August 30, 2012

A Post Just for Students!

Hey T190 Students:
I hope you are enjoying being in the fairy tale class as much as I am enjoying teaching it.

This post is the place you can come to comment about class or about something interesting you found elsewhere that is related to fairy tales.

All the commenting rules we reviewed in class are in play here. But you should remember that you are free to comment on the other posts on this site right underneath the post (hit comments link). This post is just kind of a grab-all.

Remember that I see and approve all comments before they are put on EC.

Happy commenting. I can't wait to read what you say!

Below is one of my all-time favorite fairy pictures.

Boreas, by John William Waterhouse

45 comments

  1. Having discussed “Snow White” the past class sessions, we have not been able to cover every word of every fairy tale we have read. In class on Monday (the 11th) we discussed the connection between one of the fairy tales to religion (the specific story is slipping my mind). However, while re-reading over the different versions I found there to be another link to religion and the Immaculate Conception.
    Giambattista Basile writes in her version, “The Young Slave,” about a Baron of Selvascura’s unmarried sister. She goes on to say, her sister and some friends used to play in the garden. When the kids got together they played a game involving roses. The first person to jump over the flowers without touching any part of the flower would essentially win. When the Baron’s sister, Lilla, jumped she did caused a petal to fall and chose to eat it, making it seem like she cleared the bush. Basile goes on to explain, “Not less than three days later, Lilla felt herself to be pregnant, and nearly died of grief, for she knew that she had done nother compromising or dishonest. […] She gave birth in hiding to a lovely little girl whom she names Lisa” (Tatar 80). Let’s take the time to understand how this relates to the Immaculate Conception.
    Aside from the hatred and anger of Lilla, she conceived a child in absence of sex. According to religion, Mother Mary conceived Jesus in the absence of sex too. Additionally, both Jesus and Lisa (a/k/a Snow White) are individuals in each story put in the limelight. I thought it was interesting to make this connection and would like to welcome any comments or thoughts about this post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think that watching the movie was a great idea, in that it not only kept me entertained, but it allowed me to view this story from a childhood perception. At the start of the movie, I questioned how this would be different from any other movie or fairy tale. It became very clear in the beginning as soon they came home to a mysterious woman in their home.
    Now personally, I developed two ideas from watching the movie. The first way I found this very rebellious, is that Grumpy is seen as the black sheep of the family, and is often seen throwing tantrums, and not doing what he is told. I realized that when Snow white told him to wash for dinner, he didn’t question why or ask why, like the others did, he immediately threw an attitude refusing to wash.
    Secondly, my parents always told me to never allow strangers in the home, but yet the dwarfs (The characters in which a kid would connect with most) eventually allows her into their lives, home & wellbeing.
    I am starting to see what was meant by how this particular popular fairy tale celebrates and promotes rebellious behavior. I would go as far to say that they are hidden messages! What do you think??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another, more modern version of Snow White is “Snow, Glass, Apples” by Neil Gaiman. It is graphic and most definitely a fairy tale aimed at adults. The story contains dark sexual elements, necrophilia and even vampirism. Snow White is presented as an almost evil child and is the villainess of the story, as opposed to her step-mother. It is an interesting look at the role
    reversal between Snow White and the Queen and how the Queen is persecuted and ultimately loses her life because of Snow White. In the end it could be seen that she figuratively dies in the beginning of the story after giving birth and then literally dies at the end of the story when she is put into the kiln. It seems to be such a dramatic version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale and yet it stays true to some of the basic underlying themes of the story.

    Allison R.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In class we discussed the story “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and to be honest I had never really been this interested in truly understand the purpose of why Jack is so desperate to climb up the beanstalk. Finally after discussing and analyzing the symbols and possible outcomes of why he does the things he does, I came to a conclusion that this is truly a rebellious, selfish, lying boy. We live in a world where beauty, rebellion, size, ect are so powerful that even young children are manipulated by it. Subliminal messages are created in these stories just to get people to act a certain way. Thinking thoroughly has given me a chance to look deeper and think critically about the subject and how this could possibly affect children’s behavior in many ways. Every boy needs some sort of male role model in their life to teach him male figure things, and Jack doesn’t seem to have one in his life to do that. For starters, like the fact that he needs to grow up and hold a job, or that stealing is wrong. Perhaps that might have a bit to do with his behavior, maybe he holds some sort of anger inside and this is his way of letting it out, by acting out in this awful way which is lying, and stealing. Whatever his reasons are the worst part is that he gets rewarded for the trouble he makes, and everyone who has a common sense would agree that rewarding him would not help change his behavior.

