John Keats’s the Eve of St. Agnes – Dark Poetic Fairy Tale
The Eve of St. Agnes
The classic fairy tale usually starts with a damsel in distress and needs her knight in shining armor to save the day. This same fairy tale usually ends in the most extravagant ways and two lovers live happily-ever-after in complete harmony. John Keats has taken on the role of taking the normal fairy tale and adding several dark allusions to it. Keats twisted the main theme of fantasy to tell the story of a dark fairy tale using imagery in his poem, The Eve of St. Agnes.
Keats’s poem, The Eve of St. Agnes, starts off as any normal fairy tale. There is a legend where young virgins are to go bed without eating dinner and they are to only sleep on their backs as told “As, supperless to bed they must retire,/ And couch supine their beauties,” (Keats, 51 and 52).The image of young, innocent girls to sleep on their back gives the image of sleeping royal princesses. The main innocent young virgin is Madeline, who is in love with Porphyro. Porphyro also happens to be the son of the enemy and thus their love is forbidden and unacceptable. Madeline is so infatuated with Porphyro, that she refuses any other pursuer in “amorous cavalier” (Keats, 60) because “her heart was otherwhere:” (Keats, 62). Madeline has her heart and her mind set on only one man, what is considered to be her knight and shining armor that is going to come get and marry her, Porphyro. Keats puts this as she is “Hoodwink’d with faery fancy;” (70), which he is saying that Madeline is being deceived by her own imagination. This is an image of a girl who is so far gone in her own imagination that she is completely cut off from her reality. Thus, this gives an allusion of foreshadowing of what is too come of whether or not she will be disappointed in her reality.
Porphyro is not introduced till stanza IX with his “heart on fire” (Keats, 75). He is on a mission to see his love, Madeline, and miraculously seeks into her territory without being seen, heard or destroyed because “For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes, // Hyena foremen, and hot-blooded lords,” (Keats, 86 and 87). Porphyro is pictured as Madeline’s knight with his burning love and bravery to enter her chambers to see her as he begs “All saints to give him sight of Madeline,” (Keats, 78). In comparison to the well-known love story of Romeo and Juliet, Porphyro acquires the help of Madeline’s maid, Angela. She is going to guide him, safely, to Madeline’s personal sleeping chambers before the walls of the castle became his “bier” (Keats, 108). Now Keats has developed a story where two young lovers will go to all means to be together while enlisting the help of the girl’s maid, which also sounds like the basic plot line of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Instead of writing a heart-warming tragedy, Keats turns the plot into something dark when the going gets good.
After enlisting the help of Angela, Porphyro tells her of a strategy to sneak into Madeline’s sleeping chambers and force himself onto being part of her vision as it is the Eve of St. Agnes. Angela is not on board at first but is then quickly convinced and she escorts him to Madeline’s closet. He wishes to watch her sleep and to “see her beauty unespied, // And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,” (Keats, 166 and 167). The actions of Porphyro seem to be intended to be filled with goodness but are actually, for lack of better terms, creepy. Angela is confident enough that the two love birds will marry since she feels comfortable enough to leave a boy alone in the chambers of a girl, which for that time would be highly unacceptable unless they were already married. She tells Porphyro to say prayers since “thou must needs the lady wed,” (Keats, 179).
The imagery of Madeline lying down is that “like a ring-dove fray’d and fled.” (Keats, 198). The couple is finally in the same room, alone, together and Keats gives off the image of a predator-prey situation where Madeline is compared to a helpless creature. The predator-prey allusion comes back again in the line “As though a tongueless nightingale should swell” (Keats, 206). This is a reference to a horrific myth of Philomela. The myth of Philomela is one that she is raped by her brother-in-law Tereus, then he “tears out her tongue so she cannot speak, and confines her in a hidden cottage” (Dictionary of Literary Symbols) and ends up turning into a nightingale. The comparison of Madeline to the Greek myth of Philomela really sets up the chambers for a bitter situation and not so much as the romantic fairy-tale. To make matters a bit creepier, Madeline’s “wakeful swoon” (Keats, 236), is described as “poppied warmth of sleep oppress’d” (Keats, 237). Not only has Keats’s compared Madeline’s positioning as prey but her sleep now seems to be more drug-induced rather than enchanting.
In line 244, Madeline’s chamber is described as a “paradise” (Keats) but that is contradicted when Porphyro creeps to her bed “Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,” (Keats, 250). The wilderness is the reference to the danger of Porphyro being there in the first place, since he is the rival of her family and her innocence makes the chamber a paradise. As for the use of the fear, Keats could possibly be referring to Porphyro as the fear in continuing the language and the imagery of a predator-prey situation. There has already been multiple references to Madeline being compared to helpless characters, now there are more words that relate to those compared to a predator, or in this case-Porphyro.
Porphyro calls himself an “eremite” (Keats, 277). He is now comparing himself to someone that solely worships God or Madeline in this case. He has made this quite obvious through his actions and his mission to make himself apart of Madeline’s vision and cunningness to get in her chambers and hide in her closet. When Madeline wakes up she sees Porphyro next to her, she seems disappointed as she exclaims, “How chang’d thou art! How pallid, chill, and drear!” (Keats, 311). She now seems disappointed in his current appearance has her dream image of her lover has given her high hopes. This is reflected back to when she was “Hoodwink’d with faery fancy” (Keats, 70). Usually it is a person’s dreams that deceive them when reality hits but in Madeline’s case, she seems to be tricked by her own reality. Porphyro is cold and “pale as a smooth-sculptured stone.” (Keats, 297). Then his character quickly changes presentation and he arose “Ethereal, Flush’d and like a throbbing star” (Keats, 318) and then “into her dream he melted, as the rose // Blendeth its odour with the violet-“(Keats, 320 and 321). The language here is very sexually explicit but it does not give the impression of love-making with the reference to a myth of a horrific rape in earlier lines. Her deception of her reality is even further more described as she comes to it and exclaims, “No dream, alas! alas! And woe is mine!” (Keats, 328). Porphyro convinces her that he is not the villain, although his actions and the setting around his actions speak otherwise, as described in line 342, “To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.” (Keats).
Just like any other fairy-tale, the knight (Porphyro) takes the princess away to his homeland, but in this fairy-tale it is undetermined if it is happily-ever-after. Their story ends on line 371 as “These lovers fled away into the storm.” (Keats). The setting of a storm gives the reader uncertainty of what is to become or what became of the tumultuous relationship. The rest of the poem ends on a note that all of the party guests “dreamt many a woe” (Keats, 372) and “of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,” (Keats, 374). The narrator does not necessarily say what happened to the lovers but ending the poem in death, ashes, and satanic associations gives the reader an image that the lovers did not live in happy harmony. In regards to the traditional fairy-tale, Keats has made a quite a few dark implications into his poem, The Eve of St. Agnes. The ending leaves a strong feel of a theme of tragedy but it is personalized in Keats own style that is much different than the Shakespearean way.
