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Female Characters In Magnolia's 'Rainbow Fish'

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For the past several years, I have been a babysitter for a little girl by the name of Magnolia. She and I have developed a clockwork schedule of our time spent together. Four o 'clock we play princesses, five o 'clock we eat, six o 'clock we play princesses again, and by eight o 'clock I am reading a story to her while she drifts away dreaming of faraway kingdoms. My favorite part is always story time; when her little hands eagerly shove her now tattered copy of Cinderella into my own. I always suggest another story, perhaps the Velveteen Rabbit, or Rainbow Fish, but to her her bedtime story is not complete without a princess, a brave knight, and a happy ending. These once upon a time’s are all that dominate Magnolia’s personality, and the…show more content…
Although many female characters are portrayed as weak, and subservient, there are a few female characters throughout fairy tales who are portrayed as intelligent, and powerful. However, almost all who are deemed these qualities are the villainesses of the stories. When the beautiful damsel is placed in distress, it is always the ugly evil character who places her there. In a study done by Grauerholz and Baker Sperry (in which they examined 168 Brothers Grimm fairy tales) the two researchers discovered that, “Beauty or ugliness is referred to in 94 percent of the Grimms ' fairy tales, with evil characters often being described as ugly…The heroines are usually beautiful, and ugliness is seen as a sign of evil in 17 percent of the stories. (Hanafy) Thus, as stated by Grauerholz there becomes an “ association between beauty and goodness and then conversely between ugliness and evil..” (qtd. in Hanafy). When a villainess acts out against the heroine, as seen in the characters of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and the Evil Queen in Snow White, they do not act from any intelligible source of anger but rather from jealousy (mostly stemming from beauty) and pure malice, therefore furthering the reader and/or listeners negative connotation of powerful women, and instead reinstating one’s compassion, and relatability for the distressed heroine. Furthering dissuading people from connecting with the powerful women of the fairytales are that they always are punished in the end. No fairy tale ends with the villainess winning, any character who challenges the patriarchal society is always severely punished if not
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