A. Daughter – Mother – Crone Construct
1. The heroine and witch resemble the Norns or Fates without the mother figure-- who is usually dead in the fairy tales. One is young and at the beginning of her life and the other is old and at the end of her life. One represents beginnings, birth and rebirth, redemption, creation, union, and love. The other represents endings, stagnation, loss, death, and jealousy. The action of each tale is mediated primarily though these female characters. Unlike the weak and passive male characters, they are active and give the tale agency. Much like their Norn counterparts, they spin their universe into existence.
2. Stepmother and witch are closely related and often the same person in the fairy tales. Because she is old and ugly she is jealous of and hates the heroine. Age in these fairy tales often is equated with ugliness and evil; whereas beauty is equated with youth and goodness. This sets the daughter and (step)mother at odds with each other.
3. Witches are strong women who dare to cross and step outside proscribed boundaries. They threaten social order, emasculate men, and destroy love and beauty. Their punishment and death at the end of each story serve as a warning to tale's audience—mostly children.
B. Relationship between women and men in fairy tales
1. The witch or evil stepmother dominates and controls the weak and passive male.
2. The heroine is either rescued by or rescues the man (who is usually her love interest and a prince).
3. The sleeping heroine who must be rescued vs. the heroine who rescues her prince.
4. Fairy tales usually have happy endings where the heroine and her prince marry and have children, reinforcing gender stereotypes of woman as wife and mother.
C. Fairy Tale Landscapes
1. Forest vs. town. Inside vs. outside. Women, who in the misogynistic tradition have been more closely associated with materiality and have more control over the natural elements. They are also hoarders of wealth and material riches. If a man's domain is the spirit and higher reasoning, then the woman's domain is the body and sensuality. According to the Malleus Mallefecarum, witches are able to manipulate the elements and cause crop failure, disease, and pestilence because their feminine nature allows them to dominate this sphere. The Devil in Christianity (and his underworld predecessor Dis—or Pluto—is also the guardian of worldly wealth. Therefore women=evil=material wealth. The forest or the outside is where the women (witches and heroines alike) draw their power. The outside is their realm and this is where the majority of the action occurs in the fairy tales.
A. Fairy Tale Landscapes
1. This is a continuation of the discussion from the section above. Witches sometimes possess (and occasionally hoard) material wealth in the stories. This gives them power over their victims, which they leverage to make unreasonable demands of those who have little or no resources. They draw their power and gain their resources from nature. If they claim an inside space, then they use the city or the castle, or the tower to hoard their resources or to imprison their victims. Inside vs. outside. Tower vs. garden or forest
B. Beauty as a Commodity
1. Beauty earns the heroine love and usually allows her to move into a higher social and economic sphere. It doesn't matter if she is rich or poor, if she is beautiful, then she can marry a prince and become royalty and produce an heir. Beauty is often associated with productiveness as well as goodness.
2. Age is equated with evil, ugliness, and uselessness. The old crone can no longer produce (children or valuable labor). She possesses no beauty and is therefore worthless. She is a burden to society because she has nothing to offer, and is demonized because of her uselessness. Her anger and jealousy stem from her knowledge that she is no longer a producer and takes it out on the woman who replaces her in the chain of production.
C. Spinning and other occupations
1. Spinning as an occupation for women. Unequal division of labor among men and women
2. Ugliness is equated with laziness and the poor are taught to despise themselves for their poverty.
3. Ugliness is associated with the lower classes and the laboring poor. On the other hand Beauty=Goodness=Wealth
4. The fairy tales have happy endings where the heroine ends up marrying the prince and producing children. A beautiful woman's reward is her elevation to material wealth and greater social standing so that she can use her body to produce children.
IV. Who are the Audiences for fairy tales today and what social function do they serve?
A. Children as audience
B. Which tales are reproduced most often today and what does this mean?
"Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt." Friedrich Nietzsche
Bacchilega, Cristina. "An Introduction to the 'Innocent Persecuted Heroine' Fairy Tale," Western Folklore, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 1-12.
• "fairy tale, a sub-genre which includes "Rapunzel," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," and "Snow White" gender is understood within the frameworks of class and social order; and the heroine's innocence and persecution are ideologically constructed. in a world where words have material power. It takes the power of language, an artificial system, to make nature take its course, as perhaps is best exemplified by the most well-known beginning of. If so, the authority of the metaphor rests on figures and narrative strategies which work to present cultural assumptions, particularly gender-related ones, as nat- ural. Consenting to heterosexuality and motherhood is portrayed as natural for women, and this naturalizing process is achieved through verbal construction. The metaphor I have unmade is an example of how verbal "creation" in many fairy tales simply and effectively nat- uralizes the process of gender construction by referring to sexual procreation. As a discourse (logos) producing (techne) representations of gen. the woman-as-nature metaphor contributes to their plausibility and, at the same time, encourages readers/listeners to think of these "heroines" in pre-cultural unchangeable terms, which in turn ensures these characters' innocence as well as the reproduction of their per- secution. Jack Zipes's interpretation of eighteenth and nineteenth-century versions of "Rumpelstiltskin" (AT 500) focuses specifically on their inscription of changing social attitudes toward spinning, as a social and economic activity that had symbolized women's creativity and also given women some material control of marriage possibilities. Since it identifies a previously unrecognized persecuted heroine without es- sentializing her, Zipes's essay well exemplifies a systematizing and deconstructive double reading strategy. In particular, Zipes argues that, in contrast to earlier versions, the Grimms' 1857 narrative moves away from women's productivity to their reproduction, uses of clothing (as markers of gender and class), Perco outlines two ways of coping with persecution and points to the socio-economic pressures which shape the heroine's "choice" of one or the other. As one trajectory may be more appealing than the other to an individual woman, Perco's distinction speaks to how the narrative inscription of material conditions and gendered "qualities" contributes to the seduc- tion of women into seemingly differentiated forms of "femininity." As it articulates these different possibilities of gender construction, thus complicating our perception of an essentialized Cinderella, the essay also points to how limited and limiting these constructions are, in their assumption of marriage as their common denominator. The third essay on AT 510 focuses specifically on the Grimms. As an alternative, Panttaja pro- poses to focus on the mother-daughter plot in "Cinderella" as dra- matizing power struggles within the bourgeoisie: Cinderella, her mother, the stepsisters and stepmother are representatives "not of the category of woman, but of a particular social group." This politiciza- tion does not exclude gender; rather it scripts gender construction within a socio-political system. Marriage, clothes, mother-daughter interaction, and body manipulation are gender-specific articulations of this power struggle-and their psy- chological power rests in their privatization, which Panttaja seeks to undo. As diverse as these essays' interpretations may be, they cluster around common themes which have been central to the feminist crit- ical tradition: specifically, the mother-daughter relationship, clothing, marriage, and violence. 3 phases of feminist interpretation of fairy tales. the normative bourgeois ideology of the "classic" fairy tale: in the modern Western world, telling fairy tales has been a bedtime, de- sacralized, but powerful initiation into a social class, a class with its own gender values" (6-12).
Baker-Sperry, Lori and Grauerholz, Liz. "The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children's Fairy Tales,"Gender and Society, Vol. 17, No. 5 (Oct., 2003), pp. 711-726.