    Diana H.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In class we discussed Snow White on many levels and from the viewpoints of many authors, I think its great that we get to go through so many interpretations of the same story often from different countries and areas of the world and see how those cultures interpret the story. In addition to reading eh stories I think it was great that we watched the movie as well, the movie Snow White tends to bring us all back to what we think of when we think Snow White but having watched it after reading the stories I think creates a new cultural activity I am beginning to become fond of, which is think about what I know about the story, read the stories and then go back to what I already new and compare the two. Since the beginning of the class this has yielded some interesting conversations with others and myself on the many subjects we have covered not just Snow White.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is an interesting retelling, especially because it is from the prince’s point of view. The way it is written you get the idea that the prince is constantly at a loss of words or is flustered. I loved when the princess turned into a pumpkin and how he really did not see it coming. The prince’s point of view is so different from the Cinderella versions and retelling I know because it is not even a boy Cinderella, like in the Nickelodeon movie Rags. That was a Cinderella retelling where instead of the Cinderella character being a beautiful girl he was a strapping young waiter/songwriter. This story on the other hand is simple from the love interest point of view with little from the Cinderella character. I was able to see what the prince might have gone through during the time he was away from his mysterious beautiful guest. That entire concept I found to be really interesting and creative, because I have never read a story like this before. All together this story was a funny retelling that had a twist.
    10-17-12 Nicole W. on Royal Ball? Get Home Before Midnight or Magic Happens by John Patrick Pazdziora

    ReplyDelete
  7. ONE THING THAT I FOUND PHENOMINAL ABOUT LAST WEEKS CLASS WAS THE QUIZ!!!! Particularly the last portion, which contained the trickiest question that I have, ran into since the class began. It questioned rather beauty showed true affection for beast? And If so, when did she?. Now I spoke to professor K. because I thought that this could have been a potential problem, and here’s why. In the beginning Beauty showed her disgust for the beast hideous being, she said that she would never love something like him. In the care of the Beast she is catered to, getting pretty much all that she needs and being treated like a princess. She gets homesick, and is allowed to leave for seven days, but stays for more than that. She returns on the fly because of a dream she has that he is indeed dying. OK, so here we have what seems to be dying beast, which is because he so longed for beauty’s presence. Upon her return she throws herself at the dying beast, now completely submitting herself to the beast, saying, “Don’t die, I’ll marry you, I’ll marry you”. But can this be said as affection, is this Love? It is indeed a fairy tale, and from what we have seen thus far, there is a lesson to be learned here. Remember back in the beginning, when he asks for her hand, she says nope! But what seems to be the lesson is that one must not be so misled by exterior attraction or distractions (His ugliness), but it must be a matter of the heart. It was eyes of her heart that saw him hurting, which allowed her to truly love him as Him….His UGLY, FAT, HAIRY, BIG HEADED, probably STINKY, but beautiful being. How ironic that her name is Beauty 

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am glad that we read and discussed the different versions of the Juniper Treet in class. I have never heard this story before, maybe it’s because it is not well knew in other parts of the world. The characteristics are very scary for young minds, the context is mind disturbing for children, and maybe it was made for adults only. I must admitted, the story was scary, how the step mother kills the young child, base on which version it was, the brother or sister cries until the end of the story. My question is, why are mothers who are supposed to love always view as evil? Folklore such as Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Juniper Treet all have one thing in common, evil step parent. I love fairy tales more now thanks to T190. I thought this class was going to change my thoughts about fairy tales in a negative way instead T190 had become my training of looking at folklores in a deeper context. I love this class so far, and my hopes and goals are to leave this class knowing that it has been a great experience.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was a nanny throughout high school and still babysit every now and again, and I always tell or watch fairy tales with the kids. We would watch the Barbie fairy tale movies that had the same build up; girl has a past or a prophecy that affects the future, a magical bad guy, and a few magical objects to help her save the day. These stories are pretty much the same but the kids will watch them all every time a new one comes out. To them it is just as new as the first one they saw, and just as magical. They don’t notice the similarities because they are young enough to simply appreciate the magic of a world opening up to them. In my opinion it is those similarities that help the kids love the story so much. With the similarities the stories became familiar enough to the kids to allow the world to open up to them and share its story. These stories helped them when they were sad about their parents not being there or if they were simply bored and needed to use their imagination. These stories were their escape to help them dream and have fun like all kids should do, and I am really happy to have witnessed this.
    Nicole Walter

    ReplyDelete
  10. I read one of our fairytales again today and it made me think back to when I was reading my first real book which happened to be filled with fairies, ghost, witches, wizards, and a school by the name of Hogwarts. When I was first reading this book I was dealing with the death of one of my friend’s father, my coach, someone who was like an uncle to me. In the book Harry lost his parents and had to cope with that and as I read more people I loved died, and more people he loved died. This fairy tale helped me escape the painful world that surrounded me and travel through a world to help figure out that although one life ended I was surrounded by others who loved my. This past two weeks I read through my favorite parts and I’ve found that those words and the words of most fairy tales are meant to teach us something and a lot of them can drag us out of the darkness of the woods, the sleep, or even the death that surrounds us. Whether it is “Hansel and Gretel”, “Snow White”, or even Harry Potter growing up everyone needs fairytales to help shape and form them into who they will become.
    Nicole Walter

