Sunday, November 29, 2015

My FYS Experience

I've always been a huge fan of Disney princesses and stories and parks, well everything Disney. So coming into the class I thought that we would read a couple Grimm tales and then learn all about the changes Disney made to the stories to make them better. But it quit the opposite. 
During the class we didn't just learn about the tales but we learned a lot about the Brothers Grimm and their history and lives. Getting to know the authors of these tales helped me to better understand the influence the tales left on Germany and the world. And gaining this information showed me that Disney did take away some culture while making his successful films!  

Looking over my blogs from the semester I realized I came in with a closed mind just wanted to learn about happy ever afters and prince charmings. But I learned so much more. I learned how to really look at texts and see the meaning behind it. I learned culture and some German words as well, thanks Dr. Esa. The class didn't just teach me about Grimm tales but how to be an overall better student. 

I really liked how the class was set up with readings and discussions. Personally this is how I learn best so I got a lot out of this class. My favorite part however was going and presenting to the third graders at the elementary school. I love taking what I've learned and teaching it to younger students who are willing to have an open mind. This class was overall more than what I expected and really enjoyed it! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rapunzel vs. Tangled

You wouldn’t even have to read the original tale of
Extra Large Movie Poster Image for TangledRapunzel by the Brothers Grimm to know there would be major differences between it and the new Disney movie Tangled, all you’d have to do is look at the movie poster. Right off the bat they have different titles, the movie poster has a horse holding a sword, and Rapunzel has a chameleon on her head. For those who haven’t seen the movie or maybe only read the book here is a comparison of the two.

Tangled Disney Film
Original Rapunzel Tale
  • Rapunzel is a princess, whom possesses magical qualities due to a magical flower that has healing powers
  • Mother Gothel is an old woman who steals Rapunzel to harness her power, which brings back Mother Gothel’s youth when she sings. Rapunzel’s hair glows at the song.
  • Rapunzel grows up in a tower thinking Mother Gothel is her mother.
  • Flynn Rider, a thief, takes shelter in the tower and Rapunzel is surprised and scared by him
  • They go on an adventure to take Rapunzel to see the “floating lights”, and they end up falling in love
  • Mother Gothel stabs Flynn and tries to take Rapunzel away again
  • She makes a deal to go with Mother Gothel in exchange for healing Flynn
  • Flynn cuts off Rapunzel’s hair killing Mother Gothel and evidently himself
  • Rapunzel cries a single tear over him and the magic in her tear heals him
  • Gets married to Flynn after returning to rule as princess
  • A husband steals rapunzel lettuce from a fairy’s garden to fulfill his pregnant wife’s craving
  • He is soon caught, and the fairy lets him take as much rapunzel as he wants but he must give her his child
  • The fairy, Mother Gothel, names the child Rapunzel
  • She turns 12 and gets locked away in a high tower
  • Rapunzel lets down her long hair when a prince visits her
  • She was afraid but then they enjoy each other’s company
  • Rapunzel accidentally tells Mother Gothel, that she is pregnant
  • Mother Gothel chops off her hair and banishes her
  • She then tricks the prince and he throws himself off the tower; he becomes blind
  • After wandering around Rapunzel and the prince find each other
  • Two tears restore his vision
The Disney version plays up the romance and gives the story more of a lovey dovey family feel. Disney added magical song and youth-restoring hair to keep the "Disney Magic" in the story like it's other tales. The only real similarities are the use of “Rapunzel’s” name, her long hair, and ending up with her prince. And the most unusual detail is the magical element of Rapunzel’s tears. Two tears restore her prince’s vision in the original, and one tear brings back Flynn in the Disney film. A small but very important similarity. Overall, Disney did what it always does with the Grimm tales which is change them to no longer be Grimm tales and add songs.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bluebeard, The Robber Bride, and Fitcher's Bird

perrault-dorĂ©.jpgWith in all three stories we read, Bluebeard, The Robber Bridegroom, and Fitcher’s Bird, there were aspects that were unsettling and weird. There were a few similarities such as the motif of being married to a monster and the blood that won’t wipe off the key in Bluebeard and on the egg in The Robber Bridegroom but the plot and details differ in each tales.
The three stories are all unique in the way they motif is carried out and portrayed. They all hold up the motif of being “married to a monster” like I said before, which plays such an important role. The tales themselves are in reverse where the marriage is in the beginning and then all drama and misfortune happen. A lot of the lesson to be taken away from the story is to never judge someone on the outside because you never know what they could be hiding.
I think my favorite tale is Bluebeard. I like that there is obvious symbolism with the character having a blue beard showing his class and that it’s a key which is at least a little normal.  Fitcher’s Bird is my least favorite, mainly because it seems to have just copied Bluebeard and made it weirder. All the random things like with the skull and decorating herself in honey and feathers is very strange and I just wasn’t a fan.
Below I made a chart for a more visible list of differences within the plot of each story.  

