The Brothers Grimm's Poem: The Obedience Of Women

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III. The Obedience of Women Introduction Not only are women expected to lead lives in which they depend on men to be happy and wealthy, but they are expected to do so with total obedience to the expectations of men. It is important to see how women react to the requests of men and how much freedom for thought and action they are allowed to have and what consequences occur when a woman disobeys what is asked of her. Cinderella In the Brothers Grimm, the first characterization of Cinderella is a description that “she was always good and said her prayers” (Grimm 122). This helps define her as an obedient daughter who will later be rewarded for such behavior. Obedience was clearly an important aspect for women in the Brothers…show more content…
This characterization of the woman shows how she overpowers her husband, as opposed to the first wife (Snow White’s mother) who is characterized as being obedient and “sitting and sewing by a window with a black ebony frame” (Grimm 249). This characterization contrasts starkly with the dominant woman who plays the archetype of the evil stepmother. The original mother’s wishes came true as she wished for “a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window frame” (Grimm 249). In this imagery, we are given a color palette that represents a beautiful woman (pale white skin, red rosy cheeks and black ebony hair). Anne Sexton never offers a description of Snow White’s real mother, perhaps showing the reader how it is less important whether the mother is evil or good, but rather how the stepmother and daughter relationship became muddled by the fear the stepmother had to have beauty surpass her own. As Snow White finds herself in the home of the seven dwarfs, she falls asleep and wakes up surrounded by the dwarfs who are interrogating her about her life. Snow White is very obedient, speaking only when spoken to and agreeing to do household chores in return for their protection of her. The dwarfs specifically tell her not to let anyone in the house while they are
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