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Journey to Womanhood. Fairy tales are a medium often used to teach or enlighten children of the process of growing up, such as how to become domesticated,

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Presentation on theme: "Journey to Womanhood. Fairy tales are a medium often used to teach or enlighten children of the process of growing up, such as how to become domesticated,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Journey to Womanhood

2 Fairy tales are a medium often used to teach or enlighten children of the process of growing up, such as how to become domesticated, respectable, and attractive to a marriage partner (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 714).

3 In the story of Snow White, the reader is taken on a young girls journey to marriage, which symbolizes the development of sexual roles, behavior, and psychology of women (Lieberman 384).

4 The story begins with a queen sewing at a window wishing she had a child who was as white as snow and as red as blood and as black as the wood of [her] window frame, and a little while later she gave birth to a daughter (Grimm 147).

5 The colors black, white, and red depict the cycle or process of reaching maturation, or a transformation…that involves a movement through death, purification, and rebirth (Girardot 290).

6 Death occurs within the first paragraph of the tale. This is necessary because it shows an aspect of womanhood that the character Snow White is unable to complete – giving birth, for Snow White only reaches the age of marriage. Therefore, the birth of the child requires the death of the mother as the completion of the old, and the start of the new, life cycle (Girardot 286).

7 From the beginning of the story until she reaches the age of seven, Snow White is pure and innocent, which is represented by the color white. At this point of her life she is a blank page upon which her author can write (Bacchilega 4).

8 Red is probably the most important of all the three colors, for it is the color that represents menstrual blood or sexual maturity; the color is constantly turned to as the transforming and regenerative agent (Girardot 283).

9 For example: Before Snow White is born, her mother pricks her finger and three drops of blood stain the snow on the window sill. This is the first reference to the significance of menstrual blood, and transports the Queen to the next stage in life – motherhood (Girardot 285). For example: Before Snow White is born, her mother pricks her finger and three drops of blood stain the snow on the window sill. This is the first reference to the significance of menstrual blood, and transports the Queen to the next stage in life – motherhood (Girardot 285).

10 As well as: The red cheek of the apple, which Snow White eats and is poisoned by, represents the completion of Snow Whites journey to womanhood. At this point she is sexually mature and while under the effects of the poisoned apple, her prince finds her and carries her to the next phase in life – marriage. As well as: The red cheek of the apple, which Snow White eats and is poisoned by, represents the completion of Snow Whites journey to womanhood. At this point she is sexually mature and while under the effects of the poisoned apple, her prince finds her and carries her to the next phase in life – marriage.

11 Up until the age of seven Snow White is still a child, but once she reaches the age of physical beauty, she must give up her comfortable innocence (Girardot 288).

12 In tribal lore young women often left home in order to learn the ways of domesticity; this is marked in the story by Snow White retreating to the home of the dwarves (Girardot 282).

13 When Snow White first wanders upon the dwarves home she sees that inside the house everything was tiny, but wonderfully neat and clean, making them good examples of housekeepers from Snow White to learn (Grimm 149).

14 The Dwarves explain to Snow White that she can stay if [she] will keep house for [them], and do the cooking and make the beds and wash and sew and knit, and keep everything neat and clean (Grimm 149). By requesting these things out of Snow White the dwarves are expressing the need for her to learn the tasks of womanhood.

15 Snow White gains insight about how to be weary of strangers from the Dwarves. They warn her, Watch out for your stepmother. Shell soon find out youre here. Dont let anyone in (Grimm 150). This is a lesson that every child should be taught before they reach adulthood.

16 In the beginning of the story Snow Whites mother is sewing, practicing one of the traditional female arts (Girardot 285). Here the reader sees the expectations of the society of which she lives.

17 The Queen s wish to have a baby is also an instance of her mimetically reproducing one of [the kings] ideas of what woman is, meaning that she is living up to the social expectations of her womanhood (Bacchilega 4).

18 Fairy tales reflect the conflicts and concerns of society, which suggests that the fairy tale draws on a communality of human experience (Barzilia 516).

19 As a girl becomes a woman she is confronted by many self image issues; beauty, or the pursuit of beauty, occupies the central role in many womens lives ( Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 712).

20 Snow White is a tale that revolves around the competition between a stepmother and stepdaughter being named the fairest of the land. It is thought that the woman endowed with the greater portion of beauty has a better chance of seducing the king, creating an oedipal conflict in the story (Barzilai 518).

21 According to Sigmund Freud, physical beauty, which creates a womans sense of femininity, is something that is only valued by women because women have penis envy. They are bound to value their charms more highly as a late compensation for their original sexual inferiority (Barzilai 518).

22 After the queen orders the huntsman to kill Snow White, she proceeds to eat what she assumes is the little girls organs. According to the Freudian theory, this is the queens way of trying to incorporate Snow Whites attractiveness, as symbolized by her internal organs.

