The Dynamic and Ever-changing Hansel and Gretel Essay

The Dynamic and Ever-changing Hansel and Gretel Essay

Length: 1797 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Dynamic and Ever-changing Hansel and Gretel


Most fairy-tale aficionados have a static view of their favorite stories. That is, indeed, part of the glory which these tales hold…the fact that they are timeless, forever remaining fond memories of unforgettable stories that had been repeated to them from a young age. In both the oral and written traditions, these stories perpetuated themselves and became fixtures upon the cultures of which they have taken hold. For most people, the idea of these classics ever having been different not only seems odd, but also shakes the foundations of their childhood memories.

However, stories are dynamic and ever-changing. What a follower of the aforementioned school-of-though fails to think about is why these stories would have been changed. Sometimes fairy tales change because the person recalling the story has a bad memory, while other times they are deliberately altered by a rewriter. Often times with rewrites, the story is changed so that it is relevant to both the modern times and the life history of the new author. Hansel and Gretel, the classic German fairy tale, is certainly no exception to this trend of changing fairy tales.

One of the most famous written versions of Hansel and Gretel (although not the original) is from the early 19th century. This edition was written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the German fairy-tale-writing duo more commonly known as “Brothers Grimm” (Ashliman). The story is about a young boy and girl, brother and sister, named Hansel and Gretel respectively. They lived at the edge of a great forest under the supervision of their father (a poor woodcutter) and their stepmother. The family was very poor and running low on food…soo...


... middle of paper ...


... by a common plot, slight changes changed the entire idea the story was trying to portray. The two different versions created two different images in the minds of readers/opera fans. Hansel and Gretel, like many other tales, has evolved and changed over time. Whether for reasons rooted in principle or simply out of practicality, fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel will be changed by new writers or orators. This, however, in no way detracts from their timelessness.


Works Cited

Ashliman, D.L. Grimm Brothers’ Home Page. 02 Sep. 2002. University of Pittsburgh Website. 21 Jan. 2004. .

Brothers Grimm. “Hansel and Gretel.” The Classic Fairy Tales. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. 179-90.

Engelbert Humperdinck. n.d. First Coast Opera. 21 Jan. 2004 .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Poverty and Wealth in Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel Essays

- How did the cultural and socioeconomic status of the Grimm brothers as well as the conditions in 1800 Germany influence the theme of poverty and wealth in “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel” There have been several scholarly debates that the Grimm brothers were among the pioneering contributors of the kind of German nationalism whose tragic consequences engulfed the twentieth century. Disregarding questions over the validity of this statement, what remains evident is the invaluable influence the Grimm brothers had on the new culture of the German society through their writings....   [tags: Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel]

Powerful Essays
2919 words (8.3 pages)

Literary Analysis of The True Story of Hansel and Gretel Essay

- Set in Poland during the German occupation, “The True Story of Hansel and Gretel” is told as a fairy tale, utilizing many of the elements that are common to fairy tales. This book reflects the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel.” However, in Murphy’s parable, Hansel and Gretel are two Jewish children who are abandoned by their father and stepmother in order to save them from the Nazis. Setting the tale in Nazi Germany creates an atmosphere of fear and anxiety, and establishes a set of circumstances in which it is possible for people to act in ways that would be unacceptable under other circumstances....   [tags: Hansel and Gretel]

Powerful Essays
1213 words (3.5 pages)

A Modern German Version Of The Brothers Grimm 's Classic `` Hansel And Gretel ``

- In Milchwald, filmmaker Christoph Hochhäusler presents a modern German version of the Brothers Grimm’s classic “Hansel and Gretel.” Although these two tales are not identical, they share enough similarities to convey the same theme. By comparing and contrasting the plot, setting, and characters in Milchwald and “Hansel and Gretel”, one can see how Hochhäusler cinematically engages with his textual source to convey a theme of uncertainty and ultimately develops a compelling story for contemporary audiences....   [tags: Fairy tale, Brothers Grimm, Hansel and Gretel]

