The Construction of Female Characters in Selected Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Mrs. Tasneem Rashed Shahwan
Dr. Radzuwan Ab. Rashid
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE 3
1.0 INTRODUCTION 3
1.1 Interest and personal background 3
1.2 Contextualizing the study 3
1.3 Problem statement 4
1.4 Objective of the study 4
1.5 Research questions 5
1.6 significance of the study 5
1.7 Structure of the thesis 6
CHAPTER TWO 7
LITERATURE REVIEW 7
2.0 Introduction 7
2.1 Historical Background 7
CHAPTER THREE 19
3.1 Introduction 19
3.2 Selected texts 19
3.2.1 “Little Red,Riding Hood” 19
3.2.2 ” Snow White” 20
3.2.3 “Cinderella’ …………………………………………………………………………20
3.2.4 “Sleeping Beauty”……………………………………………………………………21
3.3 Critical discourse analysis……………………………………………………………..22
3.4 A summary of the chapter………………………………………………………………24
This research will re-discover the meanings of some well-known fairy tales of Brothers’ Grimm; the tales are–Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty from the feminist perspective. By applying feminist critical theory, the study will unearth patriarchal politics in them.
1.1 Interest and personal background
Distress of women, irrespective of their land, language or culture hurts me. In this patriarchal world, women live on the mercy of men, being objects of their play or lust, not being equal to powerful men. With a slim exceptional figure, the status of women all over the world is that women are subordinate to men, does not matter how healthy, rich or knowledgeable women are. When I found that the fairy tales which look innocent and are meant for small children, are also polluted with dirty patriarchal politics to scare small girls about the strength of men and to train them about their responsibilities towards men as well as the periphery of personal and social rights, I felt deep aspiration to run a thorough research to deconstruct the patriarchal design in the fairy tales.
1.2 Contextualizing the study
The research intends to explore the fairy tales namely Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to determine the status of women in them and the ways they have been treated by male writers and directors. Moreover, feminist criticism has been implied to ensure a holistic approach to define the real condition of women in the world and how male politics plans to keep women vulnerable by using literary genre like fairy tales.
1.3 Problem statement
Fairy tales are meant for children. The tales bear moral messages that are supposed to guide children to live in the real world by dealing with odds. Humans and animals are used in the fairy tales to convey moral messages. Presentation of the messages through story, characterization, dialogue, setting and other literary devices is so attractive that it makes the children believe in the stories and follow the morals in their lives. Very often symbol, metaphor, images, etc. are used to deliver the messages so that they incur deep impression on the minds of the children and they form ideologies for shaping their personalities and tackling various problems in the real world.
Feminist studies claim that the plot, story line, characterization, dialogue, setting, tone and morals of the fairy tales are determined by patriarchal mind set to scare small girls with muscle power of men and to convince them about their personal and social responsibilities including obeying male domination. Though apparently considered as innocent bed time stories, the fairy tales bear serious massages for small girls and make them morally weak and mentally dependent on men.
This study will investigate into the fairy tales i.e. Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella of Brothers’ Grimm to examine the patriarchal element in the construction of female characters..
1.4 Objective of the study:
The main objective of this research is to examine how women are presented in fairy tales. More specifically, this research aims to identify how the authors construct the physical, individual and social attributes of the female characters in relation to the male characters in the selected fairy tales.
1.5 Research questions:
(a) What are the power relationships between characters assuming male/female roles) in the fairy tale—Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White?
(b) How do the authors construct the individual attributes of the female characters in relation to the male characters?
(c) How do the authors construct the social attributes of the female characters in relation to the male characters?
1.6 Significance of the study:
Equality between man and woman is essential for social harmony and development. Undermining any gender is detrimental to the overall progress. For centuries, men have taken over women with muscle power and constructed social values for their own interests. As men dominate economy and decision making mechanism in patriarchal society, they shape the governance, values and philosophy in their own fashion where women play the supporting roles as sex partners for men as well as mothers and home makers. In patriarchal society, men make decisions, while women are to follow and implement them Like other institutions, literature is also diffused with the patriarchal ideas that introduce strengths of men and weaknesses of women and urge the latter to obey the former. As most of the authors are men, they get the opportunity to suppress women through writing. Like other genres of literature, fairy tales uphold patriarchal values by undermining the strengths of women and present female characters as inferior to male ones. This study aims at exposing male dominance in fairy tales by reading the original tales, the adaptations and criticism as well as watching the adapted films. The research will locate male politics in the fairy tales and will also present the alternative ways of presenting the fairy tales that teach small children to respect both genders. It is expected that the study will yield significant outcomes as it will justify the re-making of the fairy tales in such a way that provides equal values for both the genders and thus the focus of criticism shifts from gender to humanity.