• "children's literature contains explicit and implicit messages about dominant power structures in society, espe- cially those concerning gender. teach boys and girls appropriate gendered values and atti- tudes. These tales were originally used as primers for relatively affluent European children and served to impart moral lessons to them (Zipes 1988a). Today, these tales, at least those that survived into the twentieth century, are read by children across various social class and racial groups (Zipes 1997), while continu- ing to contain symbolic imagery that legitimates existing race, class, and gender systems. We first document. Our main concern, however, is not whether these fairy tales contain stereotypic images (they do) but rather whether women's beauty appears to play a more important role in fairy tales during certain time peri- ods, possibly serving as a means of normative social control. Thus, we document which tales have survived (i.e., were reproduced in books and films) into the twenti- eth century and whether those that survived placed greater emphasis on women's beauty than those that did not survive. The beauty of women (especially younger ones) is mentioned with greater frequency than men's attractiveness. The beauty of women is more important. Beauty is more often associated with goodness and ugliness with evil and laziness and age. Beauty is rewarded and ugliness is punished. example of Mother Holle, is that beauty is sometimes linked to race and class. The "lazy" daughter in Mother Holle is covered in (black) pitch. In The White Bride and the Black Bride, the mother and daughter are "cursed" with blackness and ugliness. Many tales connote goodness with industriousness, and both with beauty, and char- acters are "rewarded" for their hard work (Cinderella is another classic example). In this way, beauty becomes associated not only with goodness but also with white- ness and economic privilege. Although beauty is often rewarded in Grimms' tales, it is also a source of danger. Finally, in 17 percent of the stories there are links between beauty and jealousy. These issues almost exclusively concern female characters. the references to women's beauty and women's appearance are much higher (12 references to beauty for the top three vs. 7.2 for the top five; 41.7 references to appearance for the top three vs. 33.8 for the top five) and those references for men's appearance decline (0.67 for top three vs. 2.6 for top five). Note that there are no ref- erences to men's handsomeness in any of the top five tales. references to women's beauty are associated with the likelihood that a tale has been reproduced many times, as is the number of references to women's physi- cal appearance. For men, physical handsomeness and appearance are not signifi- cantly related to a tale's reproduction, nor is length of a tale. Discussion of women's beauty in tales plays a significant role in whether or not the tale is reproduced. Young women are more often described as "beautiful;" "pretty," or "fair" than are older women or than men of any age are described as handsome. Further- more, beauty is often associated with being white, economically privileged, and virtuous. Fairy tales, like other media (Currie 1997), convey messages about the importance of feminine beauty not only by making "beauties" prominent in stories but also in demonstrating how beauty gets its reward. Our findings suggest that those that have been reproduced the most (Cinderella and Snow White) are precisely the ones that promote a feminine beauty ideal. Tales that were reproduced mostly in the latter part of the twentieth century tend to make more mentions of women's beauty and men's handsomeness, which is consistent with earlier studies that have found an increased emphasis on physical attractiveness in the late twentieth century. This finding suggests that both men and women are being increasingly manipulated by media messages concerning attractiveness, a trend that is undoubtedly linked to efforts to boost consumerism. The fact that women's beauty is particu- larly salient in tales in the latter part of the twentieth century suggests that norma- tive social controls (such as internalization of a feminine beauty ideal) may have become increasingly important over the course of the twentieth century as external constraints on women's lives diminished. glorification of feminine beauty in children's fairy tales may represent a means by which gender inequality is reproduced via cul- tural products. Although we do not subscribe to the idea that a "conspiracy" is at work among publishers to "dupe" girls and women into adopting subservient behaviors and val- ues by intentionally publishing and reproducing those texts that emphasize and even glorify sexist values, the impact of such messages is likely to have the same effect. Children's media can be a powerful mechanism by which children learn cul- tural values. Through the proliferation of fairy tales in the media, girls (and boys) are taught specific messages concerning the importance of women's bodies and women's attractiveness" (711-726).
Bottingheimer, Ruth B. "Tale Spinners: Submerged Voices in Grimms' Fairy Tales," New German Critique, No. 27, Women Writers and Critics (Autumn, 1982), pp. 141-150.
• "In the German tradition, Jacob Grimm asserted that "the spindle is an essential characteristic of wise women."6 The spindle is, as the tales themselves demonstrate, not only the identifying mark of wise women, but of all women, and especially - in the Germanies from the Middle Ages to the 19th century - of diligent, well-ordered womanhood. (Wise woman also means witch in some cultures, Norns, fates, etc.). the Spinnstube, for it was there that women gathered in the evening and told tales to keep themselves and their company awake as they spun. Spinnstube. It is related to the oldest level of the German folk tale, in which women were understood as intermediaries between men and natural forces, a theme which is evi- dent in The Goosegirl and in the figure of Mother Holle. The tale further concerns the spinning of flax, the fiber prepared a (women in the misogynistic tradition are more closely associated with the body, nature, material wealth, materiality, and men are of a higher, more spiritual lofty standing—the Dev. or Dis is also associated with evil—that's why witches can control the material elements and nature and are blamed whenever something goes wrong in this area). spinning occupies a clearly symbolic position representing either the work appropriate to the female in the tale and/or onerous toil of the captive or poverty-stricken female. Throughout the tales the act of spinning emerges as highly undesire- able despite the surface message that it will lead to riches. It identifies subjugated womanhood inAllerleirauh; it is an occupation to be escaped in The Lazy Spinner; it is also a punishment in The Water Nixie, a deform- ing or injurious occupation in TheThree Spinners, Mother Holle, and King Thrushbeard; and at its worst an agent of death or a curse in Little Briar- Rose. Although many tales declare that spinning mediates wealth in the form of gold, it is primarily associated with poverty in" (141-150).
Fisher, Jerilyn and Ellen S. Silber. "Good and Bad Beyond Belief: Teaching Gender Lessons through Fairy Tales and Feminist Theory," Women's Studies Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. ¾, pp. 121-136.
• "Classical fairy tales recount true female experience under patriarchy, a world in which innocent young women are set against their sisters and mothers in rivalry for the prince's favor" (121).
• "Engaging and familiar as "happily ever after" narratives for children and adults alike, fairy tales exert a noticeable influence on cultural ideals of goodness, images of evil, models of manhood and woman- hood, and fantasies about "true love." A majority of the stories most frequently retold, such as "Snow White," "Cinderella," and "Rapunzel," feature a young girl's halting progression to royal marriage, her dream- come-true repeatedly threatened by the wicked deeds of a depraved stepmother, witch, or enchantress. The fairy tale father, oblivious to his child's misery, never intercedes; nor is he reproached for being inattentive. Ultimately, the prince delivers the heroine from women's wrath. His power to save her and her utter dependence on him seem key to their imagined future happiness" (122). SOCIALIZATION PROCESS.
• "Finally, however, when Cinderella is "chosen" by the prince, she leaves behind the hazel bush, and fully enters the patriarchal world, thus satisfying the conventions of women's proper role. As the fairy tales readily show, and as other critics have amply demon- strated, it is not angelic but demonic images of the mother that prevail" (123).
• "growing girl "first recognizes what it means to be female in a world where power and privilege are the province of men" (150). Disturbed and ashamed to observe that her mother and other women are devalued, the daughter expresses outrage at female subordination by "hating" her mother" (124).
• "Their analysis, instead of implicating the fairy-tale stepmother for her terrifying acts of aggression toward the girl under her care, draws our curiosity to the untold story of this disruptive female character whose rebellion against the "feminine plot" of passivity and submission is repeatedly cast as the source of conflict in the tales (Gilbert and Gubar 39; Dworkin 41)" (124).
• "as a character, the bad mother is at the center, dom- inating not just the princess, but the plot. In contrast to the good mother (Cinderella's or Snow White's, for example), who has a barely perceptible part to play - appearing literally for a sentence or two before dying - the wicked stepmother assumes a starring role as the girl's tenacious adversarBut for the preadolescent girl - be she pro- tagonist or reader - emulating the witch (the only available, living "model" of feminine maturity) would surely incur severe social criti- cism, a fate unequivocally represented by the stepmother's demise. Thus the dutiful daughter assumes instead the passive, feminine iden- tity of the first queen, avoiding any identification with the active prin- ciple embodied in the characterization of the bad mother/ witch" (125).
• "Each of the heroines in the tales discussed does have an evil, threat- ening mother figure from whom she must free herself. This recurrent portrait of the evil mother serves one of the main cultural purposes of the fairy tale - conservation of traditional gender roles in the patriar- chal state and family (Zipes, Fairy Tale as Myth, 36). For example, if Snow White's (or Rapunzel's or Cinderella's) stepmother were a "good mother," the young girl would have been far less motivated to flee the castle (or tower or home), and more important, she might not have fallen hypnotically into the prince's arms" (125).
