The original German title of Grimm’s Fairy Tales means “fairy tales for children and for the home.” Both entertaining and didactic, the stories are meant for children and their parents. For children, whose lives lie ahead and hold infinite possibilities, the popular tales extend the promise that all will turn out well for the good and virtuous. That this end is often accomplished with the aid of magic appeals to children’s sense of wonder at the world and reinforces what they need to believe. For parents, and adults in general, the tales serve as a reminder of children’s vulnerability and their reliance on kind and good adults to care for them. Everyone’s heart goes out to Hansel and Gretel, and no one wants to be seen as a wicked stepmother.
“Cinderella” is the quintessential fairy tale that not only contains all of its main figures and features but also embodies its standard themes. These themes were consciously emphasized by Wilhelm Grimm in his repeated rewriting of the fairy tales, and they reflect the biographies, beliefs, and ethics of the Brothers Grimm, who were orphaned at an early age and had to care for their younger siblings.
The main theme of “Cinderella” is of going from rags to riches. Following an early reversal of fortune that plunges Cinderella into degrading poverty, she persists through difficult times and triumphs in the end. This outcome reflects the Grimms’ Protestant work ethic, the...
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Fairy Tale and Rumpelstiltskin Essays
834 WordsOct 16th, 20104 Pages
A young woman wants to marry the King, but is told that first she must spin straw into gold or die. A funny trickster by the name of Rumpelstiltskin agrees to do it, only if she promises her first born child. He does, and she marries the King. When she gives birth to a child, Rumpelstiltskin comes back and demands the child for payment. Since he loves to play games, he says that the Queen may keep the child, if she can guess his name in three days. He comes back three times to ask her what his name is. In the meantime the King inadvertently discovers the man in the woods who is saying his name. The King rushes home to tell the Queen. When Rumpelstiltskin returns the third time, she says his name and he disappears forever.
Themes: Power…show more content…
Imagery and Symbolism:
1. Turning Straw to Gold:
The classic rags-to-riches storyline seems at play here. The miller is poor, so his claim that his daughter can spin straw into gold represents his desire to get-rich-quick without earning his money. It also foreshadows the overnight transformation of the girl from the poor miller's daughter to the queen.
2. The Number Three:
The number three appears several times throughout this fairy tale. "(The little man) sat down before the spinning wheel, and whir, whir, whir, three times pulled, and the spool was full." The king insists the girl spin all the straw in a total of three rooms, therefore giving her three chances to prove her talent. After the birth of the queen's first child, the little man returns to collect what she owes him. He gives her three days to figure out his name or he will take the child.
The number three is a very mystical and spiritual number featured in many folktales (three wishes, three guesses, three little pigs, three bears, three billy goats gruff)". In Christianity, there is the Holy Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When talking about time, there is the past, present and future. The significance of the number three can be analysed in almost any context, and in almost any subject. The fact that the number three occurs so often in this, and many fairy tales emphasizes the importance of the number to societies of the past and the