Comparative Analysis of the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen and Its Disney Film Version
I have to admit, I have never been exposed to any version of The Little Mermaid, other than Disney’s film version of the fairytale. With that being said, reading Andersen’s version for the first time really opened my eyes to the hidden, covered-up messages that the original fairytale tries to portray. Obviously, the two are completely different in the message they are trying to get across to readers in more ways than one, as well as in the way they portray the little mermaid, or Ariel, per the Disney film. I feel the changes in Ariel’s character and the messages each side wants to convey is problematic in the sense of losing its primary purpose for readers to take away after engaging with the text, and I feel that the Disney-fied version of the fairytale strips away from its originality as in Andersen’s version, as well being seen as a detrimental moral for young girls to feed into as they mature into young adults. I also believe that Disney’s version casts a very important message to viewers/readers of all ages.
First and foremost, a problem that I have always had (well, atleast now that I can make sense of what is really happening in Disney’s Little Mermaid film) is the fact that the Disney version is detrimental to girls. In Disney’s version, Ariel trades her voice for legs so she can explore the land and capture her prince. From my perspective, this is telling girls that their opinions/voices don’t necessarily matter, and that as long as they have a pretty face and/or good looks that they will be successful in life. While I know that this is completely from personal perspective and was most likely not Disney’s ultimate goal when recreating the fairytale, it should be considered, as there are millions of young children (young girls in particular) who watch this movie on Disney channel and read the Disney version in books.
From a different point of view, Disney’s version really hits on the “stepping out of your comfort zone” mantra and puts an emphasis on branching out into the unknown world to experience new things and become a stronger, independent person. It makes it clear however, that to enter that unknown world, we have to pay a hefty price and learn to endure the changes that come with it. For example, Little Mermaid losing her tail signifies the ability to be functional in your surroundings- a new world, a new lifestyle.
As far as the little mermaid/Ariel’s character, there are quite a few notably different characteristics between the little mermaid and Ariel, first being her age. In Disney, viewers are aware that Ariel is sixteen years old, however in Andersen’s story she is introduced as a nine-year-old girl. We learn that mermen can live up to 300 years of age, yet the King’s daughters must wait until they turn fifteen to visit the surface of the sea. It is interesting that in Andersen’s tale, the little mermaid is obedient and waits for her fifteenth birthday before swimming to the surface, despite her eagerness to see the unknown world above the water. However in Disney’s film, Arial seems to be quite a disobedient princess who travels to the surface of the sea even though her father is telling her that she is not allowed to. Another interesting characteristic in the little mermaid is that her sisters were known for collecting strange items they found from wrecked ships, however the little mermaid was only interested in a “beautiful marble statue” of “a handsome boy carved out of clear white stone”. Whereas in Disney’s film, it is clear that Ariel is quite the collector of items!
My understanding of Andersen’s overall theme in his version closely relates to me personally. After reading his version for the first time, I related it to a quote “There is no love greater than this: A man that lay down his life for his friends.” Little Mermaid’s sacrifice is not accidental; she decided to sacrifice her own life to save the life of the prince (her beloved), and the fact that he does not love her back makes her love even greater. Disney’s Little Mermaid doesn’t necessarily “die” perhaps, however she transforms into a human, almost as if she is reborn into a new eternal life as a human, rather than a mermaid. These two versions of this fairytale are endlessly interesting to compare and contrast. It is truly intriguing to see the same story portrayed in such differentiating ways; from the characteristics of the little mermaid/Ariel, to the moral of the story, to the endings. Who knew that a fairytale story could be altered and pertain and portray to many different messages for readers of so many different ages.
Continuation of Fairy Tales
Since the time of the Brothers Grimm, fairy tales have evolved tremendously and have not only been enjoyed, but also utilized and modified. Fairy tales were used in classrooms to teach young children to follow the desirable and favored behavior emitted by the protagonists, along with educating them on morals and ethics. Fairy tales, however, were also used as propaganda during the time of Nazi Germany, aiding in indoctrinating children to faithfully follow Hitler and the Nazi Party along with their beliefs and policies. The impact of fairy tales on modern-day society is significant, seeing as not only are they still present globally, but have been transformed into highly popular films.
The Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales were firstly present in the school syllabi of Prussian elementary. It is assumed by many scholars that fairy tales are taught in classrooms because children’s “minds are open to influence and instruction through what they experience and read”. In the Nazi era, the Nazi Party recognized the importance of fairy tales and their impact on German Youth, a social group that the Nazis saw as a target for their propaganda. During the time period of the Nazis, there was great value placed on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales seeing as they were a part of German culture that already embodied some Nazi ideals, such as for example, anti-Semitism, the belief that Jews are the lowest race in the social hierarchy and should be persecuted. These “classic fairy tales [were] re-fashioned by Nazi propaganda chiefs to recruit German children to support the Third Reich”. For example, in the Nazified version of Little Red Riding Hood, she “wears a swastika-emblazoned cloak” and is saved from the wolf by “a man wearing an SS uniform”. Cultural context during differing time periods effect how gender roles are portrayed in fairy tales, and in this example, the concept of the ‘damsel in distress’ was unchanged by the Nazis from the original Grimm fairy tales seeing as it promotes their policy of anti-feminism, the belief that a woman’s role is domestic and to bear future children.
In modern day, the most common form of fairy tales is portrayed in the form of movies, specifically from The Walt Disney Corporation. Disney’s fairy tales firstly consists of films made between 1930 and 1960 and considered classics, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella. Classic Disney fairy tales are the films that closest resemble the themes and traits of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales and have female protagonists with the common traits of being young beautiful who are passive, obedient, and usually silent. Like the original tales, the women protagonists’ happy ending is from being saved by a handsome and flawless Prince. The antagonists, on the other hand, are also all women, however they are powerful and envious of the protagonist, going great lengths in order to get what they want. This brings to light that Walt Disney is reflecting the views of the larger society in his films, both idealized and flawed traits, where Disney made sure that specific traits were given to the female protagonists and antagonists so young girls watching these movies would learn and understand what traits to adhere to and from. This reflects the time period when these movies were made, reflecting similar beliefs of the German society in the time period of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. Traditional gender norms continue to be perpetuated in fairy tales.
Secondly, there are also fairy tale films made between the years 1989 and 1998, known as the “Disney Renaissance”. The characters in these films hold only a few common characteristics with the characters of the Grimm Brothers’ tales, seeing as these films portray progressive ideas with strong female heroines. An example is the movie, Beauty and the Beast, where the female protagonist, Belle, enjoys reading and strives to learn more. Instead of sticking to seeking marriage and acquiring domestic roles, women have the freedom to question and understand the world around them. Another trait is that the female heroines have the power of decision-making, such as ones that defy authoritative figures. This can be seen again in Beauty and the Beast where Belle defies her father’s wishes and bravely takes his place as the Beast’s prisoner. From Disney, it is seen that female stereotypes from the 1960s have changed, and women are given more freedoms. These movies portray women in various roles, and people learn that women, aside from being princesses or villains, are also capable of heroic acts.
