Grimm Fairy Tale Persuasive
Conor Morrison Dec. 8, 2011 From Grimm to Gorgeous When we live in the world we live in, there will be conflict, confrontation, and a solution. Often times, when it is a matter of someone being offended, this results in censorship of whatever happened, or the artwork that was displayed. That is not always a bad thing though, for example the Grimm brothers’ children’s and household tales. These gruesome tales have been changed and edited due to their nature of murder, incest, rape, and other terrible things.
They were meant to teach a lesson, very different from our modern adaptation of using the stories for pure entertainment. In this process, many of the once crucial parts to a story were written out, and many more new parts were added to give attraction to the good things someone did in the story, more so than the wicked acts that happened. Aschenputtel, more widely known as Cinderella, is one of the most classic fairytales that is still commonly passed around today.
However, our concept of Cinderella that we have today differs quite a bit from the original version that the Grimm brothers originally released to the public in their time. In the Grimm brothers’ unedited version, Cinderella is treated much worse than portrayed in the Disney movie. Her step sisters make her pick their unwanted food out of the ash and dirt in the hearth and fireplace, the steal all her nice clothes, they make her do all their chores, they blame her for everything, and make her sleep in the fireplace.
Cinderella also has no fairy godmother, when she receives her ball gown it is from a white dove in a tree that grew over her mother’s grave. She also receives not just one, but three grand dresses for each night of the ball. When the prince came to Cinderella’s house with the golden, not glass, slipper, the first step sister was advised by her mother to cut off her big toe so that the golden shoe would fit. After that, the shoe fits and the prince rides off with her, the bird on the tree by her mothers grave, tells the prince what she did and he comes back to the house.
The same thing happens with the next sister, only she cuts off a large portion of her heel. Then Cinderella’s foot fits perfectly, she marries the prince and her step sisters come to cozy up next to her to share in her newfound wealth. Well the birds from before come and peck out both eyes of the step sisters so that they are blinded for the rest of their lives as punishment for what they had done. In the new, edited version, the sisters are still mean, they just don’t perform as cruel of acts as portrayed in the original tale.
Also, they do not mutilate their feet to fit it in the shoe, nor do they get their eyes pecked out by birds and become homeless beggars for the rest of their lives. These changes not only give the tale a chance to be a good source of entertainment for children, it teaches them the same lesson, but in a better light. This new way shows that if you are kind spirited, do what you are told, and stick through hard times, you will be rewarded in the end, rather than if you do evil deeds you will get your eyes pecked out. Not only is there good reason to edit these tales for moral reasons, there is also the thought about the child’s psyche.
When a child is a repeated witness to something horrific, violent, inappropriately sexual, or to a mental disorder of another, the child can adapt to that behavior. Many of the Grimms’ tales hold such things as rape, dismemberment of a family member, murder, cannibalism, and incest. Such repeated exposure as reading those tales to a child to learn a moral lesson would be more than enough to cause the child to not only be susceptible to many mental disorders such as being bipolar, having multiple personality disorder, and schizophrenia at the extreme cases.
Even at the smaller magnitude the children would repeat behavior of violence and abusiveness later in life, which still is a terrible issue. Appropriate amounts of reinforcement of a child’s strengths and weaknesses while being allowed the breathing room per say, to develop good moral values of right and wrong help to raise a strong, independent, upstanding citizen, which gives into a strong sociological system which helps everything work. This is an area where there is a large amount of room to write in new scenes, plot points, etc. o create a more widely accepted story. One example of something that has been changed is the archetype of the female lead in these tales. Everybody knows the classic fair skinned, blonde haired, blue eyed, tall, thin, big chested damsel in distress. Well Disney, along with other production companies, has worked hard to change that idea for how women should be. They have put in new character development to give the female characters a little more independence, and break down the walls of gender role expectations.
One other aspect of stories that has been changed is, how Dr. Hilary Crew puts it, “focused on the passivity of young girls waiting to be rescued, the encoded binaries in a text that equate beauty with goodness. ” The idea that beauty is everything, it means that you will be kind hearted, honest, faithful person, and that being attractive is the only thing that you will need to get by, the main target of this belief being young girls. The reason why people have been able to change how these fairytales are told is all due to how widely accepted fracturing fairytales is.
Besides all of the protecting the kids from horrible scenes, and giving positive role models, there is also the entertainment factor. People want to be entertained, if they aren’t they will turn off the movie, change the channel, put the book back on the shelf and wont ever get to witness the message fairytales are trying to put out for them. Fracturing fairytales helps with that. The old shot “Rocky and Bullwinkle” featured fractured fairytales every episode, even though they were quite short, they made them entertaining through changing the character to create humor.
This is more prominent now than ever in fairytales and Disney movies, producers put in quirky little jokes that will pass over a child’s head, but have the parents laughing at the content. Editing and fracturing fairytales is a great thing to do, it helps to take care of children’s minds not only from gruesome issues, but also to help build self confidence and to give them positive role models. It makes parents want to show their child these stories for the good lessons because they now can get humor out of it, and it will continue to give cultures another unique aspect on how they want to tell stories.
The changes made to these stories has been a great decision for today’s youth. Work Cited D. L Ashliman E. D. , The Grimm Brothers’ Children’s and Household Tales (Grimms’ Fairytales), Sept. 20, 2011, Dec. 2, 2011 Jamie Frater, Top 10 Gruesome Fairy Tale Origins, Jan. 6, 2009, Dec. 2 2011 Terri Windling, Cinderella: Ashes, Blood, and the Slipper of Glass, 2007, Dec. 2 2011 Dr. Hillary Crew, How Feminist are Fractured Fairytales? , June 24 1997, Jan. 10