Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blue Beard: 2 Stars

 Of all the fairy tales I have read in class, the versions of Blue Beard are the darkest tales by far. I am a huge fan of horror films, yet I was still taken aback by the gory tale. The version I preferred the most to the other versions of Blue Beard is ‘Mr. Fox’ by Joseph Jacobs.
I found Jacob's version of Blue Beard written in a very pleasant style that is almost poetic in it’s rhythmic pattern. Unlike the Grimm’s version, ‘Fitcher’s Bird’, Jacob does not blatantly state how the woman heroine is “clever and cunning” (Tatar pg. 149). Instead, he let’s her actions speak for themselves by describing her uncovering the true Mr. Fox. She does this on the day of signing their marriage contract to reveal his murderous character, unlike the ‘Robber’s Bride’ tale where she tells her father before the group of family and friends.
She takes it into her own hands and not depend on other’s around her, depending on her intelligence and tact to reveal the evil man. This is not so in the ‘Robber’s Bride’ tale because she does not discover the truth on her own, but with the help of an old woman she discovers the murderous man’s true intentions.
For this reason, I disliked the ‘Robber’s Bride’ version. I found the only positive depiction of a lead female character was that her gut feeling told her she did not like the evil man. It mde her appear weak and depend on those around her to see the truth.
As for the Grimm’s tale, I disliked it because when the evil sorcerer took each of the sisters, it only took a touch to get them to come away with him in his basket. Too me, this seems like it symbolized the ease of an evil man to seduce naïve women, reminiscent of the motifs of Little Red Riding Hood.
Although I preferred ‘Mr. Fox’ over the other versions of Blue Beard, I actually disliked all of them over many other tales we have read so far in class. I disliked the versions of Blue Beard in general because of it reaffirming the fears of marriage to young girls that other tales attempt to calm, such as Beauty and the Beast (Tatar pg. 139). The Blue Beard tales just do not fit the mold I have of what a fairy tale is because of this reaffirming of children’s fears.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rammstein's Snow White

The tone of the music video was intense. The intensity set the mood of the ‘tale’ in the video, which felt a lot heavier than the Snow White fairytales. The main character(s) of the video is also different than the tale. Instead of the main character being the beautiful, kind, and lovely Snow White, the video focused on the dwarf’s perspective in a darker version of the tale.
The Snow White presented in Rammstein’s music video was amusingly dressed in the Disney’s Snow White’s costume. Why amusing? As soon as I see the costume, my mind puts Disney’s Snow White’s kind and pure personality into the Snow White in the music video…and that is quickly turned up side down by the contrasting personality of Rammstein’s Snow White. This Snow White, although appears to be the symbol of a truly innocent young woman, she is actually has the persona of the evil stepmother.
I laughed when I considered the correlation to the ‘false Snow White’ and Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf as a ‘false gentleman’. Rammstein’s music video appears to visually depict a Snow White fairy tale, however expressing the moral of the Little Red Riding Hood’s fairytale.

What also struck me was the difference in the ending. Technically both show Snow White dead inside a class coffin and awoken from her sleep. However, the feeling at the ending of the tale and video are so very different. On the one hand, the Snow White fairytale is triumphant and happy, and on the other the video’s ending was sad and downtrodden with the heroes (dwarfs) loss against the villain (Snow White).
Rammstein’s video strikes down what we think of when we see the imagery of Snow White, and manipulates it into something as twisted as the contorted tree in Rammstein’s video. The symbol of Snow White is replaced by the symbol of the Evil Queen. This is further emphasized by the adoration Rammstein’s Snow White has for the poisonous, tempting red apple- forcing the dwarfs to polish her coveted bundle.
The symbol of the apple is contorted just as Snow White as well as similar. The fairytale’s apple is the sign of temptation power, and although the apples in the video also symbolizes the temptation of power, it is a symbol of the accomplishment of attaining such power which is literally represented by the video’s Snow White’s power over the dwarfs.

After comparing the vastly different depiction of Snow White between the fairytale and the music video, I prefer the fairytale version of Snow White. The video, although eye opening, distorts the classic tale too much for my taste. I appreciate the format of the fairytale and maintaining the magic within its format over its distortion.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jung and Fairy Tales

Oh Jung you smartie-pants! 
Your ideas have really helped when taking a closer look into fairy tales and folklore. Jung believed that fairytales gave us more insight into the collective unconscious that we all share. His concept of the ‘collective unconscious’ allows us to really dig deep into the understanding of fairy tales. As mentioned in class, fairy tales are “the purest and simplest expression of the collective unconscious psychic processes” (Dr. Esa and Dr. Mazeroff ). What does this mean?

Fairy tales allow us to look into the human psyche’s collective unconscious, which is the unconscious that is shared by all people all over the world and time. Jung believed that the ‘collective unconscious’ is universal memories that are built into all human beings (according to our guest speaker, Dr. Mazeroff). In other words, it is not a learned concept, but actually inherently within us before any other influences in an individual’s life.  To assist in uncovering the essence of the collective unconscious, fairy tales possess archetypes which are universal images or forms that are within fairy tales.

Archetypes within the tales are symbols that help us to reach the ‘collective unconscious’ concepts the tales represent. For example, the famous mirror in Snow White symbolizes vanity, and the primeval forest archetype found in stories such as Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood symbolizes the unconscious or the unknown of the ‘adult-world’ (Dr. Mazeroff). These symbols are universal and are used in fairy tales across cultures and time periods- which makes sense since it applies to the ‘collective unconscious which is also universal. (This was further explained in class by Dr. Esa when he explained that the concept of snow is not universal since it is not present across the world, however the concept of ‘bad weather’ or ‘potentially dangerous’ weather could be an archetype that is expressed in the use of ‘snow’.)

The Jungian psychoanalysis apply the concept and use of fairy tales to one’s psychological strive for individualism. They believe that fairy tales are the best way to understand the collective unconscious that helps one understand themselves and their personal unconscious’s struggles and difficult aspects of the self. Fairy tales, according to Jung’s ideas, help the individual basically reach a sound psychological state where they are able to adapt to the world around them properly deal with any psychological dilemmas that may occur.