Fairy Tales

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Fairy Tales

Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm are famous for their renditions of some of the most beloved children's fairy tales. Among the hundreds is the well known (Schneewittchen) Snow-drop. This fairy tale is in many aspects common, imperfect, and vulgar, as are most of the fairy tale translations of the Grimm Brothers. These characteristics are what depict the Grimm fairy tales. The tales were primarily written to entertain and relate to the common peasantsof the 1800's. The stories are not what you would call a perfect fairy tale in that the end is not always as you would predict, but there is always a happy ending. In Snow White, there were many versions that the Grimm Brothers wrote but we only see the more modern version. Some differences between the edition of 1812 and later versions: beginning with the edition of 1819, the Grimms add the statement that Snow-White's mother died during childbirth, and that her father remarried. Note that in the first edition, presumably the version closest to its oral sources, Snow-White's jealous antagonist is her own mother, not a stepmother. Also in the edition of 1819, the poisoned apple is dislodged when a servant accidentally stumbles while carrying the coffin to the prince's castle. In the last version of Snow White, one of the prince's servants grew resentful of carrying around Snow White's coffin and lifted her out and hit her on the back. This caused the apple to become dislodged and Show White arose. All these adaptations are what makes the tale a fairy tale. It started out as an oral fairy tale being passed down from generation to generation to become a written fairy tale that has gone through many transitions.

This fairy tale was made even more famous by Walt Disne...

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...of timelessness which is so essential to the fairy-tale genre of the Grimm Brothers, the fairy tale is able to relate to everyday life, not just the lives of the peasants in the 1800's. Today, we are still enchanted by the stories and so will generations to come.

Works Cited

Tracy, Joe. Animation History. The Walt Disney Company. 1 Nov. 2002.


Ruskin, Jon. "Introduction" (1868), in Popular Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, edited by Edgar Taylor, Chatto & Windus, 1920. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

Vandergrift, Kay E. Vandergrift's Children's Literature Page. 11 Oct 2002. The State University of New Jersey. 1 Nov 2002.


Neill, Thomas. Guardians of the Fairy Tale: The Brothers Grimm. December 1999.

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