The third category consists of fairy tale films made in the 20th century, and these films show even more modern ideas, where traditional gender roles completely change. A prime example is the acclaimed movie, Frozen. In these films, the female protagonists journey on a quest and fight against a force out of their control, not necessarily an antagonist. This teaches the viewers that problems are not necessarily the fault of a person or people in general. In Frozen, Elsa’s powers are the uncontrollable force of nature that is the basis of the issue in the movie. These movies also show that the protagonists do not fall in love with a man right away or at all. Frozen even goes to the extent of ridiculing marrying a man instantaneously after meeting him, and this can be seen as Disney showing their viewers that true love actually takes time to develop. A popular view in modern day is that true love does not necessarily need to be a romantic love between a man and a woman. Frozen is also significant since it shows that there are different types of love, seen from Anna’s act of sacrifice to save her sister, Elsa – an act of true love. The modern-day fairy tales fit the popular view of society today, influenced by mass media and culture, seeing as traditional gender norms changed significantly compared to the original Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales to Disney’s 20th century fairy tale movies.
Fairy Tales, Folktales and Legends
People across the globe have always told stories, and tales are the major symbol of the human struggle for eternity and immortality. Even though many take for granted that fairy tales have always been for children, in the 19th century tales were told and written principally for adults. The desire and the attraction to the past allowed oral tradition to survive and, thus, the tales continue to be told. In fact, a difference should be outlined about the history of storytelling and the distinction among tales.
Fairy tales and folktales have frequently been compared and differentiated by scholars in order to shed light on their relations and dissimilarities. Even though it is arduous to clearly distinguish between the two genres, considering tales have changed significantly throughout the centuries, it must be stressed that in fairy tales, author and origin can be identified. Some fairy tales have roots in the oral tradition, but others, called literary fairy tales, were made up and written down. On the contrary, in folktales the story was passed down orally by storytellers and it was pivotal to keep it close to the original as much as possible, although it may be complicated since many peculiar cultures are mixed in a way that fortifies the variations. As a result, authentic composers and specific sources are unknown.
Furthermore, collectors of folktales as the brothers Grimm and Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, rewrote and passed down those tales in a more literary form and the consequence is that they were no longer a popular creative material. Grimm’s Fairy Tales generated a model that, in the course of time, has been stuck and adapted to the European tale. In the 19th century Wilhelm Grimm believed that several of the fairy tales they made popular were ingrained in a shared cultural history native of the Indo-European language family. Hence, the origin of folktales was one of the biggest mysteries in folktale studies, since in oral tradition they are transmitted through spoken language, and from generation to generation. Some of these stories goes much back than classical mythology and some variants appear in Latin and Greek texts too.
It is almost impossible to describe the fairy tale as a mere literary genre because, over the years, it became a cultural institution as well. Nevertheless, fairy tales follow a representative pattern and a code that differentiate them from other genres, for instance fantasy stories. They are adventure story which embrace the whole universe, the form of which is characterized by the concentration and sublimation: clarity and mystery pervade them at the same time. Their aim is not to embellish or transfigure the real world since the world transfigure itself spontaneously: they see the world in the same way they create it. Bloody or cruel incidents are not deleted from their own context, but they are collocated in a specific place. As a result, everything seems to be in order and the intimate human desire of the ideal world is eventually satisfied.
Also known as Märchen, fairy tales involve magical and fantastic characters, events and symbols, they are not believed to be true and are always set in timeless, generic and unspecified places. They often feature one-dimensional characters which undergo a physical or mental transformation and hardly ever contain actual fairies, even though several supernatural creatures are present (such as giants, witches or ogres). Academicians utilize the German term Märchen in order to express this concept:
“The Märchen or Magic Tale is the diminutive form of the old German mär meaning a short story, is the technical term for what was earlier and is still called, in the English-speaking world, the magic tale, the fairy tale, or sometimes the hero tale.”
The origin of the word ‘fairy’ is the Latin fatum, which means ‘to enchant’. The English word derives from the French form of the root fee (or feerie), that stands for ‘illusion’ or ‘enchantment’ and, in old French romance, a ‘woman skilled in magic’. Moreover, this term can be associated with the Italian word ‘fata’.
Other three connotations of the term ‘fairy’ can be outlined: it represented the country of the Fays (Abode of the Faes); the people of Fairyland (its inhabitants); and eventually, the individual in Fairyland (the Fairy Knight or Elf) . After the publication of Spenser’s Faerie Queene , fairies were identified with nymphs and elves, and distinctions became confused. A clear and famous example of this misunderstanding is given by Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream , in which he incorporated most of the legendary traditions known in England.
According to Laura F. Kready , four main origins of fairy tales can be identified:
1. Firstly, fairy tales are myth sediments and surviving echoes of gods and heroes: the narration is basically unchanged. The plot and the incidents are the same of the heroic epics, focusing on the monstrous and miraculous which reflected the condition of rude people.
2. Secondly, fairy tales are myths of Sun, Dawn, Thunder, Rain, etc. Since there were the beliefs in human descent from animals and in animated nature, fairy tales represented the primitive man’s experience with the natural world. In such world there was no supernatural because there was no distinction between nature and human personality. As soon as the first meaning of the original name was lost, everything became a new story. All scholars agree that some tales are plainly myths of Sun and Dawn: in the natural history of savages there are summer and winter feasts, rituals of sorrow, interest in the motion of the heavenly bodies and the custom of naming men and women from the phenomena of nature.
3. Thirdly, fairy tales all arose in India. India is the probable source because of the vitality of its animism and transformation, its marvelous incidents and fairy-like characters.
4. Lastly, fairy tales owe their origin to the identity of early fancy. Primitive people in remote parts of the world, in similar situations, would express experience in tales with similar characteristics and motifs.
It is likely that all these theories are at least partially correct, and that fairy tales owe their origin to all four sources.
Tales have been transmitted in many ways, both orally and literally. Sometimes tales taken from the oral tradition are written and redrafted to make the plot and the language more acceptable to their audience, and sometimes an author writes a tale maintaining traditional plot and style: both of these types are called literary tales, and it often happens that such stories are absorbed into the oral culture again and become part of the traditional literature.
Literary fairy tales can include individualized characters with a developed personality and detailed descriptions of individuals and settings. Even though fairy tales, myths and legends may seem to mean the same thing, they provide a diverse and unique reading experience. In the fairy tale men poetically gain a dominion over the world: what is difficult and unfathomable in the real world becomes simple and transparent in the fiction.
All the tales in the world have similar characteristics that have been defined by the influential scholar Max Lüthi in his book The European Folktale: Form and Nature . According to him, it should be possible to identify the function of the tale by its aspect: the form of such extraordinary artistic creation which was so widely read is determined by two main factors. It depends on the characteristics of its creators but, at the same time, on the needs of its audience. The form of the tale should be adapted to its function. Hence, it is possible to comprehend, at least approximately, its function starting with its form. Lüthi identifies five points:
1. The tale must be unidimensional. The fairy tale contains many supernatural symbols and characters (witches, fairies, soothsayers, trolls, giants, dwarves, dragons and fantastic animals), and outwardly common animals can speak and show transcendental capabilities. In fairy tales there are no feelings of fear, concern and curiosity in front of the supernatural, the hero is not baffled or scared. Everything seems to belong to the same dimension, what Lüthi calls ‘unidimensional’.
2. The tale lacks a perspective. It is not possible to perceive the fracture that dissociates the unholy world from the holy one. The characters are bodiless, without an inner world and they lack connections with past, future and time in general. The characters of the tale do not have an inner world, but not even a surrounding one: they live and act in their hometown and they do not leave it. Every experience and relationship are developed in that specific place.