• "lacking a model of maternal agency, and having a weak or absent father, they find in per- fect romantic love the only feminine role available from which to act, albeit passively, and the sole source of feminine accomplishment. Offering only blissful fantasies of feminine helplessness, the best- known fairy tales stir readers to anticipate and even welcome miracu- lous masculine rescue" (126).
• "They can find agency only through fraud and manipulation. Meanwhile, the fairy-tale fathers' established authority, acquired from maleness alone, assures paternal figures control and status without their having to resort to deception. Yet witch and step- mother lie, not to take over the seat of power but to move closer to the male figures, be they kings or simply fathers. These fairy-tale women defraud and betray children's trust in their quest to appeal to men" (126).
• "Apart from the many girls and women in the Brother's Grimm tales who seek agency through deception or silent complicity. Freudians say result from penis envy, but rather results when women and mothers in particular are not allowed direct access to power under patriarchy" (127).
• "This romance story, enshrined in fairy tales, divides girls from one another, from themselves, and from adult women.2 Reading fairy tale after fairy tale, girl readers come to see that they must relinquish ties to other women so that all their energies can be harnessed in preparation. Yet Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel all have "good" mothers at the beginning of their stories, women who wish for the birth of a long-desired child. In none of these tales, however, does the daughter find friendship or support from any other girl or woman once her orig- inal mother dies" (127).
• "Contradicting Freud's view that girls do and must reject their mothers, feminist research gives the lie to pervasive happy endings that systematically exclude enduring con- nections between girls and women. Clearly, fairy tales enact a cycle of female disconnection. is abandoned by women through early death or fiendish harassment. This cycle of female dis- connection is perpetuated when the fairy-tale princess marries and fol- lows the only model available to her: in maturity she follows her birth mother's model and becomes a good queen" (136). CINDERELLA IN THE MODERN VERSION FORGIVES HER MOTHER AND SISTERS, INSTEAD OF THE MOTHER SPIRIT IN THE FORM OF A BIRD PECKING THEIR OUT.
Grimm, Jacob and Grimm, Wilhelm. The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Trans. Jack Zipes. New York: Bantam, 1987.
Hurley, Dorothy L. "Seeing White: Children of Color and the Disney Fairy Tale Princess," The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 74, No. 3 (Summer, 2005), pp. 221-232
• "in providing visual images to children that give them cultural information about themselves, others, and the relative status of group membership. In other words, self-image in children is shaped in some degree by exposure to images found in written texts, illustrations, and films. Moreover, it is clear that children, if they are to develop a positive self-image, need to "see" themselves or their images in texts. Books, therefore, can serve to reinforce or counter negative notions of self-image in children of color" (221).
• "Fairy tales, therefore, have an important role to play in shaping the self- image and belief system of children. Zipes (1994) frames six key features in how the fairy tale, originally written for adults, was institutionalized for children: (a) The social function of the fairy tale must be didactic and teach a lesson that corroborates the code of civility as it was being developed at that time; (b) it must be short so that children can remember and memorize it and so that both adults and children can repeat it orally. . .; (c) it must pass the censorship of adults so that it can be easily circulated; (d) it must address social issues such as obligation, sex roles, class differences, power, and decorum so that it will appeal to adults, especially those who publish and publicize the tales; (e) it must be suitable to be used with children in a schooling situation; and (f ) it must reinforce a notion of power within the children of the upper classes and suggest ways for them to maintain power, (p. 33) © The Journal of Negro Education" (222).
• "In recent times, since the invention of cinema, the visual representation of fairy tale characters has been dominated by the Disney version of these tales. Such is the power of visual representation that children tend to believe that Disney's version of the fairy tale is the real story rather than the "classic" version to which they may or may not have been exposed through school or home. Not only does the Disney version provide visual images for the fairy tale it is depicting, these images and the relative value of group membership associated with the images are then translated into beliefs children hold about status in particular group membership, in relation to notions of good, bad, pretty, and ugly as reflected in the films. Educators, therefore, need to be critical of all texts that are introduced to children - pictorial, film, and literary - and the impact that these texts have on children, particularly in relation to the acculturation and socialization process (223).
• "binary color symbolism that associates white with goodness and black with evil. (or old and ugly with evil and young and beautiful with good—find evidence of beauty =good and its opposite in the tales you are analyzing). binary color symbolism that associates white with goodness and black with evil" (223).
• "Moreover, as Zipes (1997) has noted, if we are to make any impact on altering the domination and control of the culture industry, the industry that promotes and reinforces patriarchy and racism, and maintains the status quo, the best chance we have is through its "Achilles heel" (p. 128). According to Zipes, the "Achilles' heel of the capitalist system," which by the way supports the culture industry of which Disney is a part, "is located in the acculturation process" (p. 128), that is, the acculturation and socialization of children. It is clear, therefore, that effective change is needed in the early education and socialization of children. It is also critical to note, however, that the subtle messages imbedded in the written and visual texts of fairy tales has been internalized by scholars and parents alike. Therefore, in order for us to be effective in teaching others to read critically, we must, as Fisher and Silber (2000) urge, "free ourselves from the delicious fictions that have held us captive in subtle and penetrating ways" (p. 233)
• "Another strategy is related to what is widely believed to be the origin of fairy tales - the folk tale (Tatar, 1999; Zipes, 1993). However, the folk tale is shaped by the intentions/agendas of the person who composes it" (232).
James, Clarese A. "Folklore and Fairy Tales," Folklore, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Dec., 1945), pp. 336-341
• "Later critics dismiss Balzac's quibble about the glass slipper. That menu vair, minever-the fur shoe-was mistranslated into verre-glass- is disproved completely by the fact, that in its many variations, the shoe is of glass, gold, silver, etc. and sometimes transformed into a finger ring. Miss Cox in 1893, after a very thorough study of the story, found nearly 400 variations, the stories falling into three groups : (i) The ill-treated heroine who is recognised by her shoe or other object. (ii) The Catskin type of story where the girl flies from a cruel father. [This is often a very primitive type] (iii) The Cap o' Rushes tale in which the father in mistake, like King Lear, banishes his dutiful daughter. This type is called " the outcast child ". (336).
• "Many folk stories contain the pathetic incident of a mother who returns from the grave or fairyland to care for or comfort and assist her child. Dead mother motif" (341).
• "is suggested by the shoe or ring test whereby the true love is discovered. Does this not recall certain wedding customs (still practised in Tran- sylvania) of simple people whereby the man has to discover his bride from a group of girls dressed alike? This refers back to the primitive idea of lessening the danger to the bride by hiding her from malignant spirits among others of her own sex. Our modern bridesmaids are another relic of this custom. Jack and the Beanstalk" (341).
• "We find associations with the, hearth in Cinderella, Cinder Jack and Norse Boots, who all take their place by the fire. The Hearth, once a place of honour, in modern times only has been regarded as a humiliating spot, or its care a degrading occupation. To account for the reversal of this custom one need only consider the change of affairs brought about when the matriarchate gave place to the patriarchate. The law of primo geniture would not evolve immediately but would doubtless be hastened by the elder children eager to claim their new right. The younger son ousted and despised would excite much sympathy. Probably it was at this juncture when primo geniture was usurping" (337).
• "Here possibly is seen once again traces of that period when matriarchate prevailed, and the wise woman-not necessarily malevolent, but clever and cunning-handed down from mother to daughter knowledge of craft and medicines. The Priestess of an earlier civilization becomes the cursed witch of a later Christian age. In these stories it is the witch who figures so prominently there. Her magic is that of a primitive people and not that of mediaeval times-anything is produced at will-complete power over others is obtained by means of charms and spells. In Snow White we notice the witch described as a Queen, reminiscent of her exalted position in the Mother Age. Typical too is the power of speech possessed by inanimate things. The Speaking Mirror is found in most versions of this tale and it occurs in an almost identical story found in West Africa. Dr. Nassau, who quotes it, thinks it was brought by the Portuguese from Europe 300 years ago. Magic Mirrors, a link with crystal-gazing, and other forms of divination" (338).
• "While in the fairy story we have abundant vestigial remains of an original primitive myth" (338).
