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Class 16

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  • 1. The heroine is a young and beautiful girl. She has lost or is abandoned by her mother. She is mistreated by a stepmother and/or stepsisters She is forced to do menial service. She is aided by supernatural powers (dead mother, animals, fairy) There is a celebration, festival, ball. Someone tries to prevent her from going to the celebration. She meets a young and eligible prince. She is identified (by a lost shoe, ring, something else). She marries the prince and lives happily ever after. Good triumphs over evil.
  • 2. Indolence is the mark of a lady Beautiful shoes are the sign of high class; peasants wore wooden shoes Hearth is the center of home life Women die in childbirth; the stepmother is a common element because fathers did not mother children themselves. Ball: A ball is a large party in which the participants dress up in their finest clothes and dance. Balls were exclusively for the privileged and wealthy. Many other variants of the tale have the Cinderella character meeting the prince at church, one of the few places where people of different classes might regularly see each other while gathered to worship in times past.
  • 3.     Young women will desire to sacrifice themselves to please fathers, suggesting that they are competing for father’s attention, a result of sibling rivalry and a desire for daddy’s attention. The mother is both the good mother who dies but reappears as a fairy godmother (angel to watch over the child) and the evil stepmother who wants to hurt the child Fathers desire to sleep with daughters; by doing away with the fathers, the tale sets the scene for a romance uncomplicated by the daughter’s need to please the father. This is the transfer of filial love to romantic love. Young women and older women are in competition with each other. Mothers will unconsciously sabotage their daughters because they are jealous of them for their supplanting them.
  • 4.    Daughters are jealous of mothers, who marry the first object of their innocent romantic love. Good old men are absent or unsexed. Male power resides in virility (strength) which is only good when it comes in the form of a desirable suitor. As men are driven by the need for sex, only eligible suitors are not monstrous. Children are victims of their own greed and long to remain in the child-like state, dependent on mothers for nourishment. It is only by breaking that bond that children find themselves coming into a sense of a more mature self.
  • 5.  In your presentation groups, explain how each of the tales shows the following three important aspects of the Cinderellas. What is the magical aid?  Who is the suitor?  How is she identified? 
  • 6. Classic Fairy Tales  Snow White: Introduction pp. 74 – 80  Snow White pp. 83 – 89  Disney’s Magical Rise pp. 339 – 352