1.7 Structure of the thesis:
Chapter 1: Introduction:
(a) Origin of fairy tales
(b) Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales
(c) Walt Disney
(d) An overview of Feminist criticism
(e) Patriarchy in fairy tales
(f) Re-reading of fairy tales
(g) Re-writing and adaptation of fairy tales
Chapter 2: Literature Review
(b) Historical background
(c) Foucault, Toni Morison and Alice Walker.
Chapter 3: Methodology
(b) Selected texts
(c) Critical discourse analysis
(d) Summary of the chapter
Chapter 4: Findings and discussion
(a) An analytical discussion on “Cinderella”, “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty” and “Little Red Riding Hood”.
(a) Roles of somnambulism, beastliness and magic in fairy tales
Chapter 5: Conclusion
This chapter discusses the origin of fairy tales, their development, original texts of “Snow White”, “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” as well as their adaptations, feminist criticism and its development. It also focuses on the definition, features and development of feminism as the fairy tales will be analyzed from this perspective.
2.1 Historical background
Literary fairy tales originated during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Italy and France. Giovanni Francesco Straparola, Giambattista Basile, Mme. D’Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, Mlle. L’Héritier, Mlle. de La Force, and others wrote those tales (Zipes, 1997, p.3).
Larkin (2015) traced back the origin of fairy tales in the following manner:
The earliest compendium of today’s most well-known fairy tales is a book published in Paris in 1697 by Charles Perrault; that slim volume contains the first extant published versions of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella,” and “Puss in Boots.” Perrault would go on to influence Hans Christian Andersen, whose fairytales span 1837–74, and the Brothers Grimm, who wrote from 1812 until 1857. These later books are thicker than Perrault and include many more stories. The folklorists in between also made efforts that there is not the space to acknowledge. Despite giving credit to the women storytellers they interviewed in their forwards, these men are still referred to as the authors. (p. 197)
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are recognized for transforming oral folktales into written forms. They realized the significance and power of the fairy tales. Their concerted effort to record the tales initiated a new era in the genre. Zipes (2014) explains in his introduction to The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: They the Grimms were convinced that their tales possessed essential truths about the origins of civilization, and they selected and revised those tales that would best express these truths. They did this in the name of humanity and Culture: the Grimms were German idealists who believed that historical knowledge of customs, mores, and laws would increase self-understanding and social enlightenment (p. xxxi)
The fairy tales recorded by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm secured a prominent and distinct position in American culture. Walt Disney and animation credit the prominence and ubiquitous nature of these fairy tale motifs and themes. Even them who have not read print versions of the tales are familiar with elements of these tales like the stepmother, the prince, and the shoe, , and it takes not very much effort to recognize references to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Cinderella”, and “Sleeping Beauty” in all forms of American media. Zipes (1975) validates the predominance of the motifs of these fairy in American society: “They continue to exercise an extraordinary hold over our real and imaginative lives from childhood to adulthood. The enormous amount of scholarship testifies to this as does the constant use and transformation of this material in novels, poetry, films, theater, TV, comics, jokes and everyday conversation.” (p. 118) Robbins (1988) recognizes the place of the fairy tale in American culture: “We accept the tales and their values as a part of our psyche without questioning their validity; we believe that their status as fairy tales excuses us from asking such questions” (p. 102).
Feminist criticism deals with “…the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the political, social, economic and psychological oppression of women” (Tyson, 1950, p. 84). This theory examines the aspects of our culture that are inherently patriarchal (male dominated) and “…this critique strives to expose the explicit and implicit misogyny in male writing about women” (Richter, 1997, p. 1346). This misogyny, Tyson reminds us, can extend into diverse areas of our culture: “Perhaps the most chilling example…is found in the world of modern medicine, where drugs prescribed for both sexes often have been tested on male subjects only (1950, p. 83).”
Tyson (1950) summarized some common areas of the approaches:
Women are oppressed by patriarchy economically, politically, socially, and psychologically; patriarchal ideology is the primary means by which women are oppressed. In every domain where patriarchy reigns, woman is other: she is marginalized, defined only by her difference from male norms and values. All of Western (Anglo-European) civilization is deeply rooted in patriarchal ideology, for example, in the Biblical portrayal of Eve as the origin of sin and death in the world. While biology determines our sex (male or female), culture determines our gender (scales of masculine and feminine). (p. 91).
