Monday, November 30, 2009

The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea was written in 1835, by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. The first time it was published was in a booklet with three other fairy tales. Andersen said that he had heard the story as a child. Though there is no Danish story that matches up to this tale there is a Swedish one. The Swedish version is called The Princess Who Lay on Seven Peas. He could have heard as a child becasue Denmark and Sweden are close geographically.

Among the fairy tales writers Anderson's fairy tales are more light in content than Grimm fairy tales. Unlike The Grimm Fairy tales Anderson’s stories were not reviewed well because they were told in a catchy way and lacked moral lessons. Grimm fairy tales were written mainly for moral lessons and to scare children starite; Andersons stories were meant for more entertainment. He wrote in a voice that was more geared towards the oral traditions that had humor in them rather than be more proper in the literary style of the age. This brings me to think that Anderson is a mix of Disney and Grimm brother’s fairy tales because he did not solely rely on lessons.

The Princess and The Pea beings with a prince who is searching to find his one true love who obviously has to be a princess. However every time he meets a girl she cannot prove she is a princess or live up to his high expectations. The prince begins to think all is lost and that he will never find his love.

One night there was terrible a lighting storm with torrents of rain, and wind that howled in the night. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door,and the old King hobbled to answer it. Standing there in the rain was a girl. The rain had soaked her hair, drenched her dress and dribbled down to her shoes. however this girl clamed she was a true princess but from the looks of her you could not tell. As the old Queen and King shut the door the Queen made up a plan in her head. She wanted to test this vister to see if this girl was really a princess.

While the Prince and King talked to the girl the Queen went to make up a chamber to house the unexpected visitor. While making the bed the Queen placed a pea under the mattress but the Queen still thought that the girl might feel it to easily and laid twenty more mattresses on top of the pea. The Queen still thought the girl might feel the pea through the mattresses to easily and decided to add twenty down blankets.
In the morning the girl was asked how she slept and she replied “I have not slept well at all something was keeping me up all night, making me toss and turn. It felt like there was something under my mattresses, and it was has left me with black and blue bruises.” The Queen at once told the King and Prince of her secret test and they were amazed that this girl had passed. This had proved that she was a princess for who but a princess could feel the pea through so many layers.

The prince promptly took the princess to be his wife. They married and lived full and happy lives. The pea was put in a museum and would be there today however it was sadly stolen and was never seen again.

There are stories that are similar to this one about the girl actually being an orphan and just posing as a princess. The orphan has animal friends that told her what the Queen put under her many mattresses each night because she had to identify them just by sleeping on them. I like both versions. They are lighter than most fairy tales and make me smile rather than make me think.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Analysis Paper

My topic for my blogs and my analysis has been fairy tales now I did not think there was going to be many sources I could use or much of a community to be in touch with but I was wrong. As I was searching through the web I saw a lot of websites that range from strictly historical to more product bases sights there are a lot of fairy tales sights that I could use but the only three digits I visit on a regular basis are Surlalune Fairy tale blog, Diamonds and toad’s blog and Fairy Tale channel.

Surlalune Fairy tale blog has a lot of products that have to do with fairy tales. I like visiting her sight to go look at the story books that are still being written by people. She also showcases fairy tale inspired comics and fairy tale photo shoots for magazines. Her blog is astatically pleasing and has a nice layout she writes in a clear and concise way that is right to the point which I like a lot. I have commented on her blog and have heard feedback from her on my blog which is exciting to know that I have connected with my network of bloggers.

Diamonds and Toad’s blog has more stories than Surlalune’s blog but she also has products. The products that Diamonds and Toad’s have on her website are books, shows and writing contest. Since I have joined the blogger website I have read all of Diamonds Toad’s blogs they and they are very informative. I learned about more historical fairy tales from authors that I had never heard of. I really enjoy reading her blog and I am going to try to use some of her historical stories for my paper.