23 Ultimately, by using the Freudian theory to analyze the psychological maturation in women, the reader learns that the primary focus in a womans life is whether she looks good or not. Both female characters realize the importance of physical beauty, and the reader can see how physical beauty remains the driving force throughout the characters lives.

24 In fairy tales female characters are depicted as two archetypes: the angel and the monster. Snow White epitomizes an image of femininity through her passivity and nurturing. The queen, Snow Whites opposite, is characterized as rebellious, a trait not valued in women of patriarchal societies (Barzilia 519).

25 In accordance to a feminist reading of Snow White, Snow White and the queen are two parts of the same personality. The story revolves around the psychological battle of a woman trying to decide what characteristics she should exhibit in her adult life: passivity and tractability as opposed to inventive and subversive activism (Barzilia 520).

26 Snow White was written in order to teach young girls how to act in a patriarchal society, and men valued women who demonstrated domesticity and passivity. Snow Whites character is thought to be the angel or the desired type of female, because she exhibits the desired traits of a woman. Snow White was written in order to teach young girls how to act in a patriarchal society, and men valued women who demonstrated domesticity and passivity. Snow Whites character is thought to be the angel or the desired type of female, because she exhibits the desired traits of a woman.

27 The queen, on the other hand, is not thought to be the ideal woman. She is given negative characteristics, such as pride, bossiness, and envy. After the mirror pronounces Snow White as fairest in the land, every time [the queen] laid eyes on Snow White…she hated her… (Grimm 148). Such negative characteristics are never associated with Snow White, and the queen us most often deemed as wicked (Brazilia 523). The queen, on the other hand, is not thought to be the ideal woman. She is given negative characteristics, such as pride, bossiness, and envy. After the mirror pronounces Snow White as fairest in the land, every time [the queen] laid eyes on Snow White…she hated her… (Grimm 148). Such negative characteristics are never associated with Snow White, and the queen us most often deemed as wicked (Brazilia 523).

28 Therefore, the feminist lesson of the tale of Snow White is the psychological battle of a woman deciding whether she wants to be good woman or a bad woman. It is the achievement of psychic integration, of balanced selfhood within the patriarchy ( Brazilia 521).

29 Snow White also creates two different views of mothers. The first queen, Snow Whites biological mother, wishes for Snow White. She wants to be a mother, which is a trait of a good woman. The second queen, Snow Whites stepmother, resents the child once Snow White is deemed more beautiful, which is a trait of a bad woman.

30 The two queens symbolize a change in personality that is brought on by an older woman losing her beauty and brought on by the alterations that occur within a woman as a result of her own experiences in the maternal role (Brazilia 526).

31 Snow White is a tale that has been told to children for centuries and is sure to remain a favorite amongst its audiences. It is the story of a young woman finding herself in the world, and it conveys to its readers the difficulty a girl undergoes while she is becoming a woman, for it has been thought that it ismore of a challenge to grow up female than it is to grow up male (Hallett 140).

32 Bacchilega, Christina. "Cracking the Mirror Three Re-Visions of "Snow White"" Boundary 2 15.3 (1988): 1-25. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Baker-Sperry, Lori, and Liz Grauerholz. "The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children's Fairy Tales." 26 Gender and Society 17.5 (2003): 711-26. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Barzilai, Shuli. "Reading "Snow White": The Mother's Story." Signs 15.3 (1990): 515-34. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Bacchilega, Christina. "Cracking the Mirror Three Re-Visions of "Snow White"" Boundary 2 15.3 (1988): 1-25. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Baker-Sperry, Lori, and Liz Grauerholz. "The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children's Fairy Tales." 26 Gender and Society 17.5 (2003): 711-26. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Barzilai, Shuli. "Reading "Snow White": The Mother's Story." Signs 15.3 (1990): 515-34. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010..

33 Lieberman, Marcia R. "Some Day My Prince Will Come": Female Acculturation through the Fairy Tale." College English 34.3 (1972): 383-95. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Girardot, N.J. "Initiation and Meaning in the Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The Journal of American Folklore 90.357 (1977): 274-300. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Snow White. Folk and Fairy Tales. 4th. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2008. Print. 147-53. Hallet, Martin, and Barbara Karasek. Folk and Fairy Tales. 4 th. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2008. 139-53. Print. Lieberman, Marcia R. "Some Day My Prince Will Come": Female Acculturation through the Fairy Tale." College English 34.3 (1972): 383-95. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Girardot, N.J. "Initiation and Meaning in the Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The Journal of American Folklore 90.357 (1977): 274-300. JSTOR. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.. Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Snow White. Folk and Fairy Tales. 4th. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2008. Print. 147-53. Hallet, Martin, and Barbara Karasek. Folk and Fairy Tales. 4 th. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2008. 139-53. Print.


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