The Robber Bridegroom
Fitcher’s Bird
  • A man’s blue beard makes him ugly and scary to others
  • Mystery of what happened to his previous wives
  • Bluebeard throws an extravagant party to get one of the neighbor’s daughters to like him; she does and they marry
  • After one month, Bluebeard goes on a trip and leaves his wife with a key he says she is forbidden to use to open the little room
  • Wife is overcome with curiosity and unlocks the room, and finds dead women hung all over the walls and the floors covered in blood
  • She drops the key and the blood doesn't come off because it's cursed
  • Bluebeard returns and discovers this and is going to kill his wife, but she begs for time to pray
    while she waits for her brother's to come kill him
  • Wife receives all his money and uses it to marry her sister and pay her brothers
  • She remarries a good man
  • A prince wants his bride-to-be princess to visit his castle
  • He ties ribbon on each tree for her to follow
  • An old woman tells the princess the prince wants to kill her and eat her
  • The old woman feels bad and tells the princess to hide
  • One robber cuts off a finger to get a ring but it flies into the princess’s lap
  • She escapes and the next day the prince comes over and she tells him what she witnessed but describes it as a dream
  • The robbers and bridegroom are killed
  • A thief and sorcerer knocks on a maiden’s door and kidnaps her to be his wife
  • He goes on a trip and leaves her with an egg and a key, threatening her not to go into the room it opens
  • She does and sees a large basin with butchered people in it; she drops the egg and the blood won’t come off
  • The man kills her and marries the second daughter, giving her the same instructions and the same thing occurs
  • He marries the third daughter, whom outsmarts him by leaving the egg in a cupboard before going into the room
  • She puts her sisters back together and they’re alive
  • She invites the man’s friends to the wedding
  • She dips herself in honey and feathers to disguise herself
  • Thinking the skull is his bride the man goes back into the house and the helpers fetched by the sisters burn the house down

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Little Red Riding Hood Cartoon

external image little_red_riding_hood_3.jpg

The cartoon I choose was “Little Goldilocks Riding Hood” which was created by Hebert Block in 1939 right before the start of World War II. Block most likely created the cartoon to show that there might be a prospect of war. This cartoon is depicted as a combination of "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Goldilocks", overall representing the weaker country of Poland, startled at finding "The Big Bad Wolf" as Hitler, representing a much stronger Nazi Germany, and one of the Three Bears, representing the equally as strong Soviet Russia, in bed waiting for her. It seems the cartoon combines both Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood to show that one person has the threat of two huge predators. 

In this case it is Poland facing the threat of two huge powers, which are Germany and Russia. Historically the cartoon shows the result of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact that was signed August 24, 1939. The pact opened the way for Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland. Hitler decided to make such a pact so that he would not face a war on two fronts. Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1 precipitated World War II. The cartoon depicts how the innocent country of Poland was suddenly threatened by two of the biggest countries in Europe. Russia and Germany were on both sides of Poland and therefore Poland would not be able to escape. 

I think the cartoon is very accurate in what it is trying to portray! I also am a bit of a history buff so the second I saw this cartoon I knew what it was about. But if you aren't like me I wouldn't think it would be that hard to figure out, so it was a very well thought out cartoon. Obviously this is a political cartoon and it was made for an American audience in order to possibly convince them to help Poland. Overall, a really well used theme of "Little Red Riding Hood" since just like the young girl in the story Poland was just minding it's own business and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Frog Prince vs. Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Psyche is not my first choice of comparison to The Frog King by the Brothers Grimm. Cupid and Psyche is obviously from Greek Mythology and while the Brother’s Grimm studied the Greek writing style it is still an odd pairing for comparison and yet both stories feature similarities as well as many differences.
In both The Frog Prince and Cupid and Psyche one of the main protagonists is a princess. The princess is similar in both stories, as she is described to be the most beautiful person in the land and her two sisters are just not as beautiful as her. This gives the princess a certain uniqueness and appeal to suitors. Differences are in the small details such as the golden ball is a detail only found in The Frog King, and in Cupid and Psyche, the inciting incident is instead about Venus’s jealousy and ordering of Cupid. Venus would be the evil character, who is jealous of Psyche and wants to punish her. Because of her jealous she punishes Psyche by cursing her future husband be some sort of monster. While in The Frog Prince the frog is made out the be the monster as the princess calls him nasty.
Some other points of comparison are the parental figures. In The Frog King,  the king makes the princess keep her promise to the frog, because it’s the right thing to do. In Cupid and Psyche, Psyche’s parents make her go to the mountain and await her fate, a very greek mythology kind of request. Within both stories the parents play a real role of parents, by making the princess’s do the right thing.
In the end, Psyche is happily united with Cupid. And in The Frog King, the frog is transformed into a prince and he and the princess get married. An interesting difference is that there is no Faithful Henry character in Cupid and Psyche, and would play no role in the story whatsoever. And while both stories are different they share similar motifs and morals making for a relatively good comparison.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Little Snow White vs. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Disney took the ideas and plots from the Brothers Grimm but diverted from the original tale to make the movie more marketable for his audience. Disney then put a more magical twist on the story by including true love’s kiss and the magic used by the Evil Queen. Even though much of the Disney Movie is different, the story still has similarities to the Grimm’s.