• "In the Middle Ages, at the beginning of modern times, and for a long time after in the lower class, children were mixed with adults as soon as they were considered capable of doing without their mothers or nan- nies, not long after a tardy weaning (in other words, at about the age of seven). They immediately went straight into the great community of men, sharing in the work and play of their companions, old and young alike . . . (Centuries of Childhood [Vintage edition], p. 41 1) Fairy Tales were not originally created for children. This only occurred from Grimms' time on" (339).
Jones, Steven Swann. "On Analyzing Fairy Tales: 'Little Red Riding Hood' Revisited," Western Folklore, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 97-106.
• "Accordingly, Darnton is not justified in ignoring what he refers to as the universality of the topos of the fairy tale in favor of the specificity of time and place. The universality of the topos is an essential characteristic of the fairy tale; it is a description of the ability of fairy tales to present issues that possess nearly universal appeal. He prefers to place "Little Red Riding Hood" in "a Malthusian society, in which the basic fact of life was the inexorable struggle against death." According to Darnton, "Most Frenchmen lived in or near a state of chronic malnutrition.... Of every ten babies born, ... four or five died by the age of ten.... Most Frenchmen inhabited a world that was com- pletely different from ours." This reasoning encourages Darnton to interpret "Little Red Riding Hood" as a reflection of their "nasty, brutish, and short" lives and of their pestilential and morally and economically destitute society. In essence, he concludes that "Little Red Riding Hood" is about the hunger, calamity, and knavery that characterized eighteenth-century France. Furthermore, not only does Darnton's ethnocentrism apparently prevent him from conceiving of these texts properly as examples of a larger tale type possessing cross-cultural appeal and cross-cultural meaning" (97-106).
Marshall, Elizabeth, "The Daughter's Disenchantment: Incest as Pedagogy in Fairy Tales and Kathryn Harrison's 'The Kiss,'" College English, Vol. 66, No. 4 (Mar., 2004), pp. 403-426
• "For the most part, our Anglo-American fairy tale canon derives from the nine- teenth-century collections of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Not in- tended originally for young readers, fairy tales by the beginning of the twentieth century were considered children's fare. As the audience for fairy tales shifted, so did the lessons within them. For instance, the revisions made by the Brothers Grimm after 1819 reveal the brothers', particularly Wilhelm's, desire to make Children's and Household Tales more suitable for a younger audience. In their introduction to the 1819 edition the brothers discuss "the manner in which they made the stories more pure, truthful and just." In the process, they "eliminated those passages which they thought would be harmful for children's eyes" (Zipes, Fairy Tales 48). This included censoring any material that was sexual, while "lurid portrayals of child abuse, starva- tion, and exposure, like fastidious descriptions of cruel punishments, on the whole escaped censorship" (404).
• "The degree to which the brothers censored the lustful father is evident when the history of "Cinderella" is considered. In a definitive study of over three hundred versions of "Cinderella," Marian Cox defines three variants of the tale: "Cinderella" (510A), in which the heroine is mistreated by her stepmother; "Catskin" (510B), a runaway daughter tale about a heroine pursued by an incestuous father; and "Cap O' Rushes" (510C), in which a father demands a pledge of filial love (King Lear). Significantly, in the over three hundred Cinderella variants Cox analyzes, the inces- tuous father appears almost as often as does the evil stepmother; thus, as literary theorist Maria Tatar points out, the heroine is as likely to leave the home because of her father's incestuous desire as her (step)mother's tyranny. Yet, for the one story in the Grimms' Children's and Household Tales that openly depicts a father's persecution of his daughter, there are twelve that recount a girl's misery at the hands of her stepmother (Hard Facts 153). That the stepmother had emerged as the central villain of the Grimms' fairy tale collection is demonstrated in an 1894 review of the Grimms' Fairy Tales in The New York Times. The reviewer writes" (405).
• "These developmental steps, however, are undergirded by culturally specific lessons that also seek to educate the child about heterosexual femininity and mascu- linity. As Marcia Lieberman points out, the Anglo-American fairy tale canon pre- sents "a picture of sexual roles, behavior, and psychology and a way of predicting outcome or fate according to sex" (384). In the Grimms' collection, for instance, particular traits, behaviors, and punishments arise in relation to the character's gen- der: curious heroes may receive rewards while inquisitive heroines experience se- vere punishments (Bottigheimer)" (426).
• "For instance, puberty is a particularly dan- gerous interval for fairy tale heroines because their potential sexuality is always on the verge of being realized. Kay Stone points out that "it is at puberty that Rapunzel is locked in a tower, Snow White is sent out to be murdered, and Sleeping Beauty is put to sleep" (47). All-Fur's pubescence portends a trial, and it is significant that All- Fur's father recognizes his daughter when she "grows up." The lesson here revolves around the menstruating daughter's knowledge of her sexuality. Since she "knows" about sex, she is now culpable if the father violates her" ( 407).
• "Guided by this implicit cultural lesson, the daughter leaves her father's house. Her runaway status suggests her uselessness in the community without a man and her untouchable status. Her individual defilement, captured in the fur coat she wears, is a visible reminder not of the father's violation but of her own wanton nature. The daughter rather than the father bears the cultural punishment that highlights the danger inherent in forbidden sexual contacts, and she publicly marks herself as slut" (408).
• "Whenever there is a shift in society (industrial revolution that makes women compete with and become a threat to men. When they are a threat to the power structure, then they are demonized and discredited) Enculturation through fairy tales. The Modonna/whore construct is created for women through fairy tales and the man is emasculated. The treatment of women in the fairy tales is a reflection of and a response to the socio-historical events of the time in which they are composed. While the modern retellings of the tales still retain the powerful and demoniacal female antagonist, the protagonist usually gets what she wants through her own intelligence and resourcefulness. Good dead mother" (410).
• "Joyce Carol Oates writes that "only in recent times has the fairy tale been reclaimed by writers and artists for their own imaginative and frequently subversive purposes" (2 56). Beginning in the late 1960s, English and American women began to revise and reinsert violent and sexual mate- rial into fairy tale literature to tell subversive stories. Revisionist tradition" (412).
• "As in familiar fairy tale narratives, the mother's abandonment and/or departure set up the heroine's plight" (412).
• "Enchantments in fairy tale literature often trans- form the character and her entire universe, transporting the heroine to an unreal place that symbolizes less a material realm than a psychological one" 415).
Panttaja, Elisabeth, "Going up in the World: Class in 'Cinderella,'" Western Folklore, Vol. 52, No. 1, Perspectives on the Innocent Persecuted Heroine in Fairy Tales (Jan., 1993), pp. 85-104
• "fairy tales reside in their ability to shape young psyches and, sec- ond, the idea that the modern psyche is shaped primarily through the differentiation of the sexes. In keeping with these assumptions, femi- nist and neo-Marxist critics have tended to view the tales as either patriarchal or bourgeois propaganda, as a socializing tool designed to create good little (modern) boys and girls" (87).
• "Freudian and Jungian strategies for un- derstanding the mother figure have one thing in common: they both depend upon/establish the idea of maternal absence, an idea which resonates throughout many varieties of psychoanalytic thought. Both strategies locate maternal power in a bygone time-either pre- Oedipal or pre-patriarchal. To the extent that they view the mother/ child relationship as thwarted by what is generally conceived of as the rather violent entry of the father/patriarchy, both positions inherently privilege paternal power over maternal power. Paternal power is gen- erally conceived of as present, political power, the power of language, law, reason, and culture, while maternal power is conceived of as past and primitive, existing only in the devalued realm of the natural, which includes personal, private, specific, affective, pre-verbal, and even pre-social meanings" (88).
