Fairy tales have been part of the collective work of different cultures for centuries. Their main functions were to dictate moral concepts such as good and evil, as well as ideal notions of beauty, femininity, and motherhood. Such tales often told the struggles of different women who were bound to fill out their designated roles in patriarchal societies and were thrashed against each other in order for the author to make a point. The typical representations of women in fairy tales as good or evil, feminine or wicked, is a valid topic for research because it leads to a variety of subtopics, such as women’s relationships as depicted in this literary form. The most interesting aspect of the latter is the rivalry shared between the heroine and
Submissive Roles in Fairy Tales 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.
Are morals all that are provided though? Fairy tales seem to have a much more lasting effect on a child’s psyche than simply a lesson learned. In this paper, fairy tales will be examined to see how gender roles are indoctrinated through them. Historian Sylvia D. Hoffert defines a gender ideal as “the cluster of characteristics, behavior patterns, and values that members of a group think a man or a woman should have, a set of cultural expectations.” In most fairy tales, females character fall into a dichotomy. The heroine is the ideal good girl.
One of the most recognized fairytales is “Little Red Riding Hood”. In the Aarne- Thompson Folktale Types and Motifs Index LRRH falls into the tale tile of an AT 333 Red Riding Hood (AT12). Within the story of LRRH, there are two characters that are present in each telling of the tale; LRRH and the wolf. These two characters contrast each other. Whereas the wolf is a wicked, greedy, predator (including sexually), Little Red is innocent (sexually) and depending on the version she is either cunning or naïve (Hallett, 27-29).
Later, the Grimm brothers introduced the male saviour figure -the huntsman- who rescues women at risk, perpetuating male authority and the necessity of his help for the women’s survival. In addition, “Little Red Riding Hood” is presented as guilty for disobeying her mother’s commandments not to leave the way, so that her fate is caused by her rebellion and
While she isn’t exactly stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, she is working to take down the government in order to to help those in the poorer districts like her own. Robin Hood does, however, directly steal from the rich and give to the poor. While they go about helping people in different ways, they are still ultimately helping people. The main characteristic that identifies these two as “outlaw heroes,” is that they are helping the people. The way they help people is one aspect of Robin
Like our culture, stereotypes played a major role in this fairy tale. We see this comparison throughout the film as the characters undergo transformations, just as we do throughout life. For instance, Mrs. Potts is heartening, reassuring, and warm just like a good cup of tea should be. However sometimes in life going through these changes within our culture is a bad thing and it takes time for us to see that just like the countdown pertaining to the enchanted rose in the tale. There is also outside complications that can influence our views on stereotypes as well.
When examining Beauty and the Beast, the different characteristics of fairy tales such as magical elements, setting and the types of characters, and lessons within the tale demonstrate an ideal example of a fairy tale that is described by Jack Zipes and Maria Tatar. One day, an old beggar woman comes by a castle offering a young, selfish prince a rose in exchange for a place to stay for the night and the young prince denies her. Since the prince denies her due to her unattractive outward appearance, the old woman punishes the young prince by turning him into a monstrous beast and his servants into sentient objects. The old woman gives the prince 10 years, or by the time he turns 21, to find a girl who will fall in love with him despite him being a beast. The time is counted down by an enchanted rose whose petals will slowly fall off until his time is up.
The wolf in The Little Red Riding Hood symbolizes a number of things as it does in several other fairy tales. First, it portrays the image of cunning characters in the society. At first, the animal looks harmless upon meeting the girl in the forest. It's questions to the girl appear as genuine and straightforward as they would to anyone else. The girl could not be skeptical in the way the wolf asks, “Where are you going”.
There are a couple of strong, independent female characters pictured in “The Legend of Ice People”. Margit, using woman on her writing showed us a story of womanhood through the ages, where being a woman was a constant battle with inequality, harassment and supremacy of man. But this can be not only a history of empowering of woman, but also can be seen as a spiritual journey that every woman must face in her life, to understand the essence of femininity. A good example of brave female figure is the first woman we meet in the first part of the series –