    ReplyDelete
  11. The “Juniper Tree” was an interesting fairy tale about a little boy who was killed by his stepmother eaten by his father and buried by his sister underneath a tree. The boy then emerged from the ground a bird that went around the kingdom singing his enchanted song of his demise in exchange for three gifts that his three family members truly deserve. When I was reading this story I thought it was the most horrific and funny fairy tale that we have read yet. It had a gross factor of about eleven on a scale of one-to-ten. The cannibalism and murder in this tale is what makes it so horrific and disgusting. Honestly the worst part was that after the stepmother cut her stepson’s head off she set him up to look like he was alive and told her own daughter to slap her half-brother causing his head to fall off. The little girl thought it was her fault and when her mother cooked the boy and fed him to their father she cried and gathered the bones to bury them under the juniper tree. The bird to me reminded me of a phoenix, the rebirth of something from a pile of ashes. At this point it became clear that he would live a human again by the end of the story. Now the funny part came when the bird sang his song and having that simple truth sung it brought a bunch of people to listen to it. The song was horrible and it described every horrid thing that happened to the boy, but it still made the people want to hear it repeated. Once the bird got his three ‘gifts’ he went and sang his song to his family and delivered something to each one of them. The last of which was to his stepmother and that ‘gift’ caused her death and his transformation back into a human. This part seemed like the key to breaking the curse, an eye for an eye or a life for a life. By killing her, the bird undid the injustice that happened to him. The three remaining family members walked away without a care for the dead evil stepmother, and they live happily ever after. This story made me cry for some reason I don’t know, but it also made me cringe and laugh. Fairy tales can cause different emotion to run through are bodies every time we read them, and that is why they are so amazing and needed in the lives of every person. Reading this story helped me see that, and even though I tried to analyze this to figure out what causes which emotion the next time I read it I reacted differently. Fairy tales help children and adults alike get through whatever emotional state they are in, and because that changes so does the reaction.
    Nicole Walter

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been thinking about the different fairy tales, the old and the new. In class we have read a lot of old fairy tales and growing up I have watched the Disney, Barbie, Cinderella retellings, and TV show retellings. The fairy tales we read in class had characters that were vague, while the retellings of those stories are more in depth and the characters are more than just titles in the newer tales. In all the shows I’ve seen the characters in them have had a story, a name, and a title. For instance in Once Upon a Time the characters don’t just have one backstory they have two and those two backstories combined to create a magical journey with every character known to the fairytale community. Because this story doesn’t just last a few pages these characters are able to grow and as a viewer we are able to grow attached to them. In class the characters were simply princess or prince, or a name that is like Cinderella where the character’s name describes their appearance. This is the old oral traditional way of fairy tales, but now it has much more added to the story and because of that the audience can learn more about the meaning behind the tale. Either way, stuffed with detail or just enough for the reader to remember, fairy tales characters are what connect us to the stories.
    Nicole Walter

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sometimes I feel like the criticism section of Maria Tatar's Fairy Tales is really rather dry and boring, I like reading the stories and having a beginning middle and end and then to read others take on the story and for them to break it down and present it like its fact just comes off all wrong. A lot of times the criticism writers, contradict themselves or present clearly false information that does not line up with the story and it creates a hostile tone with the reader, or at least it did for me. For me the fun part of reading the fairy tales is getting a different exposure to the stories, which I heard about when I was a child. I know part of reading older stories is to read the criticism but in all actuality I have taken very little away from read the criticism section and would be quite content with not reading another on.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I often wonder what Walt Disney or any other person who has adapted a fairy tale into something children will enjoy; what they were thinking when they decided to change a story so much to appeal to children. It almost shocks me sometimes; I know they had to change some elements of the story but to make up characters or subtracts physical features or accentuate others hardly seems like the story holds any of its original purpose. I understand money is money and Walt Disney knows how to be successful but appears that he essentially created another Cinderella and another Snow White and all the other movies based of fairy tales. He took them and changed them so radically that it has created a new story that shouldn’t, in any way be compared with the original one. I guess this is the world we live in and the types of things we have to deal with but in all reality I have to remind myself not to picture a yellow dress and poofy shoulder things when I read Snow White the fairy tale; thank you Walt Disney, you win.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Before I came into this class I had no idea of all the different fairy tale stories that were out there. This class has truly made me think deeper into the stories I thought were always happily ever after. Learning about Snow White has been the most interesting story to me because not only was I able to read the the different stories of Snow White but I was identifying where the cruelty and disobedience takes part not only in the Disney movie but in the Brother's Grimm story as well. I have been telling my friends all the interesting things I have been learning in this class because I find it so intriguing. English is my favorite subject and the topics we have been discussing and writing about have made the class even more enjoyable.

    Hannah R.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Soon after having read and discussed "The Tiger's Bride", by Angela Carter, I purchased The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter. For those students who would like to read a more modern take on the classic fairy tale "Bluebeard", I would recommend you reading "The Bloody Chamber".

    The story is very much the same plot as used in "Bluebeard" but Carter does a very good job putting a modern twist on the story. Telephones, modern lighting and plumbing, and other things help make the setting something we are more familiar with. It would be easy to imagine her story taking place within the last century.