Here goes a short description of the three phases of feminism: First Wave Feminism came in the late 1700s-early 1900’s. Writers like Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Women, 1792) highlighted the inequalities between the sexes. Susan B. Anthony, Victoria Woodhull and other activists contributed to the women’s suffrage movement that led to National Universal Suffrage in 1920 with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. Second Wave Feminism started in the early 1960s-late 1970s. Movements such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) were formed in 1966. Simone de Beauvoir (Le Deuxième Sexe, 1949) and Elaine Showalter founded the groundwork for the dissemination of feminist theories dove-tailed with the American Civil Rights movement. Third Wave Feminism began in the early 1990s and is still continuing. It resists the over generalized ideologies like …and the survival and wholeness of her people, men and women both, and for the promotion of dialog and community as well as for the valorization of women and of all the varieties of work women perform” (Tyson, p. 97).
Tyson (1950) listed the typical questions that feminist criticism asks:
• How is the connection between men and women depicted?
• What are the power relationships between men and women (or characters assuming male/female roles)?
• How are male and female roles defined?
• What constitutes masculinity and femininity?
• How do characters embody the gender traits?
• Do characters take on traits from opposite genders? How so? How does this change others’ reactions to them?
• What takes every necessary step uncover about the activities (monetarily, politically, socially, or mentally) of man centric society?
• What takes the necessary steps infer about the conceivable outcomes of sisterhood as a method of opposing male controlled society?
• What does the work say about women’s creativity?
• What does the historical backdrop of the work’s gathering by people in general and by the critics inform us regarding the activity of man centric society?
• What part takes every necessary step play as far as ladies’ abstract history and scholarly custom? (p. 100)
The emancipation movement is considered as the earliest and the most widely known manifestation of feminism. As a worldview of abstract feedback, liberator women’s liberation or supposed Anglo-American woman’s rights has fundamentally tried to uncover sexist belief system in writing, both on the level of the substance and the generation of writing. In this context, the fairy tale has sometimes been praised for its portrayal of positive female characters (e.g. Gretel in ‘Hansel and Gretel’), but all the more regularly it has been assaulted for its cliché treatment of ladies as detached casualties. (Joosen, 2004, p. 12-15)
Fairy tales endorse the patriarchal conventions of society. Children read these so-called ‘harmless’ stories at young age, which at that point set up the ordinariness of the control of men in their minds. Social traditions are established to children through fairy tale characters that they can identify with so as to emblem the ‘peoper’ sexual orientation practices in their brains. Fetterley (1977) wrote:
American literature is male. To read the canon of what is currently considered classic American literature is perforce to identity as male” (p. 2), but, fairy tales preceded school years; thusly, it is important to have primary female characters. Little girls must know their place in their life and society before they begin their education, since then they will be more averse to address custom in the event that it has been displayed to them so at an opportune time. If little girls become introduced to characters like Cinderella, at that point they won’t require female writing in standard, since they have their gender identification set up. Cinderella is the perfect case of a delightful, sustaining, calm, and subordinate lady that young ladies identify with. Cinderella is the picture of the perfect other-worldly female, while the stepmother and stepsisters speak to the inverse ‘beast’ pictures (Gilbert and Guber, 2004, p. 812).
Cinderella has been presented as an angelic character. She is beautiful while others are dark and unpleasant to look at. She has a magical association with the animals which reinforce the profound association with nature that an appropriate lady ought to have. She takes care of the living creatures, she feeds, clothes and defends them, she has such a close bond to which indicate what kind of wife, mother and caretaker she would make in future. The stepmother is the shouting, blunt, predominant and basically insidious character that powers Cinderella into subjugation in her own home. Thus, the evil stepmother represents “the subversive feminine symbols (witches, evil eye)”. Cinderella, on the other hand, follows the “conduct books for ladies that proliferated, enjoining girls to submissiveness, modesty and selflessness reminding all women that they should be angelic (Gilbert and Guber, 2004, p. 816).”
