As a result, their roles in society were entirely defined by their relationships with men (207). This point is related to another one also discussed in this source: the hostile relationship between women, which is prevalent in fairy tales (202). According to the authors, “fairy tales are probably the narratives which better express classic conflicts between women” (202). They mention Snow White as the perfect example of the virginal heroine persecuted by her unloving stepmother, who was “jealous over the princess’s youth and supposedly superior beauty” (203). Apparently, for women living in a
In the story, Cinderella by the Grimm Brothers, the protagonist, Cinderella, endures seemingly unbeatable obstacles on her path to love. The evil stepsisters exemplify a forbidding obstacle that the protagonist of the story must overcome. The constant toxicity and menial tasks that the sisters placed on Cinderella made the task of going to the ball difficult for her. The stepsisters in Cinderella are similar to the green gremlin monsters in the film Destino in that they hinder the progress of the protagonist. The female protagonist in Destino was dancing around when these gremlin monsters ripped away her dress leaving her with a new problem to face.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812) “Cinderella” and “Snow White”, and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1837) “The Little Mermaid”, shows an existence of gender stereotypes occurring in a children’s story. Although fairy tales are an important part of children’s literature, in what way do they influence them? The debate is endless; however, people think the bad influence is mainly on the women because of the way they are stereotyped. The female’s roles in fairy tales characterize women not having their own independence, power, and voice to represent them. In these three stories, the women’s characters perpetuate the stereotypical gender message that the ideal woman is submissive in different ways.
Miss Havisham pushed Pip towards Estella to fulfill the passion she had once knew as her own. She lacked the opportunity of truly being in a successful romantic relationship, due to her husband leaving her at the altar. Havisham wanted Pip to lean towards Estella, but she was truly just the puppet master of Pip’s heart. “... Not the “fairy godmother” Pip thinks she is” Pip considers Miss Havisham as this adopted mother, who guides Pip to learn to care for others while she is just preparing him for heartbreak (Bloom 156). Havisham continues to push Pip to want Estella, while puppeteering Estella to become this cold-hearted soul who is unable to love anyone.
Sophie Hatter is the first child daughter of three girls, and is put under a spell by an evil the witch. This spell changes her appearance from that of a girl to an older, gruff woman. The witch changes her because of how she portrays herself on the inside, a failure. Sophie is convinced she will not be a success in life, because she is not confident on the inside. She fears just because she is the oldest, she will not be a success in life.
Lady Macbeth descends into insanity caused by lack of sleep and guilt. Using Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare supports his time period’s ideals of keeping women only in submissive roles. Shakespeare also allows the witches to possess a large amount of power, and these witches similar to Lady Macbeth use their power for corruption and destruction. The witches, “should be women, /And yet [their] beards forbid” that conclusion and betray their overruling masculine qualities and lack of feminine
Cinderella: The Oppression of Women People view Cinderella as a role model, when in reality we let children be exposed to these wrong ideals of what a women role is throughout Fairy Tales. Often fairy tales tend to demonstrate the way that society strive to oppress women by teaching them that passivity is a women’s duty. Reinforcing the ideals that women should be wives, mothers and submissive. This idea is demonstrated throughout the Tale Ash Girl by the Grimm Brothers and The Little Glass Slipper by Charles Perreault viewing admirable women in stories are to be silent passive, beautiful, and eager to marry.
In children's books, including fairy tales, women are misrepresented such as weak, speechless, uneducated and the only thing they can do just wait for a prince and home duties. However, in modern life, women are educated, owns companies, they can perform jobs that men perform, they are strong and successful. Reading fairy tales to children which represent women stereotypically, they may detrimental to girls. It lowers their self-esteem and potential for their future because they will mirror themselves with protagonist where women’s job is to cook and clean a house. However, “The simple reversal of gender roles does not result in a feminist fairy tale, but rather a fractured fairy tale” (Kuykendal & Sturm, 2007, p. 40).
The Weird Sisters answer to Hecate and her need for control is evident when she is infuriated by their dialog with Macbeth. By speaking of “riddles and affairs of death,” (Shakespeare 373) the Weird Sisters stepped out of line without their leaders’ permission. Being the “close contriver of all harms,” Hecate is enraged at the fact she was “never called to bear [her] part” (Shakespeare 373) in the handling of Macbeth’s prophesy. She wishes to control everything under the “umbrella” of spells and witchcraft. Although she is considered a goddess, the simple principle of her sexuality and influence coincides with female dominance.
They are told from the beginning that if they do not conform to the standards of society, they have failed as a mother, yet the underlying truth remains — there is no ideal mother. The mothers in Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and “Breast-Giver” by Mahasweta Devi represent women who, after being repressed by society, are depicted as antagonists and unideal mother figures. By attempting to break out of the gender constructs that hold them captive, they are depicted in a less than friendly light as they begin to bridge the gap between the feminine and masculine roles. After they have become an almost “masculinized woman,” they seemingly fail to perform the roles of an ideal mother according to society’s expectations and in turn, they fail their