3. The tale is abstract. The eradication of any perspective provides distance from reality. Fairy tale does not aim to shape the real world and its multiple dimensions, but it turns them into a different form in order to build another universe. Every creature, otherworldly or not, is mentioned but not described, and that is far to be a loss because this approach gives substance to every element.
4. The tale implies isolation and universal connections. It has already been observed that in fairy tales there is no fear, amazement and snoopiness. This lack of concern shows how characters are isolated or alienated, and there is a complete absence of a permanent relationship. Fairy tales favor what is rare, precious, extreme, what is isolated, precisely. Only what is not ingrained in an actual place, what is not detained by constraints and external relationship, can both make and dissolve bonds. The isolation acquires a real meaning only if it is able to create universal boundaries: without this capacity the externally isolated elements would necessarily disperse in every direction.
5. The tale implies sublimation and universal contents. Fairy tales have an abstract and figurative style. Objects and characters lose their individual characteristics and become ethereal and transparent figures. The motives found in fairy tales did not develop in the tale itself, most of them are just ‘social motives’ (wedding, poverty, loss of parents, discord among brothers and sisters, loyalty etc.) and they reflect the relationships between men and men, men and animals or, otherwise, between men and the surrounding world. However, these profane motives are combined with magic, and the tale sublimates them into specific ones. Even mythical, sexual and erotic motives are sublimated and transformed since fairy tales are compositions made of universal contents.
The modern fairy tale probably begins with Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Stories , and it differs from its antecedent due to its length and its multiplicity of images. It emphasizes the satirical and critical element and its humor is often heavy, while the old tale used concrete artistry since if the symbol expressed less, it implied more.
According to Bengt Holbek,
“the marvelous elements in fairy tales are symbolic, meaning they convey feelings rather than thoughts. Moreover, such vivid emotional impressions are deemed to refer to beings, events and phenomena of the real world.”
In conclusion, a traditional fairy tale besides characters, plot, setting, and dialogue, must present truth and have emotion and imagination mixed with the formal beauty of language. Any examination of the modern fairy tale very frequently shows a failure to meet these requirements.
Folktales are imaginative stories which have passed from storyteller to storyteller. In comparison with the fairy tale, the folktale is an older form, it is oral and communal because it represents the relationship between people expressed in fantastic and symbolic terms. It is based on real life even though it often features supernatural and extraordinary elements and it speaks to humans’ basic emotions, beliefs, and cultural norms. It is embedded in cultures, so it is difficult for audiences to immediately understand the meaning of another culture’s folk literature. Folktales have a particular and proper style with a standard opening formula (‘once upon a time’, ‘once there was a king and a queen’), and also a standardized ending: sometimes the formula tells what happened after the main story was over. According to Stith Thompson,
“the teller of stories has everywhere and always found eager listeners. Whether his tale is the mere report of a recent happening, a legend of long ago, or an elaborately contrived fiction, men and women have hung upon his words and satisfied their yearnings for information or amusement, for incitement to heroic deeds, for religious edification, or for release from the over powering monotony of their lives.”
Hence, folktales developed through repeated oral retellings within a society or community and every storyteller gave his own contribution. Simplification and schematization are common, the stories have a restricted list of characters (usually there are only two people) and the plot is often systemized. The folktale uses short characterizations and repetitions to emphasize important features, it starts and ends with poetic justice: the good characters are rewarded, and the evil ones are punished. Eventually, folktales generally lack descriptive passages and depend on plot.
The Ants and Butterfly
This story begins in a secret place in the forest where the ants live. This village of ants was lead by two prince. Prince Jerome is a curious smart and brave ant and has lots of discoveries and invention. Prince Anthony a brave handsome prince. But this is not a story in any of them, it is about the only girl in their village, Marie.
Marie was created by Lucifer a obsessed evil wizard ant who wants to capture all the ants and used it for his evil purpose by a lamp of clay. But Lucifer was wrong, Marie is not his typical evil ant, after Marie found the village of ant, she change from bad to good. The thing is Marie itself doesn’t tell anything about herself. She’s not good at anything, but Marie has this good attitude that really makes her pretty in and out. Prince Anthony has these special feelings for Marie, as well as prince Jerome. The two doesn’t have the courage to tell it to Marie.
Until one day, their plans is final, they ask Marie if they can court her. Marie said “Yes” Prince Jerome has this feeling that Marie might choose Anthony over him because Anthony ismore advantage than him. So, he need to make moves to make Marie his. Jerome has , brilliant idea and create a potion of love to make Marie say yes. A month of courting passed by Jerome invited Marie to a dinner date and does his bad plan. After that, Marie finalized her : decision if whom she want to be with. Everyone is quite until Marie finally announced Jerome’s name. Every ant in their village were shocked, they thought Anthony will do. Anthony gave a shake hand and congratulates Jerome with a sarcastic tone. They can see in Anthony’s eyes that his not okay, that he can’t accept the fact. Eyes can’t lie.
Anthony thinks carefully his mind set is that, it is better to leave than to live in this village seeing those two making happy moments. Midnight, he leaves the village without telling and knowing where would he go. The village was so busy preparing for Jerome and Marie’s wedding and no one remember and notice that Prince Anthony was gone. The most awaited wedding day has come. Marie was wearing a luxury gown made by diamonds that make her shine in her biggest day; it was a biggest day for the ants because first time in history they will witness a wedding ceremony. Ants watch and act like a little bit dramatic. Everyone was looking for Prince Anthony because wedding will not be complete unless he was there. But no one else saw him.Marie was wondered why Prince Anthony leaved without saying goodbye and leaving any footprints.
As time goes by, Marie gave birth to their first child, they named it Butch. Prince Anthony’s adventure was not so great he encounter lots of challenges, but still he remain standing and walk until he met Lucifer.
“Oh, Anthony what happened? Is there something I can do for you? Haha” Lucifer said with a sarcastic tone.
“I need help, and want some revenge”. Anthony replied and revealed the village location. And the plan started, Lucifer and Anthony collaborated for a bad purposes, they planned everything and make sure things work out. They never waste time in preparing things in capturing those ants. Their preparation takes weeks before it is almost done. The revenge daycome, Ants in the village was busy in doing their daily household choirs that no one expect what challenge would come to their life in that day. Prince Anthony catches butterflies hearts and help him doing his plan that would make them easily in Capturing all ants, Anthony was riding his butterfly bride carrying a freeze dust, a dust that can make ants freeze once it touches the skin of an ants, it is made by Lucifer. Can you imagine how lucky Lucifer is? He has this knowledge and ability that a normal ant cannot do. But Lucifer doesn’t appreciate thing that he already have, instead he was Praying things that can make him the most powerful ant in the world.
Ants saw Anthony riding those butterflies. The information scattered so fast, so €veryone go out just to see Prince Anthony. Anthony can see in their eyes the hospitality of the ans that never been changed since before. His heart melt and say’s I don’t want to do this but his mind contradict and say’s revenge, do it.