Jordan (1986) said:
Fairy tales promote unhealthy sex stereotypes. They teach girls to “play dead across the path of some young man who has been led to believe that he rules the world,” “glorify passivity, dependency and self-sacrifice as a heroine’s cardinal virtues,” promote a “theme that is the inferior position of women,” teach that “girls win the prize if they are fairest of them all; boys win if they are bold, active, and lucky.” They acculturate girls to certain conventional roles such as dependence on males and traditional marriage, deal with females as property to be bestowed, and treat older women as wicked stepmothers and hags to be feared. (pp. 507-08)
Throughout her article “Some Day My Prince Will Come: Female Acculturation through the Fairy Tale (1972),”, Lieberman declares that fairy tales have just a single capacity and that is to shape girls’ observations to comply with a gendered personality through cliché characters like the fiendish mother and the lovely, helpless kid. She acknowledges fairy tales for the ability to have shaped the impression of: Millions of ladies who should unquestionably have shaped their psycho-sexual self-ideas, and their thoughts of what they could or couldn’t achieve, what kind of conduct would be remunerated, and of the idea of reward itself, to a limited extent from their most loved tall tales. These stories have been made the storehouses of the fantasies, expectations, and dreams of ages of young ladies. (p. 385)
Anrdea Dworkin, an American feminist, published Woman Hating, one of the most aggressive fairy-tale critiques in 1974. In the Introduction to her revolutionary book, she asserts: ‘This book is an action, a political action where the goal is revolution. It has no other goal. … The commitment to ending male dominance … is the fundamental revolutionary commitment’ (p. 17). Dworkin (1974) focuses on Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as the embodiments of passive beauty: “For a woman to be good, she must be dead, or as close to it as possible (1974, p. 42)”. She reads the tales as mimetic reflections of reality, with little consideration for the fairy tale’s literary qualities (metaphors, symbols, etc.) or the socio-historical context in which they originated. Despite aggressive tone and limited scope of her argument, Dworkin’s ideas on the representation of women have been reflected frequently in fairy-tale criticism and re-telling since the 1970s.
Carter believed that “appropriation and adaptation is really what the fairy tale is all about” (Gamble, 1997, p. 67). Roemer and Bacchilega (2001) explained: “It was extremely normal to modify fairy tales before Brothers Grimm gathered their stories and research demonstrates that storytellers would frequently endeavor to “improve” fairy tales keeping in mind the end goal to make them more wonderful or suiting for particular ideological points of view, which is additionally what the Brothers Grimm did themselves (p.11). Moreover, Lorna Sage contends that Carter condemned the customary hegemonic fairy tales for being “sugar-coated lies” or “a legend”, a social develop naturalized as an immortal truth” (Roemer & Bacchilega, 2001, p. 68). The definition of fairy tales as “sugar-coated lies” reflects Carter’s view of gender as naturalized in patriarchy. For this reason he tried to revise exemplary fairy tales with the reason for breaking with the hegemonic custom of the class and, thusly, historicized the male centric fantasy of “lady.” Fairy tales must be viewed as a component of the procedure of naturalization of gender generalizations since they imitate and reify legends about gender.
Fairy tales are not considered as “high” culture or literature, which can be clarified by its relationship with ladies and kids. Gamble (1997, p. 68) clarifies the fairy tale genre’ low status in western culture as straightforwardly identified with its relationship with women and is in this way regularly discounted as “gibberish”. However, since Carter is a much regarded writer who utilizes the fairy tales, her The Bloody Chamber and The Lady of the House of Love must be viewed as endeavors to wreck the fantasy of fairy tales as “nonsense.”
Since portrayals of gender are integral to fairy tales, it is necessary to examine these aspects as well as perspectives. Moreover, the tales are very popular and widely read as well as watched in literature and film. While investigating the work of art or, rather, hegemonic variants of “Sleeping Beauty” and how “woman” is depicted in them, it is nearly as if the protagonist has no will and she is depicted as obtrusively detached and as somebody who is simply sitting tight for destiny and life to happen to her or, to put it obtusely, in the expressions of Oates (1997), merely to be “female in fairy tales is to be without volition, identity” (p. 99).
In order for us to have the capacity to get a handle on the mind boggling nature of fairy tales, it is essential to see how fantasy, gender and male centric belief system are associated. In the event that we can see how these thoughts and ideas are connected, at that point we can comprehend the significance of fairy tales mythmaking in the overseeing of man centric power structures. Stephen Benson views Carter’s fairy tales in The Bloody Chamber as historicizing and “denaturalizing of the mythic pretensions of its source texts” (Roemer ; Bacchilega, 2001, p. 43). It is apparent that while examining fairy tales, contemporary or exemplary, it is vital to have some background learning about how fantasy works in culture. By seeing how gender functions in fairy tales, we can see precisely how profoundly established man centric belief system is in each and every part of the Western culture and society, even in the apparently most women’s activist messages, for example, those of Carter. It is important to explain ideology, myth and gender in fairy tales. In “Myth and the Production of History (1986)” Richard Slotkin clarifies that myth and ideology assume fundamental parts in every human culture. He identifies ideology essentially as a reflection of the conviction framework that portrays each society. Myths are the stories that are utilized to naturalize ideology. Since we frequently comprehend our own particular conviction frameworks to be the consequence of rationale and target thinking, we don’t as a rule utilize the term ‘ideology’ when alluding to our own politics. The idea that our own particular conviction frameworks are the consequence of rationale and reasoning is only an aftereffect of the naturalization of ideology, a procedure made conceivable using myth and allegories.
