Presently, many books and fairytales are converted movies and often, producers alters the original tales to grasp the attention of a large audience. However, some of these interpretations hide the primary interpretation. The original interpretations of the Disney classics Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are greatly reinvented from the original fairytales Sun, Moon, and Talia and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs because of the brutal nature of the treatment women in these original forms. Although there are differences in certain aspects from the original tales to the movies, there are many issues that are influential to the young girls who are still watching the Disney version. I realize this when my youngest niece, Anella asks me, “Why can’t I be beautiful and fall asleep and suddenly wake up to finally find my prince?” This is true in all cases of the four different translations of the fairytales. Every single girl in these stories are in a “beautiful” state of half-death who wake to find a prince who if eager to carry them off. This can lead to negative psychological effects on young girls as they are growing up, creating a large amount of pressure and low self-esteem due to the beauty that these stories portray and maintaining restrictions that these women experience in the stories. While it is true that Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are considered Disney classics that entertain children and provide meaningful role models, it is evident that the true, vulgar nature of these tales are hidden; these stories are about women who are thrown away.
In “Things Walt Disney Never Told Us” by Kay Stone, the author began her article by contrasting the infamous Grimm fairy tales and the passive Disney fairy tales with the characters from the Märchen, which is all types of fairy tale in general including stories with active heroes or heroines. She also talks about the Grimm brother and Disney's negligence to include active characters and the black and white stereotypes of the beautiful and kind protagonists and the ruthless and ugly antagonists. Although some of the heroines from the Grimm and Disney stories do show signs of bravery, but they are overpowered by the men in the end: “In "The Clever Peasant Lass" the girl is threatened with abandonment by her boorish husband, and the proud daughter in "King Thrushbeard" is humbled by both her father and her unwanted husband.” The main characters from both the Grimm and Disney are viewed to be “uninspiring” as Stone puts it: “The popularized heroines of the Grimms and Disney are not only passive and pretty, but
As the world has transformed and progressed throughout history, so have its stories and legends, namely the infamous tale of Cinderella. With countless versions and adaptations, numerous authors from around the world have written this beauty’s tale with their own twists and additions to it. And while many may have a unique or interesting way of telling her story, Anne Sexton and The Brother’s Grimm’s Cinderellas show the effects cultures from different time periods can have on a timeless tale, effects such as changing the story’s moral. While Sexton chooses to keep some elements of her version, such as the story, the same as the Brothers Grimm version, she changes the format and context, and adds her own commentary to transform the story’s
As Tartar notes, fairy tales “adap[t] to a culture and [are] shaped by its social practices” (xiv). As American culture began to change, the fairy tales produced by Disney studios began to change and adapt to changing American sensibilities. The main focus of this shift is the role that women play in the fairy tales. While many of Disney’s early fairy tale movies have female characters, they are fairly passive. They achieve their happily-ever-after as a reward for good behavior in the face of adversity. The prevalence of this in the early tales occurs for two reasons. First, the women’s behavior serves as a guide to the American people who, too, are facing the adversity of the Great Depression and then war. Second, the women’s behavior mirrors the expected behavior of women in society at that time. As women fight for and achieve what they want out of life, the female protagonists in the Disney fairy tales mirror that action. As a result, the female protagonists’ behavior serves a different purpose in these later fairy tale films. The behavioral shifts serve to “endow us with the power to reconstruct our lives” (Tartar xii). They are “fictional stories that provide a truth applicable in the real world as a moral” by embracing the growing importance of equality for women found in modern American (Zipes, “The Cultural Evolution of Storytelling 10).
When analyzing a classic fairytale such as, Snow White, by the Brothers Grimm through a feminist lens, it is clear that it is a phallocentric fairytale that includes stereotypes, gender roles, the male gaze, and paternalism.
Today, adults reading Charles Perrault’s Cinderella realize similarities and differences between Cinderella and a modern western woman. Adults recognize that Cinderella in Perrault’s fairy tale has undesirable qualities for a modern western woman, today. Cinderella is affectionate, goodwill, forgiving, and loyal. On the other hand, Cinderella is not independent, outspoken, confident, and strong. Cinderella has low self esteem and is incapable of solving problems. Inferiority, dependence and passiveness are characteristics that represent Cinderella do not characterize a modern western woman.
In Feminism and Fairy Tales, Karen E. Rowe asserts that “popular folktales” have “shaped our romantic expectations” and “illuminate psychic ambiguities which often confound contemporary women.” She believes that “portrayals of adolescent waiting and dreaming, patterns of double enchantment, and romanticizations of marriage contribute to the potency of fairy tales” makes “many readers discount obvious fantasy elements and fall prey to more subtle paradigms through identification with the heroine.” As a result, Karen Rowe contends “subconsciously women may transfer from fairy tales into real life cultural norms which exalt passivity, dependency, and self-sacrifice as a female’s cardinal virtues suggest that culture’s very survival depends upon a woman’s acceptance of roles which relegate her to motherhood and domesticity.” It is undeniable that numerous folk tales implant male chauvinism into women’s minds and thus convey an idea that woman should obey and depend on men. However, Rowe neglects the aspect that many other folk tales, on the contrary, disclose the evil and vulnerable sides of man and marriage and thus encourage women to rely on their own intelligence and courage other than subordinating to man. The Fairy tales “Beauty and Beast” and “Fowler’s Fowl” challenge Rowe’s thesis to some extent and exemplify that some fairy tales motivate women to be intelligent and courageous and to challenge patriarchy.