The Fairy Tale Channel has only stories and about historical fairy tales this is probably my favorite blog because I love the history behind all the stories. She writes about all types of fairy tales and she picks from a lot of the Grimm ones that I am familiar with but I still see ones that I was not aware that they had written about. I love going to her website and seeing the strange and crazy things that people wrote back when there was no explanation for simply explained things. I will pull from this blog the most on my analysis paper.

Fairy tales ended up to be a broader topic than I thought it would be and I am excited to write on them. The sources that I chose are very different but still based on a central topic this will make it easy to pick and choose only the things I need from their post. The three main sources that I choose are going to make writing my analysis paper very simple.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life Without Happily Ever After

Boys grow up knowing that big boys do not cry and they have to be manly to be needed by a girl. These boys do not grow up in castles and have fairy tale lives. Unlike these stories real adolescent teen boys are subjected to racy talk in locker rooms and have hormones raging through their bodies. These boys grow into men that are not from fairy tales however they are held to these standards. Young girls look at boys through eyes that expect them to sweep in on their white horse and make all their problems go away. We know that this is not fair just like it is not fair for many to want thier woman to be just the right mix of sexually aggressive and a house wife. Sometimes we look at the opposite sex and wonder how much easier it would have been for both of us if we did not expect so much and cannot help but wonder how much “once upon a time” has effected how we think.

What would a life be like without fairy tales? Would it be sad and bleak or less disappointing? Is it possible that woman could learn that men cannot read their minds and not to expect so much from them. Can women stand up and learn to save themselves? Is it possible for men to learn that all women are somewhere between a saint and a sinner? I have often wondered these thoughts and I have come to a conclusion in my head that little girls should be told stories of princesses rescuing the prince along with the other way around. At bed time I want my little girl to ask me to read her the story about the prince in distress that has a dashing princess that comes to the rescue.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snow White

Snow White
When you think of Snow White do you think of a raven haired girl singing to animals or a naive girl who falls for the same disguise three times? What do you imagine when you think about Prince Charming, was he a dashing prince riding in on his white horse giving out reviving kisses or is he a necrophilia who fell in love with a pretty corpse and wanted to take it to a secret corner of his castle? This fairy tale is particularly my favorite Disney version because it does not sway too much from the original. Snow White was Disney's first animated cartoon in 1937. This was the first color and animated movie in America. The Grimm fairy tale originated in Germany and was heard around many courts in Europe.

Disney’s Snow White is similar to the brothers Grimm in that there are seven dwarfs that live in a little house that Snow White finds when she fled the hunter. Snow White was running from the hunter because the evil queen sent him to kill her but he lets her go in both versions. The prince charming eventually comes to save the day even if it is intentional or not. There is the magic mirror that the evil step mother/witch has that tells her she is the most beautiful in the land until Snow White grows into her looks (she is about sixteen in the Disney movie but only eleven in the Grimm version). In both versions the wicked queen relentlessly tries to kill snow white until it ends up in her dying in one way or another.

The differences are that in the original fairy tale the queen wants the hunter to bring back Snow Whites liver and lungs; in the Disney version the queen wants her heart. The wicked queen in both version finds out snow white is still alive because her mirror tells her she is still not the fairest in the land and she goes after Snow White. In the Grimm version the wicked queen goes after Snow White three different times with the same costume but selling different deadly products. The evil queen is selling dress ribbons, a hair comb, and the famous poisonous apple that has one side red and one side white. This shows that Snow White is probably not very smart to have fallen for the same disguise three times. The famous apple in the Disney movie is fully red and the Grimm version the apple is half white and half red (the white side is poisonous). The Disney Snow White also meet her prince in the begining of the movie but in the Grimm there was no such meeting. Snow White seems to be really stupid in the Grimm version but pure of heart so it seems to save her in the end but the Disney version the only thing that saves her is the prince.