• "On her deathbed, the mother gives Cinderella the following advice: "Dear child, be good and pious. Then the dear Lord shall always assist you, and I shall look down from heaven and take care of you" (Zipes 1987:86). In fairy tales, the open- ing scene is always of particular importance, since it is here that the tale sets forth the problem which it will then go on to solve. Cinder- ella's problem is precisely the fact that her mother has died. It is this "lack," the lack of the mother, which Cinderella must overcome in the course of the story. But is she really motherless? Not really, since the twig that she plants on her mother's grave grows into a tree that takes care of her, just as her mother promised to do. The mother, then, is figured in the hazel tree and in the birds that live in its branches. Early in the story, the tree offers solace to the grieving girl; later, it gives her the dresses she needs to attend the ball. Likewise, the two pigeons who live in the tree expose the false brides as they ride away, with bleeding feet, on the prince's horse, and they lead the flock of birds who help Cinder- ella sort the lentils that the stepmother throws on the hearth. In addition, the fleeing Cinderella is said to find safety in a dovecote and a pear tree ("a beautiful tall tree covered with the most wonderful pears"). Since these places of refuge continue the bird/tree symbolism, it is quite possible that we are meant to see the mother's influence also at work in the rather mysterious way that Cinderella manages to avoid too-early detection. Thus, at every turn in the narrative, the magical power of the mother vies with the forces arrayed against Cinderella, whether they be the selfish designs of the stepmother and stepsisters or the futile attempts of the father and prince to capture and identify her. In the end, the mother, despite death, reigns supreme. Not only does she take her revenge on her daughter's enemies by plucking out the eyes of the stepsisters, but, more importantly, she succeeds in bringing about her daughter's advantageous marriage. " (89).
• "romantic love as a central value of the tale, there is actually nothing in the text itself to suggest either that Cinderella loves the prince or that the prince loves her.3 The prince marries Cinderella because he is enchanted (literally) by the sight of her in her magical clothes. What is interesting about these clothes, at least in the Grimms' version, is that, far from simply enhancing a natural but hidden beauty, they actually create it. In the Grimms' version, Cinderella is described as "deformed," while the sisters are described as "fair," so we can only conclude that the power of Cinderella's clothes is indeed miraculous, since they turn a deformed girl into a woman whose beauty surpasses that of the already fair. Thus, the prince's choice of Cinderella can be explained neither by her piety, which he has never experienced, nor by her own beauty, which does not exist. It is the mother's magic which brings about the desired outcome" (91).
• "The milieu of the fairy tales reflects feudal agrarian conditions, and the characters are either of the nobility, peasantry, or third es- tate (burgher)," writes Jack Zipes (1983). "Though it is clear that the classical fairy tale is stamped by feudalism," Zipes continues, "the narrative perspective . . . fuses a peasant world view with the demo- cratic-humanitarianism of the rising-bourgeoisie" (148-9). Zipes con- vincingly argues that fairy tales played an important role in the rise of the bourgeoisie. Calling the fairy tale "one of the cornerstones of our bourgeois heritage," Zipes (1983) characterizes the genre as "an in- stitutionalized discourse with manipulation as one of its components" (10). The fairy tale's discourse was aimed specifically at "socializing children to meet definitive normative expectations at home and in the public sphere" (9). By the 1870s, the tales were routinely included in primers and educational anthologies for children throughout the western world. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Grimms' Kinder-und Hausmirchen was outsold only by the Bible in Germany (it continues to hold this position) (Zipes 1987:xxix). This period, during which the fairy tale became a virtual literary institution, also saw massive social and economic shifts, such as rapid industrialization and urbanization, as well as the spread of bourgeois cultural hegemony" (91-92).
• "It was supposed to be exotic (DEFAMILIARIZATION), to speak for and contain what was most "other" to the cultural expe- rience of the newly industrialized world, but it was also supposed to contain only the most ordinary and expectable cultural values, values which could assist in the work of correctly socializing large groups of bourgeois boys and girls. Thus, while the fairy tale was valued pre- cisely because it was so obviously not bourgeois, it was expected at the same time to be pre-eminently bourgeois. Perhaps the most interest- ing and problematic aspect of the fairy tale is this dual agenda: its need to preserve past cultural experience (including the often con- tradictory moral and social positions of both the "folk" and the feudal lords) (TO ASSIST WITH NATIONALIZATION AND SOCIALIZATION) and its goal of helping to create a very different present. places of conflict between past and present values and among folk, bourgeois, and aristocratic kinds of experience. In some cases, the ideological ground of the tales is so shifting that the tale delivers on its cultural mandate only imperfectly " (92).
• "morally and socially inferior, thus re-inscribing (or inventing?) classist notions about the shrill, opportunistic, and ambition-driven middle class. By maintaining-indeed, by insisting on-the difference be- tween Cinderella and the sisters, the fairy tale speaks out against bour- geois cultural hegemony. "Cinderella" appears to be one tale, therefore, in which the narra- tive perspective is more feudal than middle class. In this respect, it is similar to a tale like "The Goose Girl" which upholds the (lawful) interests of the aristocratic protagonist against the (unjust) claims of an ambitious servant"(95).
• Nevertheless, as her father's biological (rather than adopted) daughter and as part of his first family, Cin- derella's claim to social prominence is portrayed as more just and defensible than that of the sisters, who appear in the story as socially displaced persons. As relative newcomers to the scene and with an indeterminate paternity, the sisters play the role of parvenue to Cin- derella's role of genteel-bourgeois. the story's values are actually historically prior to middle class ideas of romantic love, sexual attraction, and/or family romance. As Anita Levy (1989) points out, concepts of blood and alliance are integral to kinship arrangements in. it preserves the aristocratic power structure and, at the same time, excludes other classes. An unsullied blood line retained its almost magical power no matter what gender the person might be. " (95-96).
• "The attraction of her story stems largely from the fact that it gives us access to this time, a time before sexual attraction and romantic love became dominant forces in kinship rituals and thus in the organization of society. The figure of Cinderella is at- tractive because it speaks to us of the now-rare possibility of experi- encing personal fulfillment and political ascendancy in one unified (and moral) act. For Cinderella, sex and power cohere without moral qualm or cognitive dissonance. In modern bourgeois life, on the other hand, exogamy is prized over endogamy: to marry up is the highest good, and to this end the middle class fetishizes gender, sex- ual attractiveness, and romantic love" (97).
• "clothes are an important means by which class identity is both hidden and revealed. When the sisters want to demote Cinderella, they take away her fine clothes, but the clothes that then magically (re)appear are far better even than they. Not only do they re-establish her class identity, they reveal what the story conceives of as a metaphysical truth-the "natural" superiority of the higher ranks. Thus, for the privileged class, fine clothes reveal "truth"; they are a means of maintaining the status quo. Conversely, for the aspiring class, clothes hide identity; they are a way of disrupting and manipulating social identity. The sisters' beautiful dresses are a dis- guise. They deceive, like costumes. The sisters' clothes have not only a negative function (to hide their identities), but also a positive function-to seduce. The sisters deck themselves out to amplify their sexual attractiveness. In this way, they hope to gain through sexual difference what they cannot claim through similarity of blood or char- acter. Thus, clothes are a political tool of the petit-bourgeoisie: they are a means of spreading and valorizing a new cultural hegemony, one fraught with a sense of its own illegitimacy. In this scheme, con- cepts of sexuality, sexual attractiveness, and romantic love" (SUMPTUARY LAWS, MARGERY KEMPE, HILDEGARD, JOAN OF ARC) and the fairy tale brings both ambition and seduction to a fittingly pathetic end in self-muti- lation and defeat. The fact that the sisters have mutilated themselves makes it easier for us "(98).
• "The heroine is no longer a true bride threatened by some coarse imposters, but a poor girl who tri- umphs over the glamorous and corrupt women of the monied class. Thus, the tale defends, not the right of the genteel-bourgeois to its separate social space, but the right of the petit-bourgeois to aspire and ascend. The petit-bourgeois are imagined, not as potential usurpers of power, but as the dispossessed victims of power. Cinderella story is not much more than a wish- fulfillment. The real protagonist is not Cinderella at all but the petit- bourgeois reader who, with the help of the story, is able to do in imagination what she is much less likely to do in fact: she is able to penetrate the ranks of the bourgeoisie. Seeing the cinematized ver- sion of "Cinderella" (or reading any one of a number of modern variants of the tale directed toward the lower classes) is virtually syn- onymous with dreaming of being Cinderella, and the dream itself becomes a degraded form of participation in the dominant culture." (IT ALSO PLAYS UP THE ROMANTIC FETISIZATION WHEREBY THE BOUGEOUISIE AND THE LOWER CLASSES/PEASANTRY CAN GAIN ACCESS TO THE HIGHER CLASSES THROUGH BEAUTY AS A COMMODITY, ROMANTIC LOVE, AND SEDUCTION—IF NOT BY BLOODLINE AND BIRTH (99).