Powerful Essays
1255 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Twisted Fairytale: The Story of Hansel and Gretel

- We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel. Two innocent little children who were walking in the woods and found a house made of candy. There was an ugly old witch inside who tried to bake them into a pie. Well that is only one side of the story. I am here to tell you what really happened. Let’s get one thing straight here; I was not an ugly old witch. My name was Bertha. Also it really hurt my feeling and increased my insecurities when it said I was an ugly old witch. I thought I was a beautiful, middle aged woman....   [tags: witch, innocent children]

Powerful Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Freud and Hansel and Gretel Essay

- Description for Characters 2) Hansel - Hansel is a 14 year old Caucasian male and his ethnicity is German. He has had no formal education, but learned what he could from his father and mother while they were both alive. He is very skinny and has an average health at the beginning of the story. His social status is fairly low as a person within the forest; this is because he is poor, has a lack of resources and was not born as a female witch. Hansel on a daily basis attempts to help his father gather food, although he is not very good at it....   [tags: Psychoanalysis, Freud]

Powerful Essays
1624 words (4.6 pages)

A Different Tale of Hansel and Gretel Essay examples

- “Mother will be alright,” the woodcutter stated, gently patting his daughter. Gretel wiped away the tears in her eyes. She told herself that she should stay strong, at least for her father. The maid ran out of the room, her hands covered in blood and an apparent worry glooming like the storm clouds outside. She whispered something barely audible and her father rushed in. He came out carrying a child in his arms but tears were dripping out of his eyes. Father handed her Hansel as he tried to tell her what happened....   [tags: short story]

Powerful Essays
2472 words (7.1 pages)

Comparing The Story Of Hansel And Gretel Essay

- Past traumatic experiences of children can lead to problems later on in life. Many mass murderers have had traumatic problems either in their childhood or teen years. Many years have gone by and many cases of abuse, sexual abuse, and even abandonment have occurred towards children and teens all across the earth. Problems like these have affected many people throughout the years, and those without the proper help turn into so called “monsters” of society. Serial killers have turned into the monsters of society that they are today due to abandonment, psychological disorders, and past abuse throughout their lives....   [tags: Child abuse, Abuse, Serial killer, Ted Bundy]

Powerful Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Hansel & Gretel: A tale of Many Stories

- Fairy tales have been a big part of learning and childhood for many of us. They may seem childish to us, but they are full of life lessons and intelligent turnings. Components of fairy tales may even include violence, but always with the aim to provide a moral to the story. Hansel and Gretel is in itself a very interesting story to analyze. It demonstrates the way that children should not stray too far from their benchmarks and rely on appearances. In 2013, a film adaptation was produced. This film is produced for an older public and has picked up the story to turn it into a more mature and violent version....   [tags: violence, childhood stories, fairy tales]

Powerful Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Hansel And Gretel Essay

- Hansel and Gretel Deep, deep, into a far away forest lived a poor man with his wife and two children. His daughter’s name was Gretel and his son’s name was Hansel. Hansel and Gretel had a wicked stepmother that did not like the children and wanted to get rid of them. The stepmother was very selfish and did not care about the well being of the children at all. The family was running short on food and the man worried about what the family would eat to survive. The father was a craftsman and did not make much money....   [tags: Fairy Tales]

Free Essays
1453 words (4.2 pages)

Hansel and Gretel Vs. The Simpsons Essay examples

- At one time or another almost every child has read a story about mystical beings, dashing heroes, and evil villains, all acting out a story in a mysterious place, in a time long, long ago. Fairy Tales, while almost purely of a fictional content, offer us a glimpse into the culture and social staples of a certain society. The classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, by the Brother's Grimm, depicts two young siblings abandoned in the forest by their parents during a time of a great famine. The Simpson's has long been a fundamental element of many adolescent children and is a modern, and somewhat skewed, version of the classic fairy tale....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Powerful Essays
1234 words (3.5 pages)