Sunday, March 31, 2013

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Bluebeard has always been the odd child in the fairy tale family. It has never had a Disney movie, possibly because of the gruesome image that seven beheaded women might make to the young children who watch Disney movies. As for each individual tale, I personally like the Bluebeard story as told by Charles Perrault. I used to have many different fairytale books when I was younger, one of which was vividly illustrated. I can't recall any of the other stories in the book, but I do remember the pictures from the tale of Bluebeard, and Perrault's version was the one that closely resembled the one from my book. The other stories that were included in the Bluebeard section were rather different than Perrault's tale. One of the main motifs in this version is the importance of family. In the Brother's Grimm tale, Fitcher's Bird, the 3 daughters learn from the mistakes of the two older ones and therefore makes it possible for her to piece together her cut-up sisters and eventually get back at the sorcerer.  In the other Brothers Grimm story, The Robbers Bridegroom, almost the same situation happens where the family members help the heroine eliminate the robber gang. In the tale of Mr. Fox, the same situation as in The Robbers Bridegroom occurs and the family does away with the villain before he can kill again. In the Bluebeard story, the sister of Bluebeard's bride actually lives with the couple, a difference between these two stories. The heroine in the story is also very dependent on the sister and two brothers in get rescued from Bluebeard. In all the other tales, the brides all bring forth the evidence themselves or trick their husbands into getting caught. In Perrault's story, her safety is completely dependent on the arrival of her brother's planned visit, hoping that they will get to the castle before she is beheaded. Another noticeable difference is the way that all the previous women/wives were killed. In all the other tales except for Bluebeard, the women were either "cruelly murdered and chopped to pieces" (Fitcher's Bird), "put her on a table, chopped her beautiful body into pieces, and sprinkled them with salt" (The Robbers Bridegroom), or have their hand cut off and brought to a room filled with the skeletons of other ladies (Mr. Fox). This is the only tale where they are beheaded. I can only guess that beheading these women showed that they meant enough to their husband (probably their beauty) that he would want to look at them from time to time, but they had still done something wrong in his eyes which justified their killings.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Snow White and Her Alternative Personality

When most people think of the fairy tale Snow White, they think of the picturesque Disney story with the cute animals and funny little dwarves. But in the music video for Rammstein's song, "Sonne", Snow White is portrayed as having a very vicious and unsettling personality. The similarities between the video and the story are some very obvious aspects: the dwarves working in the mine, the color scheme of Snow White's dress, the glass coffin, and the importance of apples.
 The story line is sort of cut shorter than the others, but the chain of events from the time Snow White resides at the dwarves house to her death are pretty much the same (living with the dwarves, the poisoning, the glass coffin on the rooftop, awakening). There are a lot of major differences though. Snow White in Rammestein's video is seen as a seductress to the dwarves, someone who they seem to worship unconditionally. I say unconditionally because it seems as if she uses the dwarves as means to fuel her "drug" addiction and they seem to understand its a bad thing, but don't do anything about it. This also made me think of how in the stories, Snow White takes the dwarves for granted and didn't listen to their warnings when the evil stepmother came around to hurt her. Another difference would be the way that Snow White dies. In the video, she is shown to have overdosed by shooting up gold like a drug while in the books, it is said to have been a poisoned apple or comb that kills her. Thinking about the drug being gold however makes me think of how gold is seen as an expensive, shiny, pretty thing. Snow White in the other stories falls for the old witches trick with pretty objects and pretty words. Rammestein's Snow White could have fallen for the pretty substance and how it made her feel. A sizable difference would be how large Snow White seems compared to the dwarves in the video. This could possibly show how she controls the dwarves and how they do 

anything for her. At the end of the video, Snow White is woken up by an apple falling onto her crystal coffin instead of from "true loves first kiss". I find this pretty ironic because the apple is what killed her in the Disney version of Snow White but in the video, its what saves her from eternal sleep. As for my personal preference, I like the Disney version the best. It could be from being brought up watching it but I always loved how naive and sweet the movie showed her as. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jungian Jungle

Jung and Freud were the two most interesting psychologists that one could possibly learn from at anytime. Freud and Jung have their similarities with their theories and thinking on the id, ego, and superego. They both thought that there were three different levels to the human mind, although Jung thought that the mind had an ego, personal conscious, and a collective unconscious. The collective consciousness can be very closely related to fairy tales by looking at the different versions of fairy tales across different cultures or countries. A Russian fairy tale can have the same morals as a South American legend, which any one who reads them can learn from. The collective unconscious of people can help us create an idea of what is right and what is wrong, all of which can be displayed through fairy tales. Jung created certain archetypes and the idea of psyche to explain the theories on people's personalities as well. One of the most common archetypes would be the "Wise Old Man". As shown by Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy or Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, this archetype is often the one who gives the main character the push to start off on their legendary journey or give them strength to rely on themselves to get the job done in the end. Another example of an archetype would be the Primeval Forest.

This could be any forest in any fairy tale, often symbolizing how a certain danger that the main character must overcome. My personal take on this would have to be the reality of the world, how someone has to struggle and fight to stay on top of it all. Some other things that our guest speaker talked about besides Jungian Psychology was the Hero's Journey, or the progression through the story. It follows the format of what most stories are modeled after and they way that is best to get their morals across. Another aspect (and a very sneaky one at that!) is the science of alchemy. It is often represented by something being of gold in a fairy tale, such as golden thread, golden balls, or even golden eggs!

Apologies for this being late, had the stomach virus :c