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Read the following fairy tale” Little Snow-White”, then read the assignment details below.
Once you’ve read the story, write a brief analysis (maximum of 500 words) of the story from archetypal theory’s perspective. You cannot use the read response perspective as it is being used below as an exemplar. The aim is to point out an interpretation of the text that might not be obvious to readers without applying this particular perspective. You may begin your analysis with a thesis statement like this: “When examining “Snow White” from a __________ perspective, it becomes clear that….” And then support your statement with at least three specific examples.
Please read the following exemplar (written from a reader response perspective) and review the rubric for the assignment before submitting your analysis.
Note: this example is written from a reader response perspective which necessitates use of first person. The other theories do not since they are not based on your own experiences. Also note you do not need to include parenthetical citations for this analysis since you are all working from the same story.
When examining “Snow White” from a reader response perspective, it becomes clear that Snow White serves as a warning to children (specifically girls) about the dangers of vanity. Although Snow White’s goodness is tied to her beauty, her desire for beautiful things nearly kills her.
I read many fairy tales as a little girl, and the one message that I received over and over was that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly, so when I read “Snow White,” even as an adult, I expect that in fairy tales, the beautiful people are good and the ugly people are bad. However, in this story, the queen is both evil and beautiful, but her vanity, and desire to be “fairest of all” turns her into a hateful would-be murderer and cannibal, as is evident when she thinks she is eating Snow White’s heart and lungs.
Snow White herself, is depicted as a good girl because she is willing to be a good housekeeper for the dwarves. I tend to balk at this estimation of goodness because as a modern woman, I don’t like the idea that women are only valued for their domestic skills, and think the dwarves should be willing to protect her even if she is not a good housekeeper. However, although she is “good” she is also vain. When the wicked queen tries to trick her, she doesn’t tempt her with goods that will make her housekeeping job easier; she tempts her with trinkets: pretty silk bodice laces, a comb, and a “beautiful apple.” In spite of the dwarves warnings, she falls for the queen’s tricks and “dies” from eating the poisoned apple. It appears to me that she is being punished for her vanity and desire for things that are not “domestic.”
After the prince rescues Snow White, they punish her evil step mother by forcing her to dance to death in hot iron shoes. I am of course horrified by how gruesome this punishment is. I realize that children in the time of the Brothers Grimm would be more accustomed to death, pain, and the general brutality of life, but I still find the punishment shocking given the fact that I was raised to believe that children should be sheltered from violence. This suggests to me that the evil queen’s punishment is not just a horrifying lesson for children about the dangers of vanity, but a warning for Snow White as well.