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Changing the Tale: Feminism and Fairy Tales - Article Example

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"Fantasy and Fairytales" paper states that until we realize not only the importance of encouraging our daughters to stand on their own two feet but also the importance of developing the individual rather than the appearance, the Cinderella Syndrome will continue to be a stumbling block to progress…
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Changing the Tale: Feminism and Fairy Tales
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Download file to see previous pages In her article entitled “Feminism and Fairy Tales,” Karen Rowe says, “To examine selected popular folktales from the perspective of modern feminism is to revisualize those paradigms which shape our romantic expectations and to illuminate psychic ambiguities which often confound contemporary women”. Rather than attempting to confuse young women between today’s lessons of independence and autonomy with the lessons of subservience and helplessness from yesteryear, there has been a resurgence of the fairy tale with a modern twist or two thrown in. Through modern takes on Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the ever-present pirate myth through such films (the modern-day storytellers) as Ever After, Shrek and the Pirates of the Caribbean series respectively, the concept of the helpless and submissive maid of yesterday is being changed to reflect independent and intelligent, spirited young women as the true heroine.

In the film Ever After, Cinderella is provided with a true name – Danielle – for the first time in her history. This story pays tribute to the Brothers Grimm and Disney before launching into the rest of the tale. Instead of constantly being the demure, pious Cinderella that is introduced by the Grimm Brothers or the astonishingly naïve maid of Disney fame, Cinderella here is portrayed as a tomboy in youth and a serious thinker as a young woman who has cleverly managed to save her family home thus far despite the spendthrift habits of her stepmother and her own limited resources. Like Disney’s version, her father dies while she is still a child, making room for the step-mother to turn her into a servant, but this does not cow her independent spirit. Like the Grimm’s version, both of her step-sisters are attractive, but only one of them is evil, the other step-sister is sympathetic to Cinderella’s condition and is rewarded in the end with a court courtier who is perfect for her, changing the concept that outward appearances alone define whether a woman is good or evil. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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