So, the plan started they scattered the freeze dust in the village and everyone is shouting and start to freeze. Because of the noise outside, Queen Marie together with King Jerome go out and check things out. Both of them were shocked for what they have seen. They can’t explain their feelings; they felt mix emotions of anger and happiness. Anger for what Anthony done and happy because his back. Queen Marie catches Anthony’s attention.
“She never change, she’s still beautiful and always be.” Anthony said in his mind.
Anthony’s angriness explode sawing Marie with his ex best friend Jerome. He let his feelings and emotions control him, without a doubt he grab his sword and kill Jerome and Marie. Butch saw it and shout.
“Stop”, but it’s too late.
“Mom, Dad, wake up, wake up, do you hear me?“Please wake up, don’t leave me alone, You bastard evil ant killed my parents, why?” Butch shouted while crying. Lucifer break down the silence, he was shouting for victory together with butterflies. That day the village was filled with blood and sadness everyone saw what happened but doesn’t have the chance to save their king and queen, for a reason of they cannot move.
Anthony and Lucifer’s plan work out. Everything fits on their plan. They force ants in the village to take the medicine and would never notice that they were controlled by the Evil’s, instead they treat it as their God’s. And butch was live in a jail. Years passed by Anthony realize and regret for what he have done. He blames himself and realized how cunning he is for the past years. Evening, Anthony came to the triangular the place where Butch locates. Anthony explained everything but Butch didn’t trust him.
“So let’s have a deal? set me free from this prison, I will forget everything that you’ve done except for killing my parents”. Butch said.”Ok, just give me a little bit time”. Anthony said. Anthony go back to his house and get the key. Midnight, Anthony wake up and 80 i the triangle and set Butch free. He brings Butch to his house and there, they planned their plans. Anthony stole antidotes and provides each ant in their village. Lucifer didn’t notice anything about Anthony’s plan.
Midnight, Butch and Anthony spread the antidote to every ant while sleeping. Finally ants wake up from reality. They can’t believe it, the spirit of sadness and evilness in the soul of village is highly felt. All they want is to escape this situation but they need to act like the same that nothings change.
One day, Lucifer is not around. They grab the opportunity to settle and make plans how they can from Lucifer’s hand. All ants was preparing, Anthony and Butch manage it. Anthony stole a piece of contor and invites Lucifer for a dinner when he came back and make his move. Poor Lucifer doesn’t have an idea and never expect for something. Anthony succeed in his plan, they treat Lucifer like a dog as a revenge for his evilness.
They put Lucifer in the triangle without giving foods until his last day. The village was back to its real image. Butch and Anthony collaborated for a good purpose and for all ants’ sake. The kings never let those thing happened again in their village. King butch forgive and forget all, and treat Anthony as his second great father.
After 10 years the village has a great improvement, because it was perfectly manage by two great kings. Butterflies help and lived with ants. There is one butterfly that catches king Butch heart. He was deeply in love with Susay. Susay is wearing a crown and has rainbow colored wings. Butch realized that an ant and butterfly could be since there is no rule. After a month of courting Butch and Susay is officially a couple and prepared their wedding.
Everyone in their village was so happy, because it is not impossible for them to experienced a wedding because they can marry any animals as long as they love each other. A month passed by, Susay get pregnant, the village is celebrating for their king and queen.
The maternity time has come, everyone was so what could be the image of the child for having a ant father and a butterfly mother. Queen came out carrying a child and introduces his Son to everyone. Their son has wings and feet, as if it was the perfect combination of his parents. The villagers used to call him dragonfly. “You can’t escape your destiny, but you can make things right according to your purpose”.
Puss in Boots – One of the Classic Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault
Puss in Boots is one of the classic fairy tales by Charles Perrault. It is about a miller who dies and divides his wealth amongst his three sons. The first son gets the mill, the second gets a donkey, and the last born gets a cat. The youngest son is annoyed with the cat as inheritance and strategizes to kill him and selling his skin. However, the cat promises to make him proud as long as he gets it boots. With boots and a little bag, the cat sets off to make his master proud. Perrault’s Puss in Boots is a clear illustration that even the smallest gift can yield the most significant impact. The youngest son is devastated at first by his inheritance, but later on, he learns he got the best inheritance. Formalism and mythological approaches suit best in analyzing the fairytale.
Formalist criticism is a literary approach that calls for an in-depth study of literature. It perceives literature as a unique aspect that can only be evaluated in its way. It was developed during the early twentieth century and later influenced the development of New Criticism in the 1930s. Formalists believe all elements essential for understanding a literary work are embedded in the work itself. Mostly, formalists focus on the aspect of form that entails structure, style, tone, imagery, and symbolism in a text while other literary theories examine how literature relates to external social, cultural and political aspects, formalism focuses solely on the internal elements of a literary text. Formalist critics such as Roman Jacobson and Viktor Shklovsky stressed on the importance of form in their analysis of literature (Klarer 21). Formalism is believed to be making a comeback after being displaced by other theories in the late 1970s.
Formalist approach to Puss in Boots entails examining the story’s form, structure and styles in it. Firstly, the fairytale begins with the youngest son of a miller receiving a cat as his inheritance then later he laments after realizing his eldest brother got a mill and the middle brother a donkey. The cat, however, uses trickery and deceit to bring his master wealth, power and marriage to a princess. For instance, the cat kills a rabbit and takes it to the king and says it is from Master Carabas. The cat says, “Sir, I have brought you a rabbit from my noble Lord, the Master of Carabas” (Perrault 14). The cat goes on tricking the King until the Princess is engaged to the miller’s youngest son. In this, the cat is the main character in the fairytale. Apart from deceit and trickery, the cat also portrays characteristics of bravery. He plans everything very well to make sure his master is contented. The miller’s youngest son is also another character depicting aspects of discontentment and despair. The central theme of the fairytale is that even the smallest thing can have the most significant impact. Personification as a literary device is used in the fairytale whereby the cat can speak, carry bag and wear boots.
The main benefit of the formalist approach is that it enables the reader to interpret the text without focusing on external aspects. The reader does not need to understand and relate social, cultural and political elements in the text as the meaning solely is found in the text. The approach also plays a crucial role in developing close reading and in-depth analysis skills. For instance, readers of Puss in Boots do not need to know about Perrault social background. Instead in the formalist approach, the emphasis is placed on Perrault’s language use in the fairytale. The formalist approach also has its disadvantage because it is too restrictive and prescriptive in the interpretation of meaning. It ignores historical, moral and gender aspects in literature. For instance, in Perrault’s Puss in Boots readers are restricted to analyzing the tale’s structure, form and stylistics without relating it to a particular historical period. As a result, the formalist approach does not provide a whole interpretation of literary works.
Mythological criticism also called archetypal approach is a theory that analyses a text by examining the recurring myths and archetypes, images, character and symbols in literature. An archetype refers to “a symbol usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one’s literary experience as a whole” (Frye 24). The archetypes are found throughout literary works regardless of time and place. Some popular archetypes include water, which is associated with creation, birth and resurrection, colors, numbers and symbols such as the Chinese Yang-yin that represents the union of opposite forces. Mythological critics perceive literary works as an opportunity for human beings to express their desires, expectations, and fears. The archetypal approach takes Carl Jung’s collective unconscious ideas into consideration. Jung explains how myths developed among different cultures and how they play an essential role in those cultures’ literature (Jung 23).
