Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Post #7: Bluebeard as a Villain

     Out of the four Bluebeard tales we read, I liked "Mr. Fox" the most.  I liked this one the most because the woman, Lady Mary, exposed Mr. Fox as a murderer with her own cleverness and saved countless other women from having the same fate.  In "Bluebeard" and "Fitcher's Bird" the woman relied on her relatives to defeat Bluebeard.  In "The Robber Bridegroom" and "Mr. Fox", the woman was presented as stronger and wittier and defeated the villain of the own accord.  I liked both stories, but I preferred "Mr. Fox" over "The Robber Bridegroom."  This is because as the woman is telling her "dream", Mr. Fox continues to negate everything she says and tries to discourage her from telling the rest of the story that exposes him.  However, despite Mr. Fox's attempts to dissuade her, she finds the strength to not be influenced by him and continue her story.  I liked how she was able to overcome her fears and defeat Mr. Fox.  This aspect is not found in any of the other stories.
     My least favorite tales are "Bluebeard" and "Fitcher's Bird", but out of those two I would have to say my absolute least favorite is "Fitcher's Bird".  In both of these tales, the woman are saved by relatives.  They are not strong enough to defeat the villain themselves.  In "Bluebeard" the woman postpones Bluebeard from killing her, but in "Fitcher's Bird", the women can't even keep themselves alive.  Even though they are brought back to life later in the story, they still allow themselves to be killed by the villain.  I do not like the weakness of the women in "Fitcher's Bird."  Their characters are not admirable.

    These tales are different from all the other ones because it is like a horror story.  It has serial killers, dead bodies, and gore.  Such images were "blood reflected the bodies of several dead women hung up on the walls" (Tartar 145) and "chopped her head off on the block, and hacked her into pieces so that her blood flowed all over the floor" (Tartar 149).  The fact that there are detailed violent murders in each tale makes it different.  While there is a happy ending, readers are left with a graphic image of death that is rarely found in other fairytales.  Also, while most other fairytales focus on the power of love and marriage, the Bluebeard tales focus on the dangers of marriage.  In each story, the woman is engaged to a man who she discovers is a murderer.  It depicts the threatening aspects of marriage.  Lastly, he family comes to the aid of the women in each tale rather than try to kill or trick her, as is frequently seen in other fairytales.  In "Bluebeard", the woman's sister and two brothers came to help her.  It says, "The gate was opened, and two horsemen, swords in hand, dashed in and made straight for Bluebeard.  He realized that they were the brothers of his wife..." (Tartar 147).

Tartar, Maria, ed.  The Classic Fairy Tales.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999.  Print.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Blog Post #6: Sonne and Snow White


     The music video of "Sonne" by Rammstein made use of the fairy tale Snow White.  I had no idea what the lyrics were in English, but it is obvious that the band twisted the fairy tale into something that would relate to their lyrics.  There are similarities but many more differences between the actual story of Snow White and the music video representation.  While the fairy tale is about Snow White defeating the evil Queen/Stepmother with the help of the dwarfs the music video is about Snow White doing drugs and abusing the dwarfs.  One similarity is the portrayal of the dwarfs.  The men in the music video were supposed to be the seven dwarfs in Snow White.  They were both miners and obviously dwarfs, as they were much smaller than Snow White.  Many symbols in the fairy tale also made it into the movie, such as the apple and glass coffin.  However, the apples were used differently.  In the fairy tale, the apple is what puts Snow White into a deep sleep.  In the music video, the apple is what somehow brings Snow White back to life after she dies from a drug overdose(?) and is put in the coffin.  Another similarity is that Snow White lives with the dwarfs.  In the fairy tale, she cleans their house in order to earn her keep while in the music video, she abuses them and it looks like the dwarfs are the ones that take care of her needs.  In both the video and the story, Snow White changes the dwarfs lives, but in different ways.  In the story, she lives with them and brings the trouble of the Queen to their doorstep.  In the video, she abuses them, which will probably have an effect on them for the rest of their lives.  The subject of slavery also appears in the music video and the fairy tale The Young Slave.  The girl becomes a slave in the story while the dwarfs seem to also become slave-like for Snow White.
     I enjoyed the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs much more than that music video.  I had no idea what was going on in the Rammstein video and how it could even relate to what was being sung.  It was also very disturbing and weird.  The dwarfs and Snow White were twisted versions of their respective fairy tale characters.  The fairy tale is so much better.  It is in a format which I enjoy and understand.  It has enjoyable characters and a good message.  I very much prefer the written story of Snow White than the music video.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Blog #5: Jung and Fairy Tales

While reading fairy tales, a relationship can clearly be seen between them and Carl Jung's theories and views.  Jung believed that a person's psyche is made up of the ego, which controls normal activities, the personal unconscious, which is made up of the unconscious and preconscious unique to each individual, and the collective unconscious.  The collective unconscious is a universal unconscious.  Jung believed that everyone had experiences and representations that were shared amongst themselves. One part of this unconscious are archetypes, universal symbols that everyone recognizes.  Dr. Mazeroff gave a few of these archetypes in this lecture.  These were the Wise Old Man, Primeval Forest, Evil Stepmother, Eternal Child, and Trickster.  He explained how these archetypes were frequently seen in fairy tales.  For example, the Evil Stepmother in Cinderella and the Forest that Hansel and Gretel travel through.  These archetypes can be seen in many fairy tales because they are something everyone understands and recognizes as a result of the collective unconscious.