    I admit I had some issues with "The Tiger's Bride". Particularly in her lack of explanation for why the tiger was the way he was. However I thoroughly enjoyed "The Bloody Chamber".

    ReplyDelete
  17. The story with Rumpelstiltskin in it I think is over thought. He needs help with something and he knows this girl is in need of help that he can help with. All he wants at first in gold but towards the end of the deal is a child. You never know what he wants with the child. He may not be able to have a child of his own so he has someone else have the child for him. Or possibly have may want to eat the child. It never says what he wants with the child just that he wants one, and willing to help out a young lady who he doesn’t know to get what he wants with a price. So it’s a good idea to imagine that he just wants to be a good father but can have his own or is too old to have one so he needs help in doing so. That he tricks a young lady who is need to giver up her first born for her own life.
    Christina S

    ReplyDelete
  18. In class we discussed a story with a step mother, daughter, son and father. The step mother wasn’t fair with the children. Since the little boy wasn’t hers, she treated him different. The fact that she is the one who knocked off the little boys here, then let her daughter who loved her brother, take the blamed for killing her brother. The mother then cuts up the little boy and feeds the soup to the father. The little sister then takes the bones and digs a hole and puts them in the ground by the tree. The boy comes back as a pretty bird and sings a song that is nasty buy people think it’s a beautiful song. Each person he sings the song they give the bird a gift to hear it again. He brings shoes back for his sister and drops a load on his step mother and kills her and he reappears. It shows that people get what comes to them.
    Christina S

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another fairy tale story we read that I loved was “Jack and the Beanstalk”. It opened my mind to numerous of things. One thing it showed me was, how children, when they see their parents struggling want to help out in any way they can. When Jack seen that his mother was struggling with money he wanted to fix it. When he went to sell the cow and saw the man with the magical beans, he was so happy that he could not wait to tell his mother. In my opinion, this story made me think about multiple things. Jack was an innocent boy who wanted to help his mother out. He was unable to see that trading in his cow for some magical beans was not realistic. The fact that the magical beans did do what the man said they would do, made Jack even more curious. I feel as though Jacks mother was neglectful because she did not know that Jack had been climbing the beanstalk so many times. The part that stood out to me the most in the story was how Jack kept returning to the ogre’s house to steal things from him knowing it was dangerous. This is a prime example of greediness, dedication, and persistence. Jack was determined to keep him and his mother out of poverty. Many people said how Jack was greedy but I looked at it from a different perceptive. I felt as though Jack wanted to get a certain response from his mother to reassure him that, although he had made a mistake by trading milky-way in, the fact that he kept him and his mother stable by stealing things should have kept his mother happy. It appears to me that he wanted to see his mother happy.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love fairy tale class. At first I was not quite sure if I was going to like it or not. I came in with the mindset of what in the world am I going to learn about fairy tales. That is the wrong type of mindset to come in any class with especially if you want to learn. I stand corrected, I have learned so much in the little time that I have been in class. I love the fact that fairy tales, in my opinion teaches us and shows us things about life. When watching them as a child, I never watched them and said, “This can happen in real life”. In actuality the things that happen in fairy tales does happen in real life. The way Cinderella gets treated another child is being treated in that same exact way. The way Jack wanted to help out his mother to get them out of poverty is another example on how we are today. Children do not like to see their parents struggling with money. They will do whatever they need to do to help out but they are too young to understand the consequences of their actions. The way Snow White is wanted dead because of her beauty is a prime example of how in today’s society, people are disliked or hated on because what they look like, where they come from, and the color of their skin. I have learned that fairy tales are important and should be treated as such. In my opinion, there is something you can learn in every fairy tale story that can be applied to your everyday life.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The fairy tale “Puss in Boots” by Charles Perrault was short and sweet. I found it to be quite amusing as well. The cat is a very sneaky little guy and appears to be the smartest, most clever character in the story. He knew exactly what he needed to do to make the marquis into the person the princess wanted to marry and to ensure a good cat life for himself. It is different from other stories that focus on what it means to have good morals and to be a decent person on the inside as opposed to getting by only on your outward appearances. I liked the two morals at the end of the story. At first I thought that it would say that clothes, appearance and youth do NOT play a role in matters of the heart. So I was a little surprised that it would infer that those things are important when fairy tales usually try to teach otherwise. But there is truth to that statement and I think that’s part of what makes the story so appealing, along with having a crazy cat as the main character.

