The Children’s and Household Tales, more commonly known as Grimms’ Fairy Tales were first published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm. Although the title suggests otherwise, the vast majority were not intended as children’s tales. Containing violence, gore, and suggestive references, the stories were not well-suited for children. The stories were didactic at a time when discipline relied on fear and were written as “warning tales” for children. What made the stories so memorable were the many uses of figurative devices used to enhance them. The use of characterization, imagery, theme, and symbolism helped make the simple narratives beautiful, striking, and memorable. These devices are more commonly present in the tales of Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, and Snow White.
In the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, the wicked characters of the miller, the king, and Rumpelstiltskin provide a contrast to the protagonist, the miller’s daughter. The father’s lies are what initially end the protagonist in a difficult situation. The king’s greed for gold, lead him to threaten the life of the protagonist in exchange for her spinning straw into gold. The protagonist is clearly not wicked, only desperate when she agrees to give her first-born to Rumpelstiltskin. The most intriguing and confusing character is Rumpelstiltskin. He is neither clear in his goals nor his motivation. His ability to turn straw into gold renders the need for jewelry useless yet he accepts them from the maiden. He shows his wickedness when he asks for the queen 's first-born yet when he comes to collect the baby he offers another chance to escape her agreement with him. The wickedness of male...
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...evices used in the story. The color white associated with Snow White represents innocence and goodness. Snow White herself is a symbol of goodness. It shows that she has done no wrong to deserve death. The magic mirror is a symbol of the Queen’s insecurity. She continuously asks the mirror who “the fairest of all” is even when she thinks Snow White is dead. The poisoned apple is one of the most important symbols in the fairy tale. It represents greed, temptation, and sin.
The Grimm fairy tales, although containing violence and disturbing elements, were not suitable for children despite having good moral themes and lessons. The fairy tales were made even more fascinating and memorable because of the different figurative devices used. The use of themes, characterization, imagery, symbolism and many more made the stories come alive and become more stunning and memorable.
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