton probably kept this the same because they have no real say into who the characters are themselves. Another similarity is how the queen dies. Both Sexton and the Grimm Brothers keep this the same. The queen is forced to dance in red hot iron shoes. I believe that Sexton choose to keep this the same because it really is an awful way to die and it shows the wickedness and evil that Snow White is starting to show. I believe that the changes Sexton made were in an effort to change the character of Snow White and the meaning of the story. Sextons version is more about how women today are constantly obsessing over their looks and making it so that they become extremely jealous of women who are prettier than them,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Grimm vs. Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a classic Fairy Tale. Many people only know the Disney version of Snow White, but before that there were many versions. One of the first versions of this tale is the Brothers Grimm version. There are many differences and similarities between the two. One difference in them is how many times the queen comes to try and kill Snow White. In the Brothers Grimm version she tries to kill Snow While three times. The first time with lace, the second with a poison comb, and the third with the fatal apple. In the Disney version the queen only comes to the house once with the apple. Another difference is what Snow White does when she arrives at the cottage. In Grimm Brothers version Snow White is made to promise the seven dwarfs that she cook, clean, and keep the house running for them in order to live there. In the Disney version when Snow White arrives there she sees how messy the cottage is and decides to clean it for them in hopes that they will let her stay. This could be symbolic of the domestication of women in the time period that Disney made the movie. Women were expected to be homemakers and clean and cook for their men. Another big difference between the two is that in Disney's version Snow White is an orphan, while in the Grimm Brothers version she is not. However, in both versions the King is not mentioned. That is a very important similarity because it reflects upon what could be the reason for the conflict between the queen and Snow White. In Breaking the Disney Spell by Jack Zipes it says that a possible reason for the conflict between the two is their fighting over the affection of the absent king. Another similarity between the two is Snow Whites ignorance. Even though the queen visits the cottage only once in Disney's version and three times in the Brothers Grimm time, each time is too naive to realize that it is a trick. The queen knows in both versions that the girl will not know who she is, even though the dwarfs tell her many times not to let anyone into the house because the queen will try and come and trick her into letting her in. A huge difference in the two versions is the prince. In Disney's version the prince is mentioned very early on and plays a huge role throughout the story line. In the Grimm Brothers version the prince is only mentioned at the very end and plays a minimal role. The prince goes from being such a small part to one of the biggest parts in the story. The mentioning of the prince changes the whole story line. The Disney version makes Snow White into a girl who is waiting for love and a prince, while the Grimm Brothers version is more about beauty and the conflict between mother and daughter. These are only a few similarities and difference between the two versions. There are many more. I believe that Disney diverted from the original tale for many reasons. One main one was too make money. Another huge one was because of the time period that Disney was filming the movie. He made Snow White during the depression. Therefore a lot that he changed had to do with that. He wanted to raise moral of his fellow Americans. A lot about Snow White also reflected things that had happened to Disney throughout his life and he identified himself very closely with the tale. Therefore, a lot he changed had to do with his own experience and wanting the tale to be more of his. He wanted to make a name for himself and he did this through Snow White. Snow White was the first ever feature length animation movie and Disney diverted a lot from the original tale so that he could make it his own. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rags to Riches

The motif rags to riches through marriage and magic is common through countless fairytales in history. A common fairytale known for this motif is Cinderella. I do believe that someone can gain riches and fame through marriage and magic. Maybe not magic, but defiantly marriage. A common phrase used today for someone who seeks out money through marriage is a gold digger. I am not saying that Cinderella was a gold digger. She did not seek out to marry the prince. She just wanted to go to the ball and the prince happened to fall in love with her. In fairytales I believe you can gain riches through magic but not in real life. I don’t believe magic is real. There are things like destiny and fate, but those aren’t magic. If you are destined to be with someone who is rich, then okay. That isn’t magic. Marriage I believe is a common way to gain riches, and it is common across many cultures. There are many stories of people who go and gain riches through marriage, poor commoners who marry into royalty. Success is another thing that can be gained through marriage because if your spouse is successful, then in return so are you. How realistic is it that you are going to marry rich? Well, that’s a good question. Unless you’re going out every day look for a wealthy man and refusing anything less, I would say your chances aren’t that good. I believe you have about the same luck of marrying rich as you do becoming well off on your own hard work and accomplishments.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hansel and Gretel

In the original Grimm tale Hansel and Gretel the mother of the two wants to abandon them in the woods because there isn't enough food and money to support the whole family. She wants to be selfish and leave the children to fend for themselves in the woods alone. The father in the original tale does not want to do this because he loves his children and believes it would be better to share what little they have than to be selfish. Also, in the original tale Hansel and Gretel first leave a trail of pebbles to find their way home and eventually they do. In both tales Hansel and Gretel leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back but the birds eat the bread, so it is impossible for them to find their way home and they end up wandering further into the woods. In the MGM version when the kids are at the witches house they realize that she is blind. They also realize this in the original version but the difference is what they do about it. In the original version Hansel tricks the witch to think that he is not getting fat by always letting her see a little bone instead of his finger. In the MGM version Gretel realizes that the witch will be able to do nothing without her seeing eye glass, so she wants to break it and eventually she does. I believe that these changes in the Fairy Tale were made to make it more of a happier version. Would you really want to read to your kids about how a mother wants to abandon her kids in the middle of the forest? As time progresses these changes are made to the Fairy Tale to make it more of an appropriate version for children. Your not going to make a movie that doesn't sell, so the changes were made in an effort to help sell the movie too.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What is a Fairy Tale?

A fairy tale is something that consists of magical creatures and fantasy life. Fairy tales are a universe in miniature. Each fairy tale has its own world and everyone who exists in it lives in a timeless world, they characters are never changing. In fairy tales at the end usually the evil principle needs to be destroyed or done away with so that only good things can prosper. Fairy tales are all about underlying lessons and morals that they instill in not only children but adults as well. Each fairy tale carries around with a different history and different moral. Fairy tales have been around for ages and as time has progressed they have changed. However, many fairy tales still hold true to their original lesson and moral. A fairy tale is more than a girl dreaming one day her prince will come, as Disney had made it out to be. That’s what people these days associate Fairy Tales with, but it is much more than that. The Grimm brothers believed these stories to hold and tie the community together. They were oral and written stories passed down for generations in the German culture. These stories are much more than just a girl waiting for her prince. They are traditions and values that many different cultures had passed down for ages. Throughout time great works of literature have borrowed many of their motifs from Fairy Tales. Fairy Tales are not a normal type of literature. They concern man directly and everything he must face. They force you to rise up and do what is right. They instill morals and values in you that you could get nowhere else. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blog # 1

I chose this course as my First Year Seminar because my entire life I have loved Fairy Tales. I can recall growing up always watching Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and many more. I even played Sleeping Beauty in a play one time at summer camp. I can confidently say that acting is not my forte. Being a beautiful princess and having your prince charming come and rescue you is every little girls dream. Fairy Tales are all about imagination and believing in things even if they are impossible, and I believe that is why I chose this course. I hope to gain a better understanding for what classic fairy tales symbolize and where they come from. When your little everything is sort of black and white. You are able to believe in things that when you grow up you will find out are impossible. I hope to gain from this course a bigger and better meaning behind these stories than just the black and white outline of them. My favorite fairy tale is Sleeping Beauty, and not because I was her in a play. Sleeping Beauty in my eyes is the biggest example of good conquering evil. The prince battles the dragon as the town is falling apart so he can reach Aurora and wake her with a kiss and they will fall madly in love. Classic.Who wouldn't want to be saved at the last minute by a gorgeous prince? It is somewhat cheesy to me now but it has always been my favorite.