The endings of these stories are very different also. The Disney version has the evil queen come in one disguise and tricks snow white into eating the apple only one time and as the wicked queen is running away from the dwarfs she falls to her death. In the original the wicked queen runs and gets away safely to her castle. The prince is different in the ends both stories. In the original story the prince comes along and sees the seven dwarf’s morning snow white and his eyes come across a beautiful dead girl. I do not know if he fell in love with the dead corpse and wanted to somehow defile it or he just wanted to keep a shrine to snow white but it is rather strange and unsettling compared to the fairy tale ending of the Disney’s life breathing kiss. After the prince comes and kisses air into snow white in the Disney version they go off to live in his castle happily ever after. In the Grimm version the Prince starts to take snow white’s corpse back to his castle as a sudden jolt dislodges the apple from Snow White’s esophagus and she comes back to life. The prince takes her back to his castle and they start to have a wedding celebration. The wicked queen let the curiosity get the best of her when her mirror tells her that the new queen across the land is fair than her. She had to go see if this Queen was fairer than her, imagine her surprise when she saw that the new Queen was Snow White. When she arrives snow white immediately pointed her out to the prince. The prince brought heated metal shoes that the queen was ordered to dance in until she died.

I actually do like the Disney version of this fairy tale because it does not wonder far from the original version. I do realize that corpse love should not be shown to children and with good reason. I think it was quite acceptable for Disney to leave those few parts out of the cartoon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fairy Tale Syndrome

Imagine when you were a little girl, did you dress up like a princess from the Disney movies and make your younger siblings play your subjects? When you were little did your father call you his little princess and give you everything you want. This could lead to a syndrome called fairytale syndrome. Fairy Tale Syndrome also called Cinderella Syndrome is when a little girl thinks that she will grow up and things will either be like a fairy tale or her love life will be perfect. For those of you who have girls do you tell them that they are princesses, or do you say how they will stay at home and not have to do anything in their white picket fenced house while their perfect man will go to work and support them? This might be giving you child what psychiatrist call Cinderella Syndrome. A writer describes this syndrome as “girls dreamed of being swept away by a strong Prince Charming, who saves their lives, loves them unconditionally, and gives them everything they want; and, our boys expect to become mesmerized by a beautiful, sweet, loving Princess, to whom they willingly would give the world on a silver platter. Both believe they will be saved from a wicked stepparent, or abusive parents, then go on to live happily ever after. In their world of make believe, life is sweet smelling roses void of thorns.” (Cinderella Syndrome—Quesinberry, Bonita par. 1) The children start to think that all stepparents are bad. This syndrome is damaging to both families and children. Now unlike I used to think the Grimm fairy tales also cause this disorder along with Disney. The fairy tales tell of how the rich are always beautiful and usually get their way. This could make a child strive for money only and think that is all there is to life. The other part says that poor but clever and good people get a chance to make their way through magical test and find their true desires. This teaches children the wrong morals and makes things very confussing when they are introduced into the real world.

The New york times had an article in 1981 says that woman maybe just be secretly scared of independence. I think that this is something that was branded into the brains of woman for decades and now we are coming out of being held down by conformity to our parent’s standards. I think this is a very good thing. Many women today have careers, pay their own bills, and live alone. Modren woman have more choices than woman generations ago and does not want to make thier own way in the world. I do understand that raising a family is a full time responsibilty and in now way do I think that that is not being a modren woman. A woman that builds a sucessful home and is a role model for thier children on how to live. This is very ideal for children and probly prevents this syndrome as long as the parents is being honest about the real world. I know that not every little girl or boy grows up to think this but it is a scary possibility that we might be twisting our children’s brains by telling them bedtime stories.