Mythological approach to Perrault’s Puss in Boots entails identification of various archetypes and what they represent. Fairytale is a concept many people, especially children admire although it is highly considered as a myth. Puss in Boot qualifies to be a fairytale as it has a protagonist, antagonist, magic, transformation, and archetypes such as number three. The archetype number three is evident several times in the tale. Firstly, the miller had three sons; then Puss came up with three plans to trick the king, and finally, the ogre transforms into different animals three times. The number three is often associated with unity, and often children identify themselves as number three in the family after their parents even though there may be other siblings.
Puss in Boots also explores progression from one stage of life to another. The archetypes manifest the sequence in the story that draws attention to miller’s youngest son. Millers are known for grinding maize or other grains to flour which is used to make bread, often associated with childhood. The son, therefore, is sufficiently fed and consequently no need to become independent. However, things take the wrong turn when the miller dies. The son cannot have bread and thus cannot eat which is an archetype indicating he is unprepared for the next cycle of life as a result, he turns to Puss for help. The Puss, therefore, plays a crucial role in his transformation by planning for him to swim in the river to meet the king. After swimming the miller’s son transforms into a confident Master Marquis. He also gets clothes from the king thus reinforcing his new stage of life. It also represents his acceptance in life which makes Puss, a hero of the fairytale.
One of the advantages of archetypal criticism is that it examines different symbols and what they represent in literature. Many literary works portray events which have various meanings. The archetypal approach, therefore, identifies these meanings and other symbols in a literary work. For instance, the princess in Puss in Boots is a typical aspect of a fairytale. The approach plays a crucial role in expressing various universal beliefs, feelings, and ideas concerning literature. However, the theory ignores the author’s contributions to literary work. It also tends to ignore societies influence in literature. There is also the aspect of confusion in interpreting different symbols in myths as people are often interested in concrete ideas. For instance, fairytales may be interesting for kids, but adults may question their existence.
Formalist criticism and mythological criticism complement each other in various ways. Firstly, they both entail a close reading of a text to identify multiple elements. Formalism involves close reading to determine the form, themes, and imagery in literary works. Mythological approach, on the other hand, entails close reading but in pursuit of the meaning of symbols and objects used in literature. Also, both approaches ignore author and society’s contributions in literature as they focus on literature itself. For instance, in Perrault’s Puss in Boots, readers applying both formalism and mythological approach will ignore the author’s place of birth, education, work and relationships. The two approaches have brought to light some aspects I had not considered in the text. For instance, the formalism approach has brought out the central theme of the fairytale which has also helped bring out the style of personification which is the act of attaching human characteristics to inanimate objects and animals. In the tale, Puss is an animal that can speak and walk in shoes. The mythological approach helps to understand the concept of archetypes and the various types of archetypes ranging from numbers to symbols.
In conclusion formalism and mythological approach are necessary for understanding various aspects of Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault. Formalism approach entails the study of the structure and language of literary text without examining the external factors such as social cultural or political influences. Mythological approach on the other hand often focuses on the recurring archetypes, images and symbols found buried in the human mind such that they result in the same response in everyone. Some universal archetypes include; colors, numbers, and symbols such as the Chinese Yang-yin. In Perrault’s Puss in Boots, formalism helps in understanding the plot as well as literary stylistics such as personification. Mythological approach assists in the identification of various archetypes such as number three and the Puss as a hero.
The Brave Rebellion of Women in the Story of Blue Beard and the Arabian Nights
When one accomplishes something on their own, they are praised much greater than those whom are merely handed it. Individuals who take it upon themselves to make a significant change to better themselves or others, are greatly praised or looked up to. We can label these persons as role models. A role model is one who is looked to by others as an example to be imitated. These epitomes are at work for the greater good of everyone, and are usually selfless. They are leaders and encouragers, while molding the perfect example of a hero. Not only do we find these heroes in everyday life, but we discover them through analyzing literary characters as well. In Perrault’s tale “The story of Blue Beard” and Muhsin Mahdi’s “The Arabian Nights” we are introduced to a handful of characters each with their own particular role in regards to the moral and theme of the work. In both works, we find two “role models”: The Wife in “The Story of Blue Beard” and Shahrazad in “The Arabian Knights”. Both are considered heroines to these tales, and possess contrasting roles as women in their society.
In Perrault’s “The Story of Blue Beard” we are swept into a world of disobedience, shock and sorrow. Blue Beard is a wealthy man, cursed by his ugly appearance; A blue beard. “Once on a time there was a man who had fine town and country houses, gold and silver plate, embroidered furniture, and coaches gilt all over; but unfortunately, this man had a blue beard, which made him look so ugly and terrible, that there was not a woman or girl who did not run away from him.” (5, Perrault) It is said Blue Beard had been married before, but no one knew of any of his wives. Though we are made to sympathize with him, he later finds “love” in the character of The Wife. The Wife’s character is not colorful, nor does she possess any distinguishing qualities. Despite this, they marry and she becomes Blue Beards partner and confidant. After their marriage, Blue Beard tells his wife that he is to take a journey and that in his absence, she is to care for his home. He gave her free run of his castle, except for one room that if she opened, she was to be severely punished. Of course she opens the door finding the dead bodies of his previous wives, and upon his finding out, she is to be put to death. Our tale ends with her creating a distraction, and hailing to her sisters and brothers to save her. Her brothers barge into the castle and kill her husband, Blue Beard. Post death, The Wife is awarded all of Blue Beards fortune. “It was found that Blue Beard had no heirs, and so his widow remained possessed of all his property. She employed part of it in marrying her sister Anne to a young gentleman who had long loved her; another part, in buying captains’ commissions for her two brothers, and with the rest she married herself to a very worthy man, who made her forget the miserable time she had passed with Blue Beard.” (56, Perrault) The Wife is considered our heroine here. She is looked at as a savior because she rid her town of this evil villainous man, and in the end prevailed with not only her own safety, but his riches as well.
In Mahdi’s “The Arabian Nights” we are set in an Arabian society where we are introduced to a tale of sorrow, anger and a surprising savior. In “The Arabian Nights” we hear the tale of King Shahryar, a great ruler betrayed by his wife. During a visit from his brother, our kings sibling inquires the knowledge that his ruling brother’s wife had been cheating on him every time he went away to hunt. Upon telling his king brother this, Shahryar is so angered, he not only puts his wife to death, he makes an oath that for as long as he rule, he is to marry a different woman every night, and in the morning put her to death. His self-vengeance became a plague to all the women in his land. “He continued to do this until all the girls perished, their mothers mourned, and their arose a clamor among the fathers and mothers, who called upon his head, complained to the creator of the heavens, and called for help on him who hears and answers prayers.” (14, Mahdi) After his constant routine, we finally see a hero arise in the character of Shahrzad. Shahrzad was the daughter on the king’s vizier. She insists on her father marrying her to the king because she believed she can put an end to this merciless killing Shahryar insisted upon. Even though her father refuses, she in persistent about this matter as if it is something she was made to do. She barters with her father by saying: “Such tales don’t deter me from my request. If you wish, I can tell you many such tales. In the end, if you don’t take me to King Shahryar, I shall got to him by myself behind your back and tell him that you have refused to give me to one like him and that you have begrudged your master one like me.” (20, Mahdi) Shahrzad takes it upon herself to save the lives of hundreds of innocent women and is confident that it will be her whom saves them from demise. Soon after her marriage, she unleashes her plan to tell the king a never ending story every night to keep his curiosity afoot and have him wanting to hear more the next night. Her plan is successful, and for endless nights she tells her stories, with the help of her sister encouraging each tale and ends up saving the many maidens of her country for nights on end until finally the king trusts her and marries her. Shaharzad is viewed as a hero to women, and to her nation as a whole as a savior from a brutal, ruthless king.
