Cinderella the Gold Digger

Though “Cinderella” can be classified as a “rags to riches” tale, I have personally never considered it as such.  To me, it has always been what we discussed in class: a story about sibling rivalry, where Cinderella must take the high road in her war against her sisters (a war that they started) to ultimately be rewarded with a marriage to the prince.  However, it can be construed as such: magic is used to help Cinderella acheive marriage, which ultimately gives her riches.  She could not have acheived riches herself; she needed the magic of the birds/tree/fairy godmother, etc., to get a dress suitable to attend the ball in the first place.  Her attendance at the ball in a splendid dress got her the prince, which makes her a (rich) princess. Had she not married the prince, she probably would have been a poor servant for the rest of her life.

If we were looking at this in realistic terms, magic is a non-issue.  However, there is little else that Cinderella could have done to acheive riches.  She would not have been able to go out and get a secretary position: her choices were limited to maid, cook, or in the worst case, prostitute.  So, she did need the prince to acheive her status.  She could not have done it on her own.

“Seeing the Voice”

I thought that Mr. Rust’s lecture was great: it gave a lot of insight into storytelling in ASL, as well as a bit of deaf culture.  I thought the sl-specific types of storytelling were really cool (ABC stories, letter name stories), etc.; they’re something that doesn’t really translate into spoken language, making them unique.  I also liked the cinematographic story-telling: this is something that I’ve seen both hearing and hearing-impaired people do before, and I never really connected it to cinema.  It is a tool that makes story-telling much more vivid, as we can see rather than imagine actions and reactions, expressions, etc.

I loved the ASL translation of Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky”– I think this telling gave it more life than any hearing person could. I also think that it’s interesting that along with all of these things we discussed, there are ASL ‘folktales’ that are all their own and are not related at all to hearing folktales from anywhere, like the ‘ABC gum’ story.  All of this really reinforced the fact that deaf culture is something that’s truly separate from other culture.

Michelle, ma belle, sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensembles…

Our assignment: to reflect on another classmates work and ideas by reading through their blog.  I read Michelle’s at mwoshner.wordpress.com and I have to say, it looks very similar to my own.  Overall, I think Michelle has done a great job explaining and elaborating on her ideas.

Michelle and I took this class for the same reasons (blog post 1), and even though our favorite fairy tales are different (mine: Rapunzel, hers: Beauty and the Beast) we both cite Disney as being one of our main sources of fairy tales throughout our childhoods.  Then comes post 2: defining  a fairy tale.  I think Michelle made a good decision in including the definitons of authorities on the subject (Zipes, d”Aulnoy) and then sythesizing them to create her own definition.  It shows that she paid attention and learned from what we read/discussed in class, and was able to adapt it to fit her own learning.

The same goes for post 3: psychology in fairytales.  Michelle very clearly summarizes what Dr. Mazeroff taught; I only wish she had given more of her own opinion on the Freudian and Jungian interpretations of fairy tales.  From her post, it is unclear where she stands, and I would be interested in hearing her opinions.

For the LRRH cartoon post, Michelle definitely blew my own out of the water.  She very clearly explained the meaning of her cartoon and why she picked it, so that I can tell what the cartoon was about even though it isn’t pictured.  And finally, the Beauty and the Beast v. Cupid and Psyche post.  Michelle chose to compare Cupid and Psyche with Straparola’s “The Pig King,” and she does so very well.  I think that she hits all major similarities and differences, and clearly shows the overall links that the two stories hold.

 

Well done, Michelle. All in all, solid work.

Here Comes the Sun…

Though Rammstein’s video “Sonne” is very different from Snow White the fairy tale, I think major parallels can be found between the two. It is very easy to interpret Snow White’s interactions with the dwarfs being sexual in nature: she sprawls across their beds to sleep, they cut open her bodice to revive her, they wash her body with oil and wine, etc. However, I think that “Sonne” takes this to a whole new level. The images of the dwarfs simultaneously serving her and being her sexual playthings is far beyond what I think the fairy tale ever implies.
In the fairy tale, the dwarfs seem to worship Snow White after her death: they put her in a glass coffin so that she is still visible, and they keep vigil on their knees around the coffin: an image that smacks of the coffin as an altar for the seven little men. This worship, however, is not particularly evident while Snow White is alive: yes, they care for her and try their best to revive her when she swoons/dies, but their days don’t seem to revolve around her. Again, Rammstein takes this to a whole new level by turning Snow White into the “Sonne”- the sun. While the dwarfs are down in the mine, the video is shot in black and white– their days are grim and gray without the sun. When they return to the cottage, however, everything is in color: and Snow White’s colors are the brightest of them all. Throughout the video, they serve her (her meal, comb her hair, shine the apples that she eats, etc.), and when they aren’t serving her, they all watch her in a kind of awe. When she dies and they lay her in the coffin, the world around them again darkens: night has come now that their sun is gone.
Various interpretations of the fairytale argue different things: some believe that Snow White and the Evil Queen are one in the same person: the dark and the light, or the active, independent woman versus the passive woman, struggling against one another for dominance. This view seems to be supported in Rammstein’s video.
There is no evil queen involved, and no poisonous apple that causes Snow White’s death. Rather, she she seems to overdose (she snorts gold powder, and their is an image of a syringe), making her directly responsible for her own demise; thus, Snow White and her antagonist are one in the same person.
While Rammstein’s video does diverge from the original version(s) of the fairy tale, it does keep major parallels: the sexual and worshipful relationship between the dwarfs and Snow White, as well as the idea that Snow White is her own antagonist.