  • “Mirror, Mirror, On the wall…” phrase is the same
  • Queen orders huntsman to take Snow White into the forest and kill her
  • He’s suppose to bring the Queen her some kind of organ  
  • Huntsman lets Snow White go and kills a wild animal instead
  • Snow White is afraid in the forest
  • The cottage is empty; Snow White falls asleep in their beds
  • Dwarfs are mesmerized by Snow White’s beauty
  • Snow White is placed in a glass coffin by the dwarfs
  • Prince and Snow White get married

Little Snow White
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • Queen wishes for a child; Little Snow White is her biological daughter
  • Queen orders huntsman to specifically stab Little Snow White to death, and bring back her lungs and liver for her to eat
  • Snow White runs the entire day until she stumbles upon the Dwarf’s cottage
  • The Queen attempts to kill Snow White 3 Times: with tight lace, a poisoned comb, and a poisoned apple
  • The apple is half poison
  • Prince gets the dwarfs to give him Snow White in her coffin
  • A servant accidentally knocks Snow White and the apple chunk comes out of her throat
  • Queen is forced to dance in hot iron shoes until she dies

  • Snow White is the Queen’s step-daughter
  • Prince meets Snow White in the beginning
  • Snow White is much older in the film
  • Queen gives orders to huntsman to bring back Snow White’s heart in a box
  • Many friendly animals comfort Snow White and lead her to the Dwarf’s cottage; the animals play a bigger role in the movie
  • Snow White and animals find the cottage dirty and empty so they clean it together
  • The 7 dwarfs have names to match their personalities
  • Poison Apple is in a spell book; it is to close victim’s eyes in the sleeping death, but True Love’s kiss will cure it
  • Snow White prays at the end of the night
  • The Queen dies as lightning strikes and she falls off the rocks; it is an accident
  • Prince finds Snow White and awakens her with a kiss
  • They rode off into the distance
  • Sunday, September 20, 2015

    Rags to Riches by Magic and Marriage

    Most everyone is familiar with the story of Cinderella. Whether it be the original Disney movie, the Brother’s Grimm tale, or one of the hundreds of interpretations out there in the world. The climb from “rags to riches through magic and marriage” is a classic plot used in so many different forms. But can this “rags to riches” dream be real without magic? Is it even possible to achieve fame, fortune, and happiness without magic?

    One of the most well known interpretations to my generation of this motif is A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff. She’s not actually a princess but she still has the dramatics of losing her father and then having to be raised by her gold-digging stepmother. Within the story Sam, Hilary Duff’s character, is forced to take care of the greedy stepmother and dumb stepsisters. There really isn’t much magic involved just hard work and finding yourself. However, there is the boy, who is suppose to be a prince of some sort as her love interest. But he’s just the star football player while she’s a nobody. You’ll have to watch to see how it ends but the story hits all the points of the motif, which might not be as easy not in the movie world.

    In the real world this motif is much harder to come by as there is no fairytale magic in our everyday lives. And yet it seems many women, in particular, have be able to marry into this ‘goal’ setup by this story. A prime example is Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Her marriage to Prince William was a real life fairytale. She was a complete commoner that married into royal blood. Even though she originally did come from a wealthy family the “rags to riches with magic and marriage” still applies; she married A REAL LIVE PRINCE! Like how much better can that get as a normal person? She became someone to the world when she married William and so did her family. Her sister Pippa became a socialite and focus of the media the second Kate was married. This is just how our version of this motif is possible. Just like many celebrities who weren’t really known and then married a slightly more famous one. This is the world we live in. So yes the “rags to riches by magic and marriage” is realistic, when you take out the magic….