Archive for the ‘What's it all mean’ Category

The Six Swans

28Jul11

Synopsis: A king was hunting in a great forest and became separated from his men and lost. He comes across an old woman and asks her for directions. She consents, but only if he will marry her beautiful daughter. The king, afraid, consents. When she meets the girl she is not surprised to see him. […]


As usual, I’ll start with a brief synopsis of this Brothers Grimm story, then go on and discuss it. Once upon a time there were a fisherman and his wife who lived in a filthy shack by the sea. The fisherman caught a flounder who spoke to him, claiming to be an enchanted prince and […]


Jan brings up that Snow White is one of the most passive of heroines. What does she do? She begs the huntsman to spare her, she cries and she runs. She enters the dwarfs’ house and steals a meal. When she wakes up she tells her tale to the dwarfs and agrees to cook and […]


We have seen that Snow White, as SurLaLune Fairy Tales puts it succinctly “. . . must die to the pre-pubescent world of the dwarfs in order to be eventually reborn into the adult world as a sexually active women.” SurLaLune, too, points out that the glass coffin allows her to continue to be an object […]


OK, Snow White . . . Trust me as I digress a bit. I’ll get back to Snow White. One of the most profound differences between Newtonian physics and modern physics–Quantum Mechanics and Relativity and such–is the recognition that the observer makes a difference. In General Relativity, the accelerated observer carries with him a metaphoric […]


There’s so much to talk about, and so much that a daughter hears when her mother reads this story. Jan’s comment on Snow White, when I told her that’s what I was looking at today, was, “It’s so hard for a mother to find a balance where she’s not trying to prevent her daughter from […]


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as with most fairy tales descending from an oral tradition, exists in a number of differing forms. I’m going to use the Brothers Grimm 1812 version as the earliest written form of the work that we recognize. The most often seen form today is Grimm’s 1819 version. SurLaLune Fairy […]


Great comment by Deborah Netanel on my last Rapunzel post. She took me to task for glibly making a brief allusion to the fact that the tower could also represent the Garden of Eden and then going on with just an “oops,” and not exploring that further. Certainly, those who told western european fairy tales […]


Jan points out that it isn’t just that mom can’t tolerate the daughter’s sexual maturity that causes the mother/daughter (or witch-evil stepmother or whatever/daughter) relationship to go awry, it’s the mother’s desire to control and contain the whole of the daughter’s life. All of Rapunzel’s desires to be a separate, autonomous human being, to be […]


There’s a lot that’s on the surface in Rapunzel, even more so in the older, unexpurgated versions of the fairy tale. Of course, it’s a coming of age story: Rapunzel goes from a 12 year old to an adult with children. Mother Gothel obviously views the prospect of Rapunzel going through puberty and becoming a […]