Snow White

An analysis of the original tale of “Snow White” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

This paper examines how Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Kinder und Hausm’rchen (Children’s and Household Tales), published in 1812, is one of the most recognized and influential books ever circulated in German and how, today, these classic fairy tales are still told to children around the world. In particular, it looks at one of the tales that has endured many changes since the original was written, `Snow White`. It discusses how, although modernizations of `Snow White` have become distorted from the original Brothers Grimm version, `Snow White` in all its forms continues to be recognized as one of the greatest fairy tales in history; it transcends the bounds of time and culture to remain a popular and relevant tale to both children and adults alike today. It also looks at how although `Snow White` can be considered an important part of German history and can be analyzed to find hidden meanings, sometimes it must be viewed the way a child sees it `as a magical fairy tale.`
`Because of the symbolism hidden throughout the story, various aspects of Snow White can be interpreted in many different ways. Although nothing is told about her relationship with her father, it can reasonably be assumed that it is `competition for him which sets stepmother against daughter` (Bettelheim 203). The Queen seeks reassurance in the mirror by asking it regularly `Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?`(Grimm 2). She equates beauty and desirability with worth. When the mirror unexpectedly answers, `You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Little Snow-White is still A thousand times fairer than you`, the Queen instantly feels threatened by her youthful and innocent daughter.`