• "Not surprisingly, the shift from a genteel-bourgeois to a petit- bourgeois narrative perspective is accompanied by the diminishment of the powerful mother's role. Unlike the Grimms' version, in which, as we have seen, the mother's role is of paramount importance, the Disney "Cinderella" trivializes the mother figure. The Disney version lacks any reference at all to the good mother and her death, and the fairy godmother who appears in her place functions as merely a magi- cal wish-granter, like a genie. The rather abrupt appearance of the fairy godmother does not develop any of the story's moral or thematic needs; it works more or less as a mere plot mechanism, a way of getting Cinderella to the ball so that she can meet and marry the prince. Because the mother/daughter plot has been written out of the Disney version, the story lacks the moral depth, the political motiva- tion, and the psychological resonance that give the Grimms' version shape and meaning. This devaluation of the mother figure and the diminishment of the importance of the mother/daughter bond is a necessary part of the "taming" of "Cinderella." Indeed, the disempowerment of the mother figure is necessary to any patrilineal system" (102).
• "In so doing, they camouflage exactly what is most troubling-and true- about the story, its depiction of class ambitions and class violence. If we want to understand the ways in which class tensions shape our social and personal realities, as well as the ways in which we use myths both to deny and to (selectively) reveal those tensions, we might start by reading the Grimms' "Cinderella" as an exploration into what was (and still is) a common cultural experience-i.e., class ascension/ descension through marriage" (103).
Parker, Robert. How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Preston, Cathy Lynn. "'Cinderella' as a Dirty Joke: Gender, Multivocality, and the Polysemic Text," Western Folklore, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Jan., 1994), pp. 27-49
• "Disney Cinderella textual tradition, a bourgeois air-brushed fantasy which became, after its release by the Disney studios in 1949, the version of Cinderella to dominate America. But although the joke's framing" (28).
• Bakhtine / carnivalesque analysis is fairy tales.
Reineke, Martha J., "'This Is My Body': Reflections on Abjection, Anorexia, and Medieval Women Mystics," Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 58, No. 2 (Summer, 1990), pp. 245-265
• "Turner clarifies why women predominate among those beings who populate the outer membrane of the social body, bearing the brunt of attacks on the larger social body and appearing as objects of religious rituals that protect the integrity of the social body, proscribing disorder. Women, those humans most likely to be perceived as embodied, also lack the power to protest against the literal inscription on their bodies of societal meaning or to distance themselves from the ritual body-work which is enacted on behalf of the social body. But, following Foucault, Turner also makes a stronger claim: women are found in the social margins because they are precisely those beings the social organism pro- duces in its development to fill its outer wall. Affirming the absolute historicity of human embodiment, Turner defines women as the creation in history of the system that oppresses them (3-5)" (245-265).
Simpson, Jacqueline, "Witches and Witchbusters," Folklore, Vol. 107, (1996), pp. 5-18
• "the ratio averaged 80% women to 20% men-far more men than in England, where they only made up 7% of the total. These male suspects were generally the husbands or brothers of accused women, drawn into the net of a multiple trial (this was also the case for eleven out of twenty-three men accused in Essex [Macfarlane 1970, 160]). Contemporary commentators were well aware of this preponderance of female witches, but thought it quite natural, as women were more easily tempted to sin than men, more resentful, more spiteful in word and deed. Moreover, as Larner points out, scientific opinion from Pliny onwards held that menstrual blood could harm crops and food, kill bees, and so on, which made it easy to slip into think- ing that there was some form of dangerous magic in- herent in all women. Those accused of witchcraft, Larner believes, were usually those "who do not fulfil the male view of how women should conduct themselves'" (8).
• most of the accused were women, and that of these, many were past the menopause. Carol Karlsen strongly ar- gues that in America most accused women were not under the control of male relatives and were, or were about to become, economically independent; they were usually above childbearing age, and had in several cases broken gender norms by sexual misbehaviour, by pride, or by unusual religious views. The accusations reflected a struggle to claw back control of property into male hands and force women to accept their "proper" role (Karlsen 1987, 111-19 and 127)" (10).
• "But the main thrust of her interpretation is to argue that witch-hunting rested on assumptions of male social, sexual and moral supremacy and was used to reinforce these: the relation between the sexes was one of con- flict and violence, in which witchcraft accusations were a weapon for ensuring the subordination of women" (11). LABELING SOMEONE AS A WITCH OR CASTING HER IN THAT ROLE, TOOK AWAY HER POWER/CREDIBILITY AND SERVED AS A WARNING TO OTHERS WHO WOULD RISE AND EMASCULATE MEN BY TAKING AWAY THEIR POWER.
Slade, Carole. "Alterity in Union: The Mystical Experience of Angela of Foligno and Margery Kempe," Religion & Literature, Vol. 23, No. 3, Autumn, 1991), pp. 109-126
• "Irigaray understands the relationship between man and woman in patriarchy as one of complementarity, or a binary opposition in which one of the terms is defined as the absence of the other. Woman, de- fined solely by opposition to the male, has neither independent sub- jecthood nor attributes of her own; in the notation Elizabeth Grosz has used to represent relationship in the works of Irigaray, the male is A, the subject, and the female is not- A, the object (xvii). This patriar- chal couple, A and not- A, makes a unit of one, as Irigaray explains in Ethique de la difference sexuelle: "Until the present, generally, love took place within the One. The two did not make more than one" (69; my translation). As an alternative to this cancellation of feminine identity in patriarchal relationship between the sexes, Irigaray initially proposed, in "When Our Lips Speak Together," that women seek their subjec- tivity in relationships between and among women. In that essay, the final chapter of This Sex Which is Not One, Irigaray enacts a union be- tween her feminine persona and another woman who is "neither mother" (125).
Sprenger, Jacobus. Malleus Maleficarum, Trans. Christopher S. Mackay, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Stoeltje, Beverly J., "Introduction: Feminist Revisions," Journal of Folklore Research, Vol. 25, No. 3, (Sep. - Dec., 1988), pp. 141-153
• "Like its sister disciplines, litera- ture and anthropology, folklore as a field of study was founded in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and developed within the confines of growing nationalism. These fields were motivated by a consciousness of national identity and served the larger goals of nationhood, as scholars are increasingly discovering when they examine the circumstances sur- rounding the birth of these fields. In the context of the developing middle class and the stabilization of nations as political units, the middle class drew upon folklore to legiti- mate its heritage" (141).
• "The founding father of Romantic Nationalism in Germany and architect of folklore scholarship, Herder created a comprehensive model that inte- grated folklore, patriarchy, and nation. In it he overtly elevated the masculine and endowed it with authority, and simultaneously devalued the feminine, stating that women are "the first failing stone in the human edifice" (Fox 1987:570)" (153).
• "The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed the triumph of this well-balanced triangle of forces in the Western world: Patriarchalism, Nationalism, and Imperialism. Operating in harmony, these forces effec- tively achieved the condition necessary for the success of a nation: unifi- cation. To create the political entity: political entity, the nation. Thus folklore, literature, language, and anthropology developed as fields concerned with issues raised by and as the result of these forces; but these fields were valuable as well because of their power to shape mean- ing through their use of symbolic constructs. When they serve the purposes of a dominant class these forces operate as hegemony" (152).
• "adjusting" old, familiar forms to conform with the new purposes, expressing the new social relations. For example, a folktale can introduce enough changes to dramatically rearrange relationships and thus the message. In the case of Cinderella, her dead mother and lustful father disappear from modern variants altogether, and a male hero, the prince, enters the scene to rescue the passive female from the evil forces, which are, of course, female.' Symbolic systems are especially useful for creating motivation and thus providing a logic, a reality, a desire and a purpose within an available system" (150).