Slotkin (1986) stresses the significance of myth in the forming of ideology. Fairy tales contain legends of gender which makes it imperative to comprehend the functions of myth. “Myths are stories,” Slotkin writes, “drawn from history that has become central to the culture of the society that uses them” (p. 70). By using of certain metaphors, individuals from general public can allude to recorded occasions and feel a feeling of having a place with a historical past, and furthermore to each other. These myths and metaphors not just give a feeling of convention and having a place inside a social gathering, they additionally conjure a relationship of a battle against an “ideological opposite” (p. 72).
Men have generally utilized women as an ideological inverse and “woman” has been an illustration against which men can quantify their qualities and can feel a feeling of having a place as a total race. Besides, employments of “woman” as metaphor, and their characteristics help men not exclusively to distinguish and identify with each other (as do woman, in their subordination), yet in addition to keep up patriarchal power.
Slotkin (1986) recognizes the issue of “reification” as the focal trouble of investigations of legend, that is, the manner by which we tend to regard thoughts and illustrations just as they are in certainty “genuine” parts of material reality. By regarding fantasies just as they are in truth “genuine” and not as thoughts that were created by people and after that additionally, over the long run, clarified as “natural. “For instance, the patriarchal notion of “woman” is a myth and the utilization of that myth in artistic writings reifies how we treat the idea of “woman” as something normal and not as something developed in the public eye and culture. Scholarly messages advance natural essentialist perspectives of gender as well as strengthen patriarchy since the notion of gender was shaped inside man centric talk in the first place. The feminist re-writings of fairy tales substantiate the myths that are used to promote change in the way we understand “woman.” By using “woman,” in literary texts for instance, , without pointing out this is something built writers risk reifying “woman” as something “natural” and afterward likewise unavoidably recognize patriarchy. Slotkin contends, women’s activist re-works of male centric stories must endeavor to undermine male centric thoughts of “woman” by denaturalizing the plain fantasy of “woman”. Without pointing out that this is something constructed authors run the risk of reifying “woman” as something “natural” and then also inevitably acknowledge patriarchy. Slotkin contends, women’s activist re-compositions of patriarchal stories must endeavor to undermine male centric thoughts of “woman” by denaturalizing the simple legend of “lady.” The idea of “woman” is caught inside the paired chain of command, and along these lines the best way to achieve freedom is in the breaking of that progression and venturing past it. On the off chance that anyone can break this paired example, at that point this will likewise undermine patriarchy.
We divide the world into classes, for example, lady/man and will definitely keep on doing the same for a long while and along these lines the arrangement is to denaturalize and historicize these legends. The significance lies in our capacity to acknowledge and perceive that these myths are surely myths – false realities that ought to be analyzed fundamentally and treated with most extreme care. Myths are not just utilized as a method for making and keeping up verifiable memory but they can likewise be utilized as a means for controlling individuals or holding them under wraps. One critical point Antonio Gramsci makes about social power is that it can be kept up without constrain if unconstrained assent is anchored through, for example, education (Rivkin and Ryan, 2004, p. 673). What Gramsci recommends, besides, is that this assent is predominantly accomplished through the keeping up of authentic renown of the overwhelming gathering.
Without questioning, civil society consequently assents and maintains the philosophy of the hegemonic control. Through the naturalization of philosophy, power is kept up and strengthened by, and without scrutinize from the oppressed gathering. So, fairy tales must be comprehended as being utilized as a part of male centric belief system as a type of instruction. Fairy tales force male centric view of the world (regarding the gender double and the meanings of gender models) upon the individuals who are presented to them. Through the rehashed utilization of fairy tales, gender is repeated and in this manner it looks after man controlled society. As indicated by Judith Butler, an American thinker and gender theorist, gender ought not be comprehended as something steady or fundamental, yet rather as an issue of performativity. Sexual orientation isn’t “a locus of agency from which certain acts follow,” as Butler puts it, however is a character that is dubiously settled after some time, reified through the re-enactment and reiteration of social standards (Cixous, 1986, p. 191). Another critical part of the performativity of gender is expectation. Butler gets this thought from Derrida, who recommends that desire in itself winds up creating the occasion it envisions (Kamuf, 2002, p. xv). It obviously demonstrates how control works in patriarchy and when we are required to play out specific acts in connection to our sexual orientation. On the off chance that it is the twofold gender structure that maintains patriarchy , and in this way enslaves women, through the redundancy of these foreseen demonstrations, at that point it must be essential to break these examples and for women’s activist authors, similar to Carter, it is significant to show elective forms of gender.
