Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Other Tales

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There are hundreds of German tales that denote active collaboration. This defines the culture as tight-knit and collaborative in all their efforts. There is, “The Bremen Town Musicians”, “The Seven Ravens”, the “Six Who Made Their Way”, “The Three Little Gnomes in the Forest” and the famous seven dwarfs from “Snow White”. There are tons of examples on how the culture is one of collaboration, where the community helps each other out in the worse of all conditions, and where participation is almost a given. We have forgotten one small fact here, though. The collaboration often happens among men.

There are rarely depictions of women also participating in the acts of bravery, humanity or even secular efforts. Women are left as the supportive alliance that bond the men together in their efforts to triumph. Nevertheless, their actions are not symbolic. While there is the occasional depiction of a wise woman, evil woman, servant woman, and of course, the runaway; there is little expression of womanhood as a heroine, a brave soul, a leader in the battle against evil and so on. The heroine of the Grimm’s is fully on her own, Snow White is on her own, almost all tales where there is a manly participation, the woman is left to the side on her own to handle her business and accommodate the business of men in her schedule. This is what makes her the heroine in the story, not her actions.

The basis for national identity in Europe has always been one of ethnicity and not gender. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule in some tales common to the world. That would include Snow White as she is depicted in terms of her gender and her ethnicity in the film. The folk tale, based on a German woman who cares for dwarfed men, is depicted in ...

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...sehold role that is even attached to film and literature.

Works Cited

Bettelheim, Bruno. The uses of enchantment: The meaning and importance of fairy tales. Random House LLC, 2010.
Charles, Nickie, and Helen Hintjens. "Gender, ethnicity and cultural identity: women’s ‘places’." Gender, ethnicity and political ideologies (1998): 1-27.
Dekker, Grudrun Anne. Schneewittchen: Blonde Tochter Einer Adligen Aus Ostfriesland. BoD–Books on Demand, 2013.
Girardot, Norman J. "Initiation and Meaning in the Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Journal of American Folklore (1977): 274-300.
Powell, Martin. Snow White. Capstone Classroom, 2009.
Tautz, Birgit. "A Fairy Tale Reality?: Elfriede Jelinek's Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the Mythologization of Contemporary Society." Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature & Culture 24.1 (2008): 165-184.
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