When examining the two works, we are approached by two very different characters. Though both are different, the two are considered role models in both of their tales. Relating back to an earlier statement, a role model is at work for the greater good. They are selfless and honorable. In Perrvalts “The Story of Blue Beard” we are encouraged to see The Wife as a hero because she contributed to the death of this dangerous, evil man. However, we skip over quite a few key facts. One huge factor is that it is not her that kills him, it is her brothers. Not only that, but her husband would of never wanted to kill her if she hadn’t disobeyed him. Her breaking the “rules” led to her close encounter with death. Not only is she deceitful, but she claimed all of his wealth in the end, and through her “trauma” became wealthy. When considering a role model, some words that come to mind are honest, loyal, kind, selfless, encouraging, loving and sense of self. The Wife does not possess any of these qualities. Even though her disobedience did lead to the events that brought Blue Beard to his end, it was not her who set an example in this story. She was disloyal and deceitful, and through that ended up rich in the end. Money seems to be the overall “winning” here, and not the development of a hero.
Shahrzad however, is a different kind of hero. After seeing firsthand what was happening to the women in her country, she took it upon herself to make a stand. Not only did her wit and intelligence help her concoct her plan, but her selflessness put the wellbeing of the women of her country before the well-being of herself. Humble about her intelligence, she knew on her own that telling her stories would make a difference. She maintained confidence the whole time, while secretly possessing the role as a leader for women. She made her decision on her own, and stuck to it, not for her, but for everyone as a whole. Showing respect and concern for others is just two of the many qualities Shahrzad possessed that labeled her a hero. Shahrzad is the perfect example of what a real “Role Model” is. Her actions are those that should be admired, and her selflessness and kindness is that which should be mimicked.
Shahrzad is depicted as a greater role model in these works over the character of The Wife. The Wife’s character is almost one that is entitled and arrogant. She is deceitful and lacks any quality a role model should possess. She should not be considered a hero at all. Shahrzad on the other hand is everything a role model she be. She demonstrates a perfect example others should follow, and in doing her good deed, she never once thought about it being for herself. Everything about her character should be praised and admired, not only from other characters in the book, but by readers as well. She is the perfect example of a female hero and role model. Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating. This is exactly what Shahrzad does. She educates us, the king and her people in order to prove a point. Shahrzas is presented as a heroine more successfully+*- and efficiently in The Arabian Nights than The Wife in The Story of Blue Beard.
The Issues with Lack of Progressiveness in Maleficent
In this version of the Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is betrayed by her “true love,” a man named Stefan, who mercilessly cuts off her wings for the king in return for becoming his heir. Maleficent is hysterical when realizes what happened, so, when Stefan and his queen have baby Aurora, she seeks revenge with a curse that will put her into a death-like sleep on her 16th birthday, only to be awakened by true love’s kiss. As time goes by and Maleficent gets to know Aurora, she begins to regret her decision. After failing to break the curse with magic, she gives Aurora a kiss on the forehead, which to her surprise, fulfills the ‘true love’s kiss’ stipulation and wakens her. As Aurora narrates, Maleficent was ‘both the villain and the hero’ of the story after all.
Although this is a better fairy tale to tell young children, Disney’s Maleficent is not as progressive as it could be. For so long Disney films have taught children that validation and happiness only come with the love of a man, and while Maleficent directly places familial bond and female empowerment above the traditional princess / prince romantic arc, the story remains roughly the same as it is told in Sleeping Beauty.
To begin, one of the major concerns of the scholars in Mickey Mouse Monopoly is in regard to the stereotypes and ideas that Disney has constructed about gender that influences the way society views women. Maleficent tries to insert a progressive female empowerment theme into the original story’s gendered limitations, but Disney is only willing to extend the narrative of Sleeping Beauty so far. Therefore, to create a femme postive aesthetic that can also exist within the original tale, Maleficent devalues and injurs its female characters. For example, the beginning of Maleficent’s curse on Aurora goes, “The princess shall indeed grow in grace and beauty, beloved by all who meet her” (Maleficent). Aurora is given the gifts of beauty and happiness, but never intelligence, strength, or other attributes that would place value on something besides her outward appearance. Like all of the other Disney princess movies, Maleficent places more emphasis on the character’s appearance rather than their substance. According to the article “Fairytale’s Most Wanted: The Five Most Well-Known Character Types,” “Ultimately, this is the universal truth of the princess character, her virtue must be reflected by her outward appearance—she must be beautiful” (Heckel). This leads to unrealistic ideals in young children, and cements negative body images and perceptions during the most developmental years. As stated on the website, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “What [children] see affects their attitudes toward male and female values in our society, and the tendency for repeated viewing results in negative gender stereotypes imprinting over and over” (Gender in Media: The Myths & Facts). It continues to send the message that a woman’s worth lies within her looks, reinforcing traditional gender ideology and stereotypes.
Furthermore, while Maleficent does not encourage the acceptance of violence against women like past Disney movies have, it still shows images of aggression and violence against women, and arguably endorses patriarchal attitudes. In one of the most shocking scenes, Stefan mutilates Maleficent’s unconscious body, cutting off her wings and leaving her to bleed. Not only is this symbolism for rape, but utimately adheres to patriarchal attitudes and violent prerogative. Although Maleficent does not let Stefan get away with it, seeking revenge with a curse– a true moment of female power– she is eventually overcome with guilt and regret, whereas Stefan never shows remorse for his actions and never apologizes. In other words, the story paints all the male characters in a despicable light, and comes across as shallow and lazy feminism. Because the movie is trying to appeal to children, instead of an outright revenge film we get story about Maleficent learning to become good again through her sudden connection to her assaulter’s daughter. It basically teaches kids that all men are just power hungry fools, and all women who have been abused will turn evil and become hell-bent on taking revenge. According to the article, “Elements Found in Fairy Tales,” “When you think fairy tale, you think, ‘children.’ But pay close attention to the stories and you will see bigger meanings meant not just for children” (Elements Found in Fairy Tales). Maleficent tries to be a power fantasy for women who feel they have been wronged by men and wish they could take revenge, and with feminist theory, “aims to understand the nature of inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality” (Elements Found in Fairy Tales). But, because producers were only willing to stray from the original narrative so far and still appeal to the children, the movie just becomes a jumbled mess of ill-conceived ideas that kids are unable to analyze critically. If Disney really wanted to show an example of a strong woman at the center of a narrative, she should not be accompanied by being diminished or violated by male characters.