    Allison R.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I found the story of “Bluebeard” to be pretty disturbing, and yet at the same time I couldn’t stop reading to find out what would happen to his current wife. I knew as soon as he told her not to go into the closet that she would. It makes me think of the phrase “curiosity killed the cat.” It seems obvious that he gave his wife the key with the knowledge that she would want to go in the room and so that would give him a reason to continue killing. He knew that she wouldn’t be able to resist looking in that closet and he was right. I didn’t think her brothers would make it on time and that he would continue to kill other women after he killed his wife. I read this fairy tale on the SurLaLune website, however I Googled other versions of the story. On one website it was titled “Bluebeard: an adventure story for children.” I couldn’t believe anyone would consider Bluebeard a story for children!
    Allison R.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The fairy tale “Thumbelina” on SurLaLune was very sweet and lovely. It was enjoyable to read a story about a tiny little fairy that lives in a flower. This is a tale I would read to my young daughter and that I think anyone would be charmed by. I was very surprised to see that it was written by Hans Christian Andersen, since he usually writes stories that have some type of suffering in them. It was ironic that Thumbelina was saved by the fishes and the butterfly only to eventually get stuck with the blind mole. It was sad when she had to say goodbye to the sun because she was going to have to live her life underground with the mole. It seems like Andersen is comparing marriage to being stuck underground in a dark hole for years on end, which is what it can seem like (in my opinion). It was a sweet victory for Thumbelina to find her prince at the end after all she’d been through, and then to receive wings and a new name was also a nice touch.
    Allison R.

    ReplyDelete
  24. One of the stories that stands out to me in particular is “The Little Match Girl”. I loved reading this story and am surprised I have never heard of it before. This story can either be perceived as a sad story, or a happy story. I thought the story was more happy than sad because at first, I felt sorry for the little girl because she was freezing outside on Christmas trying to earn money for her family. The fact that she was so young and was alone outside at night made me feel bad for her. The way she dies was sad too. Lighting the rest of the matches that she was supposed to sell and froze to death, yet when she died, you know that she was going to be in a better place, at peace, in heaven with her grandma. She suffered on earth and even though it was too soon for her to die, she would be better off after she died because she didn’t have to suffer anymore. One thing that I wondered about was that nobody noticed her until after she died and it was too late. Did Andersen intentionally do this so that the little girl would die? Lauren D.

    ReplyDelete
  25. During the course of T190, it has become very obvious that most of the fairy tales that we have all heard growing up or watching the Disney versions of, contain situations that are actually not material that children shouldn’t be exposed to. Although I enjoyed reading Andersen’s version of the fairy tale, after taking T190 I will never look at the tale “The Little Mermaid” the same again. I never knew what pain and agony the Little Mermaid had to endure just to be with the prince. The way Andersen described how every step that she took felt as if she was walking on knives is painful just to hear about! Yet the Little Mermaid was happy just to be by his side. The tale shows how naïve females and males alike can be in attempting to pursue a romantic relationship. The Little Mermaid sacrificed so much just to be close to prince, and in the end he married another girl. Everything she gave up, including her families happiness, and the pain she endured was all in vain. Lauren D.

    ReplyDelete
  26. One of the aspects of Puss in Boots and The Dirty Shepherdess is that there is one character that leads the way in deceiving the other characters in the story to accomplish something. Obviously in The Dirty Shepherdess it was the princess who was banished from the kingdom who is the deceiving one, and in Puss in Boots it’s the cat. But its interesting how many fairy tales have to do with this art of deception to accomplish something, it makes for a great story because we, as readers, get to see what drives the character of a story to such lengths to accomplish something. It is interesting to say the least and I think a part of all of us admires deception to an extent. Not everyone is happy with who they are or what they have accomplished and we deceive people probably on a daily basis just to make ourselves appear slightly more accomplished in our lives.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think it’s interesting that the writer of Puss in Boots chose a cat for the main character and then proceeded to make the cat a male character for the story. In most cartoons and stories that I have seen in my life, dogs are presented as male and cats are presented as female, the one exception I can think of is Tom and Jerry, but lets ignore the exceptions and I would like to point out that I believe if you look into the story of Puss in Boots it’s a cat telling a male what to do and how to do it. There is also a decent understanding throughout history that a women in a way has control over the man, so I think the cat in Puss in Boots is in fact female and most elements of the story reference or tie to that being the case.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I wanted to talk about this story we were assigned to read in class. I don’t think I have read a story this powerful in such a long time. I’m still debating on what kind of circumstances this young child lived in. Where she’s from and how did she get thrown into the streets on a very cold December night? The way Andersen describers her, as being pretty with her long pretty flaxen hair, which hung in pretty curls over her shoulder makes me question the fact that she was in a situation where she was treated badly. Usually children who come from abused families would have messy, damaged, and unhealthy hair. Nevertheless I liked that I was able to see every single thing that was going on in this story, the words provided a vivid image so that I could have a better understanding. And even though she was outside in the cold without no shoes, the ending is a bittersweet moment, because even though dies Andersen describes it as a better place than where she currently was. On top of that she was going to haven with her grandma, someone who The Little Match Girl would rather be with.

    Diana H.

    ReplyDelete
  29. One of my favorite tales that we have read so far in T190 is “The Juniper Tree” because there is an interesting twist to the story and also the symbolism used in it. I thought that it was cruel of the step mother to put the step son’s head back onto his body and then set her daughter up to make her think that she was the one that actually killed him. When the step mother makes a stew out of the little boy for dinner, I was disgusted that not only the boy’s father ate it, he said that he felt as if the stew was his! Not only did the father eat it, but the little girl also ate the stew knowing that it was made from her brother. I also thought it was interesting to see how the death of the little boy affected the little sister because she was always crying. Also, the step mother’s character goes crazy when the little boy returns back to the family in the form of a bird. Even though he isn’t there in person, the mother senses it and is so ridden with guilt that she physically feels pain. Obviously the mother was not mentally healthy to begin with, but due to her sick ways, the little girl had to live thinking that she killed her own brother. Hopefully they did live happily ever after when the little boy returned home. Lauren D.