Cixous (1986) requires a écriture female, a specific kind of composing that escapes “hierarchal bonds”Hesuggests a ladylike style of writing in écriture female since she trusts female want to be plural, unconstrained, confused and “other” – or in Cixous’ own particular words: “she (… ) crushes laws, „the characteristic request” (p. 96). In the essay “Fights: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/Forays,” Cixous (1986) contends that sexual orientation works in a parallel hierarchal framework that comprises of resistances. In this framework, one is constantly subordinate to the next and to be sure this hierarchal double structure relates to sexual orientation as well as characteristic inside dialect itself where words are combined up in couplets, characterizing each other, for example, man/woman, light/darkness, activity/passivity etcetera. Not exclusively do these sets depend on being characterized by each other however there is additionally a pecking order between them where one is constantly appraised more important than, or better than the other (p. 168). Cixous’ definition of man centric dialect additionally concerns dialect on a bigger scale, for example, the organizing of dialect and composing. As our method for writing operates inside male controlled society and subsequently unavoidably it utilizes man centric dialect. The reason for women’s activist authors ought to will be to discover different methods for composing than to such an extent that have been molded by patriarchy; for example, in the state of écriture ladylike.
According to Cixous, and other women’s activist commentators, western culture and its logos spin around the phallus; in actuality, everything, the plain thoughts of truth, reason and discernment, are phallogocentric. Cixous utilizes a “deconstructive critique of western metaphysics as system of oppositions”; a framework where the restrictions are gendered (Bray, 2004, p. 24).Gender is not neatly divided into two different categories of “A” and “B,” where “A” is “man” and “B” “woman,” however, rather Cixous proposes that the sex parallel must be comprehended as “An” and “not A.” “Lady” isn’t characterized as what she has that varies from “man,” yet as far as what she needs; she is characterized as “not a man” and not as “lady” she is “the Other” which additionally means the phallogocentrism of man controlled society (Cixous, 1986, pp. 64-65). For Cixous, the way to break the sex paired and deliver non-patriarchal texts is feminine writing, i.e. écriture feminine. In spite of the fact that we can’t be totally certain of how or what precisely écriture female seems as though, a standout amongst the most critical focuses about Cixous’ feminine writing made by Schiach (1991, p. 22) is that it can’t exactly be characterized and maybe the intensity of écriture female lies in that and ought to hence not be given a settled definition.
Since all women don’t have a similar affair of being “woman”, feminine writing communicates contrast—an alternate style of composing that breaks with the man centric style (and male centric definition of “woman”) and passes on female personality – or rather, characters,.” Furthermore, women have, generally, been imperceptible in man controlled society which makes it much more so critical for “woman” to keep in touch with herself into history and express the feminine body and make “woman” unmistakable (Yan, 1993, pp.68, 75). Feminine writing isn’t reluctant to go “outside story structures,” as Schiach (1991) says, or to investigate the oblivious, which remains outside the man centric rationale and male centric talk (p. 22).
This research deals with historical, social, political and literary accounts of fairy tales namely Snow White, Little Red riding Hood, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty through the lens of feminist critical theory. So, a critical approach, specifically critical discourse analysis would be very helpful as it approaches a topic from various perspectives and gives the study a holistic analysis. This study will approach the fairy tales from various angles of feminist criticism.
3.2 Selected texts
This study will analyze four fairy tales of Brothers Grimm. They are –Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
3.2.1 “Little Red Riding Hood”
“Little Red Riding Hood” is a children’s story about a young lady named Little Red Riding Hood and a wolf. In the Grimms’ form, her mom demanded her to visit her debilitated grandma however to remain extremely cautious on the way. On her way, a Big Bad Wolf proposes that the young lady should pick a few flowers and she tails him. The wolf goes into grandma’s home in the guise of the young lady. He nips the grandma and sits tight for the young lady. The young lady discovers her grandma looks extremely strange. At a point in the discussion between the young girl and the wolf, the wolf jumps and attacks the young girl and eats her too.. After that the wolf sleeps. Later a hunter came to save the young girl and her grandma, He cuts open the resting wolf with his hatchet and Little Red Riding Hood and her grandma turn out safe. Feminist critics suggest that the story places men as the supreme power, authority and additionally guardian angel for women and shows them as second rate compared to men. They additionally criticize the story for terrifying little young girls and constraining them to follow and obey men.