Fairy tales have existed for hundreds of years to impart lessons to young children and teach them the importance of certain behaviors, thoughts or attitudes necessary for cultural success. These stories often give out the concept of good versus evil where goodness often triumphs with the protagonist embracing the desired societal behaviors. One of the most common ideologies that fairytales impart on its reader or listener is the idea that females should be young, pretty, helpless and submissive while males should be strong, handsome, resourceful and dominant.
Overall, in these fairy tales Carter succeeds in delivering a feminist message and provides a counter argument for the moral message of traditional fairy tales in which young women were encouraged to remain obedient and pure. Unlike in earlier fairy tales, in these stories it is the straying from the path that results in transformation and releases women from the subjugation that women over history have been subjected to.
...es held by many fairy tales are conventional and represent the basic morality for many societies', which is perhaps why they quickly to gained acceptance by both children and adults throughout the nineteenth century after the Romantic Movement. During this period of time, a highly warlike society was formed by men who attended war and fighting against other countries while women were relegated to subordinate and subservient positions. The social convention formed during nineteenth century is reflected in the gender bias of the children's literature in which men were casted in predetermined and leading roles. Female heroes were portrayed as rather helpless creatures whose futures depended on the kindness of capable men, whom the women must need in order to be saved. Consequently, this pattern is displayed on the quests done by both female and male heroes respectively.
Throughout many fairytales, Cinderella more evidently, there is the stigma of male roles and female roles. The man is the prince, the knight in shining armor, the strong protector and able provider, and the woman is the princess. Dainty and innocent, weak and capable only of looking pretty, fostering children and maintaining appearances of house and home. These roles of placement have been around long before fairy tales, and they’ll be around long after fairy tales, but the inclusion of these roles through characters in fairy tales does nothing but enforce the idea that this is the way things are meant to be, and women who do not assume these roles are wrong and unworthy. In her article, Orenstein refers to Cinderella as “the patriarchal oppression of all women”, and she is exactly right (Orenstein “What’s wrong with Cinderella?”). The impression left of these gender stereotypes travels off the pages of the fairy tale and into the real world when studies show that there is a “23% decline in girls’ participation in sports and other rigorous activity … has been linked to their sense that athletics is unfeminine” (Orenstein “What’s wrong with Cinderella?”). The blatant disregard for equality in these stories can be summed up with a term Orenstein coined, “relentless resegregation of childhood”, which ultimately defines what it means to be a boy or a girl in the terms of set behaviors and life duties (Orenstein “What’s wrong with Cinderella?”). Whether it be Cinderella or any other princess, the fairy tale business makes it a point to create a place for women with their stories, and unfortunately that “place” is demeaning and still practiced
The Grimm’s stories have strict criteria for good and evil. Good women are not the hero, they do not plan, nor do they get themselves out of bad situations; they are obtuse and wait until a Prince saves them. These qualities doom the female protagonists (and readers) to pursue the only destiny women have, and that is to be a wife and mother (Rowe, 1978). Cinderella is the heroine and the ideal good girl. She is unambiguously beautiful, kind, and compassionate. She does not complain or get angry. This is foreseen early in the Grimm’s Cinderella story:
Some fairy tales are so iconic that they withstand the passing of time. One of those fairy tales is that of Cinderella. The rags to riches story that gives even the lowliest of paupers, hope that they may one day climb the social ladder. While the core message of the story has transcended time, over the years it has been adapted to address a variety of audiences. One of those renditions is Perrault’s Cinderella where the traditional idea of gender is conveyed and therefore associated with good/evil. This idea is challenged by a fellow 1600’s French author, L’heriter de Villandon’s, who’s version of Cinderella brings about a female protagonist who is also the heroine.
Fairy Tales have been around for generations and generations. Our parents have told us these stories and we will eventually pass them down to ours. In this time of age the most common fairytales are Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and The Beast and many more. Children idolize their favorite character and pretend to be them by mimicking everything they do in the stories. The character’s behavior is what is viewed as appropriate in society. These fairy tales show a girl and a boy fall in love and live “happily ever after”. The tales in many people’s eyes resemble a dream life that they would want to have of their own. However, have you ever really looked at what makes up a fairy tale? Many things are unrealistic but the most unflattering aspect of these tales is how women are depicted in them. Fairy tales give an unrealistic view to how women should look and behave in real life.