Dark Fairytale:a Midnight Dynasty Anthology Kindle Edition
In her poem “Goblin Market”, Christina Rossetti uses rhyme and structure to create a childlike presence within her twisted tale. This childlike presence allows Rossetti to cause tension and dread within her audience as the innocence within the rhyme and structure of the poem merges with the poem’s darker context. Her use of structure and rhyme also allows Rossetti to further highlight the dark nature of her characters, such as the goblin men.
Rossetti creates a childlike presence from the very first stanza of her poem. She first introduces the goblin men as they entice people, specifically young maidens, to buy their wares as they cry “‘Come buy, come buy’”. The rhyme established in this first stanza creates a childlike song that contradicts the goblin men who sing it. This song within the first stanza adds an innocence to the piece and is first dismissed by the audience as they grow tired with the song, as one eventually dismisses and grows tired of a child’s song. However, this dismissal is soon removed within the next stanza as one of the sisters, Laura, cautions “We must not look at goblin men,/ We must not buy their fruits: Who knows upon what soil they fed/ Their hungry thirsty roots?” A childlike essence is still present within the rhyme but the darker undertones of the piece are now introduced. This continues throughout the piece, a simple rhyme tainted by a darker context, which allows Rossetti to create tension within the audience through the unnatural contrast of innocent form and corrupt context. This also creates dread within the audience as the innocence brought on by the childlike essence of the piece is slowly corrupted until the goblin men’s true nature is revealed.
This unraveling of the goblin men’s true nature is greater highlighted by Rossetti’s use of structure within the monumental scene between Lizzie and the goblin men. The goblin men display their false front when they first see Lizzie. They “Came towards her hobbling/ Flying, running leaping” and “Hugg’d her and kiss’d her:/ Squeez’d her and caress’d her:” They welcome her as she tries to buy one of their fruit but when she refuses to eat the fruit, their greeting is cast aside to reveal their true nature in the next stanza over as “Their looks were evil”. Rossetti effectively positions the false front of the goblin men and their true nature side by side. This use of structure causes a greater impact within the audience as the illusion that the goblin men first presented is removed not only through reading the poem but also by allowing the audience to visually see the distinction between the false front the goblin men present and the corruption that they truly are. Rossetti’s use of rhyme within this section is also effective in highlighting the goblin men’s true nature as the stanza describing their cruel actions towards Lizzie breaks away from the childlike rhyme that dominates the poem. Rossetti effectively uses both rhyme and structure to create a childlike presence to her poem that contradicts its darker context. This allows Rossetti to cause tension and dread within her audience, as well as effectively highlight the true nature of the goblin men.
Red Riding Hood Essay – Innocent Or Guilty
Joselyn Riding is innocent in the killing of Harold B. Wolf. Even though her actions might not have not been ethically correct, they were suitable and fitting for the circumstances. Therefore Miss Riding is fully justified for doing harm to the wolf as he was a threat to her, and her grandmother and the wolf had committed the crimes of: stepping foot on the grandmother’s private property and identity theft. Additionally he incriminated the little Red Riding Hood on the way to her grandmother and therefore she only used self-defense to protect herself. In Little Red Riding Hood retold by Mary Ellen Liebheit, Joselyn Riding is a young and caring girl from Heath Meadows that has very advanced archery skills and that shows lots of love towards her ill and bedridden grandmother.
One reason that supports the thesis that the Little Red Riding Hood is innocent is that Joselyn Riding had felt threatened by the wolf, after the altercation on the way to her grandmother’s house. The Red Riding Hood had a very persistent and dependable Saturday morning. She “often walked through the forest on a Saturday morning” to visit her Granny who “was confined to bed” and who was like every Saturday expecting her visit. Therefore the grandmother “asked her physiotherapist to leave the door unlatched when she left early Saturday”. After a long walk through the “great forest”, little Red Riding Hood arrived at her grandmother’s house in “Alderly Edge”. Promptly after entering her granny’s house, she noticed that something was wrong, after hearing the “unusually gruff voice” and the “series of deathly scary coughs”. Seeing the wolf in her granny’s bed, scared her and created the emotion of worry for her grandmother. She therefore acted quickly, by opening “the closet door beside her” and got out her bow and arrow. The wolf had already “staggered out of the bed” and had moved closer and closer to the window, seeking for an escape. Due to him trying to escape the situation by “leaping toward the window” , Joselyn Riding shot him down, through a reflex, with her arrow. The thought of the wolf killing her grandmother and the wolf standing in the same room as her, scared the Little Red Riding Hood and therefore stressed her, which led to this human and natural response in such a difficult situation. Therefore she cannot be found guilty, because the wolf had created a threat and the wolf was lying in the bed instead of the grandmother who normally does when the Little Red Riding Hood comes and visits.
Another point that proves that the Red Riding Hood is innocent for killing Harold B. Wolf, that the wolf had bothered her along the way to visit her grandmother and that the wolf had intended to seek revenge on her the entire time. On her way to her grandmother’s house, the wolf had interfered by asking “Hey, what do you have in that basket, little girl?”. Since she did not allow him to have a peek at what was inside the basket for her granny, due to the fact that she is an intelligent and polite young lady, the wolf aggressively “extended a paw toward[s] the basket”. The little Red Riding Hood felt threatened and was scared of the wolf, as he had used aggression and therefore “slapped[the wolves hand] back sharply”. The wolf responded with: “I see you’re in a hurry, Red Riding Hood, so I’ll be seeing you later!”. This indicated that the wolf knew where she was going to and shows that the wolf had already been following her before, disturbing her privacy. As the wolf was attracted by the “scent of a human” and the “apple pie”, this shows that the wolf was in search for food. As the wolf did not receive any from little Miss Riding, he decided to go to her grandmother house where he would be “seeing her later”. When she arrived at Granny’s house and couldn’t find her, but found the wolf in her bed, everything made sense to her and she had the feeling that the wolf had eaten her grandmother. She panicked and tried to save her loving grandmothers life and therefore she shot him down when he was on the way out, hoping she could save her granny. The wolf had brought himself into this situation by acting aggressive and blood thirsty on the path walk and finally by creating a scene in the house.
Another valid point that convinces the wolfs guilt is: he committed multiple crimes. Joselyn Riding had found the wolf lying in his grandmother’s bed, after he trespassed into her house. By intruding into the house, the wolf went against the law from section 9 of the Theft Act 1968: breaking and entering. The law states: “entering a residence or other enclosed property through the slightest amount of force without authorization”. The wolve’s actions obviously fit to this definition. Additionally, he also committed of identity theft, by impersonating the grandmother when saying “Come in, dear” and by wearing her “nightgown”. These examples show that the obviously had the intent to apply bodily harm the Red Riding Hood, as he had shown that she was considered to be his lunch. This allowed her to use self-defence, as in her opinion, she was protecting herself from this creature wolf, who created a threat by illegally entering her grandmother’s house. It is indisputable that Joselyn Riding is innocent in the killing of the wolf because she just used self-defense, to protect herself from this wild and aggressive creature, after it had committed several crimes by illegally entering and impersonating her grandmother, incriminated her and disturbed her privacy whilst her walk and created a truly dangerous threat.
There is no debate that killing in general is never the right solution, but in this case it was the only way out for this little girl who was scared for her life and who took the right measures to stop Harold B. Wolf from doing further harm.