The Brothers Grimm published the German fairy tale Snow White in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimms’ Fairy Tales. The story tells that a queen delivers a baby girl whom she names Snow White yet the queen passes on instantly. A after one year, the king marries anew wife who is pretty yet mischievous. The new wife has a magic mirror, which she asks every day, “Magic mirror in my grasp, who is the most attractive and beautiful in the land?” The mirror dependably replies: “My queen, you are the most attractive in the land.” But in one day, the mirror proclaimed Snow as the most attractive young lady on earth which goaded the queen and she requested a huntsman to take her away in a forest to killSnow White asked for life: “Save me, this mockery of justice! I will flee into the backwoods, and never return home again!” At this rate, the huntsman reluctantly pitied her and let Snow White go, bringing the stepmother the core of a wild creature as proof. In the woods, Snow went into the the house of dwarfs who showed compassion for her and let her stay with them. Afterward, the queen made three endeavors to slaughter the young lady lastly succeeded when the possibility came and gave her a harmed apple. Feeling that she was dead, the smaller people place her in a glass coffin. Around then, a prince lurched over the pine box that had Snow White. He lifted it and the harmed apple tumbled from her lips. In this way Snow White woke up, saying “Where am I?” captivated by her beauty, the Prince started loving her, and after that he announced his adoration for her. Later a wedding was arranged. Getting ready for their wedding Snow White and the prince welcomed everybody even Snow White’s stepmother to join the wedding party. Realizing that the lady of the hour is her stepdaughter, the queen got solidified with fierceness and dread. At the point when the Queen was going to begin an anarchy, the prince requested her to move wearing a couple of intensely hot shoes until the point when she dropped dead for the endeavoring homicide of Snow White.
“Cinderella” or “The Little Glass Slipper” is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression and triumphant reward. The story was published by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms’ Fairy Tales in 1812. A plague attacks a town, and a very rich man’s wife stays on her deathbed.Before she dies she encourages her daughter Cinderella to stay good and kind. Cinderella’s father weds another woman with two girls from a previous marriage. They have wonderful faces and reasonable skin, yet their hearts are brutal and wicked. One day the honorable man visits a fair. While passing a woods he gets a hazel twig and offers it to his little girl. The king sets up a gathering to choose lady of the hour for the prince. The mother decides to send her two daughters and not to Cinderella. Being a lone , Cinderella was very sad for not going, but suddenly a witch appears and helps her in dressing like princess and warns her to be back before midnight otherwise the magic will disappear and everything will return as it was . The prince dances with her all the time, and when midnight is about to come she asks to leave. The prince decides to escort her home, but she eludes him and jumps inside the pigeon coop leaving her glass shoe. The prince falls in love with her. Then the king announces that the girl whose leg will fit the shoe will be his son’s wife. When they reached her home, the mother asks Cinderella not to show her face, but the doves inform the prince of the treachery. He comes back to inquire about the third girl. In the end.
3.2.4 “Sleeping beauty”
“Sleeping Beauty” or “Little Briar Rose” is an account of a lovely princess and a good looking prince. Brothers Grimm gathered an oral variant of the story distributed by Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps antiquated in 1697. Seven great fairies are welcomed at the dedicating of a princess. The fairies go to the meal at the royal residence. The King introduces every fairy a brilliant plate and drinking cups embellished with gems. An old malice fairy enters the royal residence and they show her a plate of fine china and a precious stone drinking glass. So the malevolent fairy gets incensed and charms the newborn infant princess with the goal that she will one day prick her finger on an axle of a turning haggle. The seventh fairy endeavors to invert the evil fairy’s curse. Rather than dying, the Princess will fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years and be awakened by a kiss from a prince. The King requests that his men wreck all spindle and turning wheels in the kingdom. After fifteen years, the Princess sees an old woman spinning with her spindle. The princess, who has never seen anyone spin before, asks the old woman to try the spinning wheel. Accordingly, the princess pricks her finger on the shaft and right away falls into a profound rest. The king keeps the princess in the best room in the royal residence. A hundred years pass and a prince from another family sees the concealed château amid a chasing endeavor. He stops by the dozing palace where the Princess lies sleeping on the bed. Seeing the charming excellence of the princess, falls on his knees previously her. He kisses her and the princess stirs and speaks with the ruler for quite a while. In the mean time, the rest of the castle awakens and goes about their business. The prince and princess get hitched. Subsequent to wedding, the Prince keeps on going by her and she bears him two kids.
