The Disturbing Tone of Rapunzel
The story of "Rapunzel" has been passed throughout generations in the form of a fairy tale. Typical fairy tales come to a resolution ending ‘happily ever after’. It seems that there is always a villain, always a hero, and some sort of a moral or lesson to be grasped from each story (Rhetoric 102K/L class discussion/lecture, January 18, 2001). Most of the traditional fairy tales involve a ‘damsel in distress’, in which she is happily rescued by a true love. These types of stories leave readers feeling that those who are in pain and anguish will eventually rise above and be granted pure happiness. It is this break in the traditional style that sets the Grimm stories apart from others.
Using the formalistic approach allows for the Grimm version of Rapunzel to be analyzed closely. For starters, the way a story begins and the first impression upon the reader are extremely important. The authors creatively set up a situation in which they manipulate the minds of their readers. They have to pave the road they want their readers to follow in order to have a greater impact. The road starts with the title, which is a direct indication of the main character, Rapunzel. While reading the story the authors have already given the reader a previous insight of what is to come. The story begins describing the situation of “a man and his wife, who had long wished for a child, but in vain”(Grimm 514). This opening line begins to unfold much of the story and reveals the main part of the story, how Rapunzel was the center of their wishes.
The names of the characters are insightful for the reader to relate the events and make connections. In th...
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...ere no one else can go without permission. They climb a golden ladder to discover beauty. Rapunzel is perceived as innocent and pure. When the witch discovers her sin of connecting to the world and ruining this purity, her beauty is lost. Hence, the loss of her famous trait, her locks of hair.
This version of Rapunzel is still a fairy tale. It has the villain, the 'damsel in distress', the hero, and the happy ending. However, the tone of the story is more disturbing. The prince has a genuine affection for Rapunzel despite the loss of her gorgeous hair. The story explains how he seeked finding her originally because her "song had entered his heart"(Grimm 516). The word choice here is very effective. The prince liked her before the display of her beauty. This is a typical fairy tale idea that they are meant to be together through fate.