    ReplyDelete
  30. One of the topics that comes up a lot in discussion of the fairy tales is that most, if not all of them are written for children and that the content in many of them are not particularly what you would think would be suitable for a child. It never occurred to me as a child how gruesome and nasty some of the content can be in fairy tales until taking this course. I never realized that cannibalism existed in fairy tales, or how creepy some of the princes were. If I had known then what I do now, I wouldn’t have liked them as much. The prince in Snow White wanted to take her back home with him not knowing that she was still alive and even worse, the prince in Sleeping Beauty impregnated her while she was sleeping. As a child, I always thought of all the fairy tales as stories where prince charming rescues the princess and they live happily ever after. This is clearly not the case in most fairy tales but at the same time, that’s what makes them interesting and why people still enjoy reading them. Lauren D.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I was watching a documentary on TV last week and it was about the life and legacy of Walt Disney. I was interested to hear the story so I sat down and watched the whole thing. They talked about how good of a businessman he is and how inventive he is but one of the points they kept going back to was how good of a storyteller he was. I find this interesting because of the fact that a lot of movies and stories told by Walt Disney were actually not his stories at all, and he more or less modified other’s stories and made it a cartoon. Walt Disney was a great businessman and accomplished a lot for the world of animation and theme parks, but it strikes me as odd that he considered a great storyteller when I can only think of a handful of stories that are Disney originals.

    Michael L

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hansel and Gretel is a great story and has been written over many times, one aspect of the Brother’s Grimm version of the story is that they keep mentioning birds in the story. When Hansel and Gretel first get to the witches house there is a bird on the roof and then later on they follow a beautiful white bird. When they are leaving a breadcrumb trail to find their way back birds pick up the crumbs and eat the trail away. Because the bird shows up so much in the story it often makes me wonder if the bird was a henchmen of sorts to the witch. The first place we see the bird is at the witch’s house and then the bird eats the breadcrumb trail, maybe to sabotage Hansel and Gretel’s journey. I think it’s a plausible prediction, but I guess that’s one of those questions that will never be answered only talked about by fairy tale enthusiasts

    Michael L

    ReplyDelete

  33. The Little Match Girl can be interrupted in so many ways; it’s a sad tale and a happy tale depending on whom you talk to. I guess with some things it often ends up that way. They did an experiment on TV where they took the words to a movie trailer and had the voice of the movie trailers read it in a happy and playful voice and then a sinister and dark voice, the same words but the tone sounded completely different. I think the same is true in The Little Match Girl, a girl who is dying, which is sad, but is describing all these beautiful things that she sees, which is happy. It’s as if the story can have two different meanings to the same person depending on if you read the story and pay attention to the plot of the story or if you read it and pay attention to what the girl is seeing and experiencing.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  34. The Little Mermaid story is not exactly like the Disney version, undoubtedly. I find the description of how the mermaids live to be quite intriguing. When the story talks about how the mermaids know their fate and after 300 years they turn to dust, that’s something that humans cannot fathom because we don’t live a world like that and don’t have that. Compared to the life of a mermaid humans live in constant fear because we know we can die at any time and we don’t know what our fate will be, even if we knew that we would live to be 100 years old we don’t know where we will be or what we will be doing, its an unknown. However, for the mermaids this fate is not an unknown so I think it might be difficult for us as humans to relate to The Little Mermaid story and what drove her to want to be human and posses the same fate as us.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hans Christian Andersen is one of the most well-known fairytale writers. Growing up I always pictured that he was a happy handsome mad who told stories to young children all around Europe. The only reason I thought of him this way was because I thought he wrote the Disney version of “The Little Mermaid”. Now that we have read his really story I have found out how wrong I was. When I was young my idea about mermaids was, singing gorgeous lovable beautiful youthful creatures. This image I had come to love started to change first when I read and watched “Harry Potter” series. In this book and movie I was introduced to a darker less human type of creature that was not very beautiful. Then again these mysterious creatures appeared in “Peter Pan”, speaking different languages and attempting to drown Wendy. This darker twist on mermaids grew in the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, where the mermaids have this siren’s call then looking beyond beautiful lure the pirates into the water to be eaten. I find, however, the saddest version of mermaids to be Andersen’s telling. Although it is dark, the mermaids who devour humans are far more gruesome than anything in Andersen’s tale. Andersen has his mermaid in the middle of these fairytale, with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” setting the bare for sweetness and “the Pirates of the Caribbean” setting the bare for horrifying. Andersen’s nameless mermaid is a beautiful young mermaid with the desire to see the human word, she is a siren while she is singing on the wave leading the sailors to wreck the ship, and she is kind in her love for the prince. This love is the deepest emotion in any of the other tales I’ve heard, she could have saved herself but instead she showed love and killed herself. The descriptions of mermaids always seem the same at first but underneath these different stories show different types of images, characteristics, and desires of the mermaids.
    Nicole Walter 11/27/12