3.3 Critical discourse analysis (CDA)
Content analysis is an adaptable research strategy for dissecting writings and portraying and deciphering the composed ancient rarities of a general public (White and Marsh, 2006). The substance of content information is deciphered through a procedure of coding and recognizing topics or examples, with the real methodologies going from impressionistic, instinctive, and interpretive examinations to orderly quantitative literary investigations (Hseih and Shannon, 2005). Since content examination includes making deductions from writings to the settings of their utilization by utilizing logical builds got from hypotheses or research, specialists adjust content investigation to their exploration addresses and build up a scope of methods and methodologies for dissecting content (Krippendorff, 2003).
Regardless of the continuous utilization of subjective substance examination as an exploration technique to look at children literature as content, we found that the systems for this investigation are regularly not portrayed in detail in distributed investigations and are talked about just quickly in procedure course readings. Specifically, we are occupied with strategies for basic substance investigations that attention on finding power in social practices by comprehension, revealing, and changing states of disparity. Our battles to characterize the strategy and to find helpful cases of examination strategies united us to investigate the “basic” in basic investigation.
Three broad theoretical frameworks constitute critical discourse analysis (CDA). First, the analysis utilizes post-structuralism. Second, the approach uses Bourdieu’s sociology. Third, it draws from neo-Marxist cultural theory, the assumption that these discourses are produced and used within political economies, and that they thus produce and articulate broader ideological interests, social formations and movements within those fields (Hall 1996). The approach refers to the use of an ensemble of techniques for the study of textual practice and language use as social and cultural practices (Fairclough 1992). CDA uses the techniques that are derived from various disciplinary fields. Texts are forms of social actions that occur in complex social contexts. Research and theory in systemic functional linguistics (Halliday 1985) show how linguistic forms can be systematically related to social and ideological functions.
Critical discourse analysis, in its constructive moment, is being utilized as the basis for the teaching of “critical language awareness” and “critical literacy” to students in Australia and the UK (Fairclough 1992). Basic deconstruction and social scrutinize are key teleological standards of, individually, post-structuralist talk hypothesis and Frankfurt School social examination. The suppositions of such curricula are: (a) that students can be instructed how to fundamentally dissect the writings of the way of life around them as a feature of proficiency and sociology training; and, (b) that basic education is the `new essential’ for postmodern conditions.
The two noteworthy strands of research on children literature as content have been artistic investigation and substance examination, each with extensive variety. Galda, Ash, and Cullinan (2000) call attention to that despite the fact that the designs are comparable, the techniques vary, with scholarly examination depicting what writers do and content investigation analyzing what content is about. Artistic examination looks at the activities of creators inside the content, for example, character advancement, imagery, postmodern expressive gadgets, intertextuality, and account designs, from the perspective of kids’ writing as a protest of scholarly feedback and investigation. These investigations might be verifiable records of changes in the field, center around one or numerous writings inside or crosswise over types, or inspect crafted by singular writers by depicting scholarly components.
Content analysis incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, with quantitative methodologies prominent in mass correspondence fields (Neuendorf, 2002). Subjective substance investigation covers sub-strategies, for example, discourse analysis, social constructivist investigation, explanatory examination, and substance investigation. Krippendorff (2003) sees subjective substance examination as the nearby perusing of little measures of writings that are deciphered by the expert and after that contextualized in new stories; a definition that is a hermeneutic, peruser reaction situated research position, thus can be basic also. What makes an investigation “basic” isn’t the strategy however the structure used to think inside, through, and past the content, for example, critical discourse, postcolonialism, women’s studies, strange investigations, and childhood studies.
CDA is at the core of my research because—
(a) It alludes to the utilization of an outfit of systems for the investigation of printed practice and dialect use as social and social practices (Fairclough 1992).
(b) It trusts that writings have a useful capacity in framing up and molding human characters and activities.
(c) It demonstrates how etymological structures can be methodicallly identified with social and ideological capacities.
I prefer approaching literary texts to take part in the experience inwardly, mentally, and politically, perceiving that valid and inauthentic components are available in any book that depicts a particular culture, paying little respect to whether the writer lived or inquired about the experience. This methodology empowers me to peruse basically and also for delight.
3.3 A summary of the chapter
This chapter outlines the research framework that will be used to examine the texts for the treatment of women in them. Feminist criticism will be utilized for the study. A critical discourse analysis ensures a holistic approach to investigate into the title from various related perspectives. Studies of the origin and development of feminist criticism, origin and adaptation of the fairy tales and feminist criticism of fairy tales will endow a holistic criticism to the fairy tales. Short discussions on the selected fairy tales will guide the trend of the criticism of the tales.
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