• "To be more specific, let us turn briefly to an example each of a structure, a metaphor, and an artistic strategy which have served the forces of Nationalism, Patriarchal- ism, Imperialism. All of these have utilized gender differences to label the female negatively and the male positively, and therefore to unify males and subordinate females as the embodiment of evil, or as the weaker and inferior of the two kinds of humans. What we see around this time is women as competitors for resources in the industrial revolution (women had to be seen as weaker to protect the patriarchy and old women who were useless were demonized because they could not contribute to the capitalistic system. Women walked a fine line so that they were punished if too useful and punished if they were not useful enough)" (151).
• "In her study identifying the family as the site of both psychic relations and symbolic property rela- tions, Annette Kuhn defines patriarchy as a structure written into partic- ular expressions of sexual division of labor" (152).
• "Considerably more devious in its operation as an intellectual con- struct, the metaphor of opposition has also been successfully employed by the triangle of forces, once again to achieve unity and invest authority in males. A seductive means of coping with contrast and difference in the world around us, oppositions are deeply rooted in the distinction be- tween the positive and the negative. However, oppositions in the service of unification tend to simplify any domain of thought, dividing it into twos, which then sort themselves into a hierarchy of black and white or good and evil. Twos are easier to grasp than sixes and sevens. Day and night can be identified more definitively than dawn and dusk. The division into two transforms thought into opposition. In the next step, oppositions combine with hierarchy, and the results lead to categories of superior and inferior, active and passive, strength and weakness, safety and danger, speech and silence, life and death. When the hierarchies are, in fact, patriarchies, and consequently males are in positions of power over women, then oppositional thinking parallels patriarchal structures. Males become good, active, and powerful, and women become evil, the movement by which each opposition is set up to produce meaning is the movement by which the couple is destroyed .... Death is always at work .... And we perceive that the "victory" always amounts to the same thing: it is hierarchized. The hierarchization subjects the entire conceptual organization to man. A male privilege, which can be seen in the opposition by which it sustains itself, between activity and passivity. Traditionally, the question of sexual difference is coupled with the same opposition: activity, passivitx. (Cixous 1980:91) While these oppositions reside in abstract" (153).
• "The power of art, whether popular or elitist, endows it with great appeal, for it can encapsulate and intensify patterns of behav- ior, altering them for any purpose. Art becomes attractive, then, to hegemonies as a strategy for promulgating the social relations of domi- nation and subordination. The triad of patriarchy, nationalism and imperialism has consistently turned to one theme in particular as a strategy, the hero. This strategy introduces or exploits the elements of fear, danger, aggression, subversion, and strangeness in order to generate an atmosphere of vulnerability in the society; then a hero appears who embodies desirable features and is capable of achieving victory over the evil forces identified as responsible for the danger. Our hero, in service to the patriarchy and the nation, at home and abroad, will certainly be male, and he will fight off invading forces, be they dragons or humans, and protect the passive females within our borders. Because his acts are legitimated in that he serves the hegemony, he may rape, murder, steal, defy the law and even do business with the enemy, and he will be praised as above the law, as a hero with more courage than other humans who takes risks others would not take, and therefore, stands above us all to be honored. Our hero, in service to the patriarchy and the nation, at home and abroad, will certainly be male, and he will fight off invading forces, be they dragons or humans, and protect the passive females within our borders. Because his acts are legitimated in that he serves the hegemony, he may rape, murder, steal, defy the law and even do business with the enemy, and he will be praised as above the law, as a hero with more courage than other humans who takes risks others would not take, and therefore, stands above us all to be honored. In some instances he then marries the princess or desirable daughter, and she expresses her gratitude to and worship of him while the viewers applaud with enthusiasm, envying her good fortune. The hero functions then to support the patriarchy, as long as he remains within its control. The Hero stands for the nation or the culture, and thus he is beyond criticism and embodies behavior we admire. In this form, he is a favorite of any hegemonic force, a strategy certain to be employed in conjunction with the metaphor of opposition and the structures of patriarchy. The Nation, the Empire, and Patriarchy-these three were inseparable in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries when the study of folklore became important. Consequently, the field of folklore deserves critical evaluation, including the identification of repression reflecting the his- tory of the field, and the establishment of a change in the "imaginary'" (150).
• "Under her scrutiny we see the familiar hierarchized oppositions of Superior/Inferior, Male/Female, North/South, Us/Them, resulting in a cultural product that transforms women from strong and independ- ent characters with magical powers into the embodiment of evil, the opponent of the rising nation, while excusing or even valorizing the male heroes' acts of violence against those women. Sawin argues persua- sively that the text contains the voices of powerful women silenced by L6nnrot's plot construction. The most subversive of his narrative tricks undermines the mother/daughter relationship" (152). WOMAN AS SUBVERSIVE OTHER. ALIEN OTHER (DRAGON/MONSTER).
• "This failure to obtain, include or examine gender-related materials and thus to equate the masculine with the universal often leads to profoundly false interpre- tations and unsound conclusions, arrived at from the stance of " (153).
Zipes, Jack. "Breaking the Magic Spell: Politics and the Fairy Tale," New German Critique, No. 6 (Autumn, 1975), pp. 116-135
• "In essence, the meaning of the fairy tales can only be fully grasped if the magic spell is broken and if the politics and utopian impulse of the narratives are related to the socio-historical forces which distinguished them first as a pre- capitalist folk form (Volksmarchen) in an oral tradition and which then gave rise in Germany at the end of the 18th century to a bourgeois art form (Kunstmarchen) that has its own modern literary tradition".Since we lack an adequate history of the folk and fairy tales, and since they have unique national and cultural developments, I want to limit my discussion to the politics of the tales in Germany during the 18th and the early 19th centuries" (117).
• "very few scholars have tried to place the folk tale in the broader context of a socio-cultural development, and even in Degh's book, not enough attention is paid to the politics of the tales. By focusing on the politics of both the folk and fairy tales from the middle of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th, I want to set a Marxist framework which can encompass other scientific approaches and hopefully indicate how these approaches could be put to a more proper use in a socio-historical context and how they could consequently serve to disenchant the tales." Set it within a socio-historical context to look at the politics in the tale and do a Marxist analysis.-mine" (118).
• "Yet, in fact, our comprehension of the folk and fairy tales remains limited and has been colored perversely by a culture industry which has not only begotten a Walt Disney monopoly of this material but which also fogs the underlying reasons for our attraction to the tales. By relocating the historical origins of the folk and fairy tales in politics and class struggle, the essence of its durability and vitality will become more clear, and its magic will be seen as part of humankind's own imaginative and rational" (119).
• "Since fairies were associated with the supernatural and make-believe and since the upper-class recorders of the tale shifted the emphasis of the stories, the original basis of the tales became obfuscated, and it appeared that their contents and meaning were derived from bizarre occurrences and irrational minds and not from actual social and political conditions. Since the imaginative motifs and symbolical elements of class conflict and rebellion in the pre-capitalist folk tales ran counter to the principles of rationalism and utilitarianism developed by a bourgeois class, they had to be suppressed or made to appear irrelevant." (So they made them silly with fairies and magic)" (120).
• "bourgeoisie, which had at first made itself the champion of education for the people, had to recognize that the interests of the 'people,' i.e., the peasant, plebeian and proletarian strata, were not (any longer) identical with the bourgeois interests of domination. The 'educators of the people' in the 18th and 19th centuries (increasingly supported by the courts of political rule, which put through bans on reading and education, for instance, through censorship) sought to solve this contradiction by arguing for the concept of a 'limited enlightenment.' To be sure, the people should be educated and learn how to read-but the contents of this education and reading was to remain controlled." 13 The controls were not only placed on the folk tales but on all literary forms which appealed to the imagination and might stir rebellious impulses.14 In regard to the folk tales, they were predominantly censored in two ways: 1) they were not published and circulated in their original form as told by the lower-class storytellers-the brothers Grimm made the first attempt along these lines in the early 19th century, and even here, they stylized the tales to a certain degree; 2) instead of folk tales, the newspapers, weeklies, yearbooks and anthologies were filled with and flooded the market with didactic stories, fables, anecdotes, homilies and sermons which were intended to sanctify the interests of the emerging middle class" (121).