    ReplyDelete
  36. Cinderella and The Dirty Shepherdess there are many similarities between them, first of all the main characters are in rags and by the end winds up being a princess. Another aspect of both of these stories I find it interesting in both Cinderella and The Dirty Shepherdess there is a focus on how out of all the children of the parents; the parents can love only one of them. Why is this a popular aspect to base a tale around? A lot of children’s stories are based around this also. It could be that there is a natural desire to overcome adversity, we like so see people turn their life around, we like The Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover and What Not To Wear. These shows accentuate this idea of turning your life around and getting a second chance but of course we never get to see what happens to the people after, I always wondered how it was for the families in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to have to deal with paying the bills for their new house after the show is gone. I’ve seen the lights and electronics they put in those houses and it cannot be cheap, but that’s the only way the story will have a happy ending.

    Michael L.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Whenever I telling people that I am taking a fairytale class at IUSB they always say, ‘Why? No one needs fairytales anymore.’ It is really sad to think that some children were never read a fairytale bedtime story. On one hand I find that fairytales are definitely needed to help shape a children and their moral behavior as they grow up, but on the other hand parents would be reading the cliché retellings. The stories in class are filled with life lessons; even though they are harsher in their contexts, I believe the world has much to learn from them. As a child having the shelter of magic in the fairytales well-known because of Disney was comforting and happy, but I wish I would have had stories like the ones in class to help me understand more about the tragedies and triumphs of life. Happily ever after is great, it helps people dream and hope and set a standard for the lives they want to have, but reading about loss, despair, pain, and how to overcome them can actually help them succeed in getting what they desire.
    Nicole Walter 11/27/12 Why we need fairytales.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I enjoyed reading Beauty and the Beast by de Beaumont because of the strong message it contains about seeing people for who they are and not what they are. There is so much that a person can take from this tale and apply it towards daily life. It’s easy to judge people from their outer appearance, but you don’t really know somebody until you really know what that person is like on the inside. Just because somebody looks attractive or always has new clothes on and appears to have it all, doesn’t mean that they actually do. Although it took some time, Beauty got the opportunity to see the real Beast and who he was inside. Even though he was a hideous creature, over time she saw that he was kind and caring. He had a soft heart and actually had feelings. At first glance, she would have never known this about Beast. Some things just take time, and if you give it a chance, you never know what opportunities may be in store for you. Lauren D.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Once Upon A Time has become more and more popular and it isn’t hard to understand why. In the new season we have our leading lady Emma Swan stuck in the fairytale world with her mother Snow White. They’ve met up with some new characters, Hua Mulan and Sleeping Beauty aka Aurora, who is helping them escape back to Story Brook and away from Cora, the most evil witches. In the last episode Cora captures Aurora and keeps her prisoner in order to trick Emma and Snow into delivering the key to getting out of the fairytale land. During all of this Cora had been using Captain Hook to help her get to Story Brook. Hook wants to go to Story Brook as well so that he can kill the man who killed his true love. So desperate and full of hate Hook takes the heart of Aurora and then leads her to believe she is free to go back to her friends. In this story when you take someone’s heart you gain control of them, it’s horrifically imaginative, it is a new twist to the fairytales that I haven’t seen before. It’s like the ultimate remote control doll, but if you squeeze too hard on this remote aka the heart your toy will die. This taking of hearts seems symbolic because it seems that the heart is what drives fairytale characters, therefore it is only appropriate the heart be what controls them in the spell. As horrible has this all sounds it makes great suspenseful entertainment.
    Nicole Walter 11/27/12 Once Upon A Time: Hearts

    ReplyDelete
  40. This picture has many parts that remind me of fairytales. First the movement in the background is flowing and quick, similarly there is rarely a still moment in fairytales. In all the fairytales I have read thus far there is always something happening. Even when the character is still as in “The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf” there was commotion all around her. This picture, however, is not rushing nor is it scary or harsh. This brings me to my second reason why this reminds me of a fairytale, the cool analogous colors. With the exception of a few fairytales I picture the tales in cool calming colors that almost have a dream like feel to them. This picture does just that with the purple-blues, greens, and dull blues. The third reason is the emotion of the piece is calm, sad, and lost. Most of my favorite characters at one point feel these emotions and the artist did an amazing job demonstrating it. Finally as a how I related to this piece as I do with the fairytales we read. This particular picture makes me think of Bell as she is trying to get use to her new life in the castle.
    Nicole Walter 11/27/12 Boreas, by John William Waterhouse