Quesinberry, Bonita. “Cinderella Syndrome” 2007, Nov 8 2009,

Unknown. “''The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence'' 1981, Nov 8 2009,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grimm vs Disney

Grimm fairy tales are better than the Mass produced children’s fairy tales. The men who wrote the Grimm fairy tales were English geniuses. They took tales that were only spread by mouth through generations and put them on paper. Disney has taken little girls fantasies and twisted the generations of stories to watered down versions that were not even intended for children or happy thoughts. There are many people who do not even know the original stories. These stories are our history and I think should be put into the educational system for people to learn about their ancestors. The Disney and main stream fiary tales give children (mostly little girls) somthing called Fiary Tale Syndrome. Fairy Tale Syndrome is when a child thinks that things will end up just like they are in the movies. Imagine believing that one day if you are clever enough and good enough a prince (or just a man) would come sweep you off your feet and love you forever. This syndrome can grow with a child so when he or she gets big enough she thinks everything will come easily. In their adult lives if something gets hard in a relationship they leave because obviously he was not their prince or princess. Now I understand that most children do not grow up to believe that they are going to find someone perfect or be perfect but it does put false hope in a child when the best way to talk to children is to be honest with them. I can understand why Disney does make these movies and books for children it is not a crime to let a little girl be happy for a few minuets before bedtime but I think it is wrong to insist that everything will be ok to a child growing up in a really difficult world. The original fairy tales are less distorted and watered down and make a great read for many people not like the Disney ones that only appeal to children.

Monday, November 2, 2009

happily ever after....... not so much

The fairy tale world of Disney is not where near what the fairy tales of old. These tales are full of princes and princess who fall deeply in love while beating all of the odds. Grimm fairy tales are much different slicing and dicing of wives, cannibalism and baby killing are just a few of the subjects in these gruesome tales. Today I am going to compare a very popular Disney movie with the original tale of the little mermaid.

The Little Mermaid

The little mermaid was written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1836. Hans Christian Andersen’s little mermaid lives underwater with her family (except the mother who is dead in both versions) and there was a evil sea witch who takes her voice/tongue just like the Disney movie but that is about where the similarities start and end. The 1836 little mermaid gets to go to the surface on her 16th birthday. She sees the prince and falls in love. The little mermaid eventually goes to the sea witch and gets the potion to turn her tail into legs. The sea witch tells her she will feel like she is walking on shredded glass all the time and will lose her tongue but if the prince does not marry her she will die. What you have to realize is mermaids have no souls she will just dissolve into nothing but if she gets the prince she will gain a mortal soul this mean she could possibly spend eternity in heaven. The prince ends up marrying anther princess who he is appointed to be married to in the end and not the little mermaid. She knows that her inevitable death is coming. The little mermaid’s sisters find out what has happend and sell their hair to the sea witch to get a knife for her to kill the prince with if she does she will regain her tail and her merlife. she cannot bring herself to do it and throws herself into the ocean and becomes an air nymph for her pure dead.

The movie made by Disney in 1898 is very diffrent. In the movie the little mermaid saves the prince from drowning while he is on ship celebration for his birthday. she falls in love as she places him on the beach and he catches a glimpse of her as she dives into the waves. The little mermaid goes to the sea witch and gets three days to make the prince love her. In the movie she loses her voice and is mute just like the story but she keeps her tongue and is not in constant pain like the book. The sea witch has a lot more to do in this story than in the book and actually tries to make it so the prince marries her when she uses a spell to make her look like a beautiful girl with the little mermaids voice. The sea witch almost suceeds until the little mermaids fishy friends interceed and save the day. The prince ends up marrying the little mermaid in the end and lives happily ever after.

The stories are similar but the details are different. The book was made to show that rash decisions can make things really hard for you even cause death. Many “fairy tales” were written to show how things could be if you are guilty of impure or unnatural behavior. In this fairy tale Anderson probably gets some of his ideas from the elementals of Paracelsus there are fire earth air and water. Paracelsus defined paranormal beings into one of these four categories. In this system Undines are water creatures or nymphs. Like the little mermaid she could only get a human soul by getting the love of a man. This inspires many myths and tales of mermaid luring sailors to their death by singing them to the rocks. The little mermaids in these tales are not so innocent as they are in Disney movies but to me make way more sense.