• "18th and 19th centuries. As Linda Degh points out: "With the spread of literacy, the growth of urban life, and the development of cultural and educational class distinctions, the European folktale became one of the most important means of artistic expression for the lowest strata of society" (122).
• "The folktale remained within the lower middle class and retired to the nursery."17 As the bourgeoisie gradually solidified itself into a class in Germany, the folk tale began to be regarded with suspicion and was labeled inferior art because of its supposed vulgarity and lack of morals, i.e., it belon" (123).
• "1) Bougeouisie were relegating the fairy tale the refuse pile and considered it low art that didn't reflect and support their ethos 2) the romantics, who tried to rescue it and infuse it with their own anti-bourgeoisie message. "relegation of the Volksmtrchen to the lower classes and the domain of the household and children." (124).
• "As we know, the folk tales were oral narratives and contained popular motifs which were thousands of years old. In each historical epoch they were generally transformed by the narrator and audience in an active manner through improvisation and interchange to produce a version which would relate to the social conditions of the time. These tales did not spring from a supernatural realm, nor were they conceived for children The basic nature of the folk tale was connected to the objective ontological situation and dreams of the narrators and their audiences in all age groups. In their close study of the Grimm's collection of folk tales, Richter and Merkel show thatthese narratives, even though marked by bourgeois stylization, all retain hope for improving conditions of life and that the imaginative elements (miracles, magic) function to bring about a real fulfillment of the desires of the protagonists who were often underdogs or victims of social injustice. To the extent that Richter and Merkel show how liberating the imagination can be and how it has been curbed in bourgeois society" (125).
• "In other words, the main characters and concerns of a monarchistic and feudal society are presented, and the focus is on class struggle and competition for power among the aristocrats themselves and between the peasantry and aristocracy. Hence the central theme of all folk tales: "might makes right." He who has power can exercise his will, right wrongs, become ennobled, amass money and land, win women as prizes. This is why the people (das Volk) were the carriers of the tales: the Marchen catered to their aspirations and allowed them to believe that anyone could become a knight in shining armor or a lovely princess, and they also pre- sented the start realities of power politics without disguising the violence and brutality of everyday life. a realm without morals, where class and power determine social relations. Hence, the magic and miraculous serve to rupture the feudal confines and represent metaphorically the conscious and unconscious desires of the lower classes. "A world inverted, an exemplary world, fairyland is a criticism of ossified reality. It does not remain side by side with the latter; it reacts upon it; it suggests that we transform it, that we reinstate what is out of place." Whatever the outcomes of the tales are-and for the most part, they are happy ends and "exemplary" in that they affirm a more just feudal order with democratizing elements-the impulse and critique of the "magic" is rooted in a historically explicable desire to overcome oppression and change society. (magic is used as a weapon against injustice to level the playing field for the peasant in their class struggle against the aristocracy. Beougoisie who seized power and came to replace the aristocracy at the top tier edited the tales, highlighting magic to make them appear ridiculous and to relegate them to the children's realm)" (126).
• "The objectifying of the tale is significant, for it helps explain the tolerant attitude toward the step-mother (which is not always the case). It must be remembered that women died young due to frequent child-bearing and unsanitary conditions. Thus, step-mothers were common in households, and this often led to difficulties with the children from former wives. In this respect, the tale reflects the strained relations but sees them more as a result of social forces. The step-mother is not condemned. Neither by the narrator or the children. They return home, unaware that she is dead. They return home with hope and jewels to put an end to all their problems" (126).
• "In both these tales class conflict is portrayed in light of pre-capitalist social conditions which were common in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Germany. In neither tale is there a political revolution. What is important is that the contradictions are depicted, whereby the prejudices and injustices of feudal ideology are exposed. The magic and imaginative elements are closely tied to the real possibilities for the peasantry to change conditions, albeit in a limited way" (127). REIMAGINING THEIR WORLD THROUGH FAIRYTALES.
• "The most striking characteristic of the traditional tale lies in the fact that the social institutions and concepts which we discover in it reflect the age of feudalism. Thus the question of the origin of the folktale coincides with that of the origin of literature in general."30 Clearly the folk tales collected in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, though they preserved aesthetic patterns derived from pre-capitalist societies, did so because these patterns plus the transformed elements and motifs continued to reflect and speak to the conditions of the people and the dominant ideology of the times to a great degree. Though primitive in origin, the folk tale in Germany, as told in the late 18th century and collected by the Grimms in the early 19th, related to and was shaped by feudal conditions.
• During the transitional period from feudalism to capitalism in Germany when the aspirations of the emerging middle class became more pronounced, when a trend toward unification of the different principalities increased the chances for expanded trade and manufacturing, when growing public education led to greater literacy of the people, another art form, the Kunstmdrchen, which owed its origins to the folk tale, began to develop. This fairy tale can be called the bourgeoisification of the folk tale both as short narrative and drama" (128).
• "we can see that the fairy tale derived its perspective from the socio-political concerns of the respective authorsThe new hero is no longer a prince or peasant, but a bourgeois protagonist, generally speaking an artist, the creative individual, who has numerous adventures and encounters with the supernatural in pursuit of a "new world" where he will be able to develop and enjoy his talents. The quest is no longer for wealth and social status (though class struggle is involved) but for a change in social relations and a millenium, and this is significant, for it reflected the influence of the American and French Revolutions and other revolutionary movements at the end of the 18th century" (130).
Fairy Tale Summaries:
Rapunzel: Child is traded for food (poverty necessitates sacrifice of children), hoarding in the tower, the woman heroine saves the man, witch is in control of nature and material resources (woman as witch), those who control the resources demand heavy prices and unreasonable sacrifices from those who have nothing, women are demonized as the mother and witch-mother fail to care for their children and are two sides of the coin. The tower as phallic symbol and the witch emasculates the man. Nature and garden vs. tower.
Hansel and Gretel: Poverty necessitates sacrifice of children, mother is a monster who eats her children or uses them as consumer items, the woman heroine saves the brother, witch is in control of nature and material resources (woman as witch), those who control the resources demand heavy prices and unreasonable sacrifices from those who have nothing, women are demonized as the mother and witch-mother fail to care for their children and are two sides of the coin. Gretel is made to work while Hansel is fattened up (so there is an unequal division of labor). Mother and witch call the children "lazybones" equating poverty with laziness and teaching the poor to blame themselves, instead of the system, for their poverty. The witch renders the male powerless by entrapping him. Gretel is able to manipulate nature (like the witch) specifically birds to lend to their efforts of escape. The mother is dead allowing their permanent return to the weak father. Home vs. forrest
Cinderella: Her father is passive and the women are the agents of action and change in the tale. Her dead mother helps her from beyond the grave. Cinderella manipulates nature (trees and birds) and uses it to acquire wealth (woman/witch/Dev are more closely associated with nature and material wealth). Her step family view Cinderella (the natural daughter of the man of the house) as a threat to their inheritance. Her beauty is a commodity. Without her finery and her beauty, the prince does not recognize her and rides off with her sisters who dress better and are more beautiful (when she is ashy). One beautiful woman is the same as the other. She only wins out because when she is dressed up, she is more beautiful than her sisters. When she is not dressed up and less beautiful than her sisters, then the prince does not recognize her. The sisters were punished by destroying their beauty and they were blinded (preventing them from seeing themselves or other beautiful things. Nature=supernatural
Sleeping Beauty: 13th witch curses her (see malleus) for not being invited to the party. The tower as a place of sleep and stagnation. A phallic symbol contrasted with nature or outside. The tower prison emasculates men and harms them by blinding them. Spinning wheel=fate.
Rumpelstitskin: Women valued for what they can produce: spinning work and children. Spinning. Fiend wants the woman's baby. Her solution came out of the forest. She exercised the evil with a word.
Eve's Unequal Children: She is a spinner. She has handsome children, which G-d turns into the upper classes and ugly children, which he turns into the laboring class. Ugliness is punished and beauty rewarded. Hegelian master/slave dialectic.
Children of Famine: Mother as devouring monster
The Pea Test: Royalty is inherent. The Queen tests the princess.