    ReplyDelete
  41. My favorite fairytales would have to be the love stories; Beauty and the Beast, the newer princess fairytales, and the Little Mermaid. Growing up that love story was what I thought made a fairytale a fairytale. I’m a romantic which is probably why The Selection by Kiera Cass, a new book series I am reading, reminds me of fairytales so much. It’s a story that the media is calling a twist between the Bachelor and Hunger Games. Personally I say it is nothing like Hunger Games other than the fact the both take place in the future and have a poor girl as the main character. This novel is about a kingdom that once long ago was America, but was over taken by china because of its debt until the revolution freed the people again. They became a monarchy with a caste system. Unlike fairytales the main character is the eldest child, but like most she doesn’t get along with her mother who wishes her to marry up a caste. The problem with that is she is in love with her neighbor a boy in the caste below her and second to last overall. Similar to the fairytales I have been introduced to in this and my other fairytale class these love birds face the obstacle of the man trying to give the girl a chance for a better life. This chance is seized in a lottery where girls dress up and hidden judges choose thirty –five girls to compete for the princes’ heart. The main character, America Singer, of course gets in and the dating begins. She finds friends, enemies, and possibly love. This book is like a modern fairytale with transformation, catfights, love, heartbreak, and even a war. It is fantastic and while reading I can feel as if I transported to a new enchanting world, just like when I read my lovey-dovey fairytales.
    Nicole Walter 11/27/2012 The Selection, by Kiera Cass, in relation to fairytales.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The Movie "Mirror, Mirror" attempts to fix all the problems of the original Snow White story. However, in an attempt to do too much it falls short in other areas. In this movie, they solve the problem of the "absent father" by having him go away on a trip only to never return. Spoiler alert: He returns at the end.

    They also build more of a story around Snow White herself in an attempt to show her as a good person worthy of the audience's sympathy and support. They also show her learning and growing along the way. Thus, she goes from the fairy tale character who seems to have life just "happen" to her, to an active participant in her own story and the direct controller of her own destiny. The Prince is also portrayed in more detail. But he comes off as being foppish and silly. Snow White prevails because of her own resourcefulness, rather than because of the Prince.

    The Dwarves on the other hand are portrayed as rogues and scoundrals. They become better people because of Snow White. In the Disney Film, the dwarves were the real center of the movie, and in this film, Snow White establishes herself as the heroine.

    Half-hearted CGI really hurts this movie. Especially the depiction of the Evil Queen's sanctum. The CGI used was so second rate that it was obvious. It was as if they didn't care to make it look remotely realistic.

    In the end, the flaws of the movie overcame any improvements made in the depiction of Snow White herself.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have always found it interesting and a little cliché that all the princesses in fairy tales are beautiful and the Disney’s version of princesses are made to be Barbie like. They all have perfect bodies, beautiful long hair, and most times are beautifully clothed. The princesses are not just pretty, they are intentionally made to look sexy. I think that the images of the princesses sends the wrong message to the children that watch them and also adds to the pressure for girls to look a certain way and to have perfect bodies. You never see a princess that is overweight or even average looking, the antagonist in the tales usually are. So by seeing these characters, children often misinterpret that if you’re pretty and thin, you will be happier and people will like you more. If you don’t fit into this category, you won’t be happy or liked as well. Lauren D.

    ReplyDelete
  44. The fairy tale “Red Shoes” was very interesting and intriguing to me. When we discussed it in class, all the points that were made were different and made me think deeper. This is one of those tales that makes me think why? I understand that she was obsessed with her new shoes but I was not sure why she had to go through so much because of her obsession. It was a bit extreme that once she put them on, she could not take them off. This tale had many significant messages in it even though, I don’t agree with some of them. One last thing that stood out to me was her comment about going through so much to be a good girl. We don’t go through things because we are good or bad. Everyone goes through trails and tribulations not matter what their faith, and religion is. Who is to say what is good and what is bad? I don’t think we can measure the things we go through based on our actions. However, there are things that we can do in life that are good or bad in which we already know the consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Books, movies, short stories, poems, and even TV shows have displayed fairytales and helped make them so popular today, but my favorite is the ones we can see on the stage. Musicals, plays, ballets, and operas are amazing when combining the written word with visualization or the story. They are more personal than movies because the actors are preforming live and we a watching every movement without a screen in-between us and the magic. I recently went to see Beauty and the Beast at the Morris and felt that even though I love reading and using the imagination is important, plays and musicals have a way of helping me understand the plot and seeing the emotions of the characters. I also saw the ballet version of Sleeping Beauty that opened my eyes to the emotion of characters being able to be understood through movement. The way each ballerina moved with grace and carefully planned movement to every note the orchestra was playing allowed me to see the fairytale in a new way. Like art ballet is without word witch leaves the story to the imagination, to a point. The other reason why musicals have helped bring fairytales back into the mainstream is Wicked, a retelling of the Wizard of OZ. This captivating musical open the world of fairytales back up when it came out on Broadway. When I saw it I know that I wanted more and more magical shows and books around. Fairytales have always been great to read but I believe that they can be even more captivating on the stage, I hope to see more as soon as I can.
    Nicole Walter 11/28/12 Fairytales on the stage!

    ReplyDelete