Monthly Archives: May 2013

Let’s Sum It All Up, Shall We?

This semester had been a crazy one, that’s for sure. We have looked at so many different fairy tales from all corners of the world and have deciphered each and every one of them till we could decipher no more. I have learned so much about fairy and folk tales from this class. I have truly been enlightened through all this reading and writing that we have had to do. I have learned how to analyze a story by using Freudian and Jungian psychology. I have learned how to catch the meaning of a motif, and be able to tell a person all about it till they’re sick of me talking. ( I’m actually pretty proud of this new skill!) And I have learned how to compare stories that seem completely different to each other. Each fairy tale we read was special in its own way, and this allowed me to discover the different cultures that lie within those stories. I am so thrilled that I got the privilege to enjoy this class to the fullest. I sincerely recommend this class to anyone who has a passion for psychology, fairy tales, and a variety of cultures! 

A Variety of Tales

This week we had two visitors come and tell our class stories. The first person we had was Dr.Ochieng. He was so very interesting! He made us sing and dance and told us african fairy tales. It was probably the best class I have ever had, certainly a real treat! The other person that came in was Dr. Alles. He was also pretty interesting, but the stories he was telling us were pretty difficult to chew. The stories he told us were Indian stories. And no, not Native American Indian. Indian, as in India. None of those stories really flowed well or made much sense. I believe it might of been partly because some of the story might have gotten lost in translation. Either way, these stories had things in common! They both had community ties. Pretty much all the stories were about things that had happened in a community. Both kinds of stories described the way things were. For example, when a child asks why a monkey doesn’t swim, a story would come about as to why this was. Both types of stories had religious connections as well. They were very traditional, and showed the beliefs of each location that they came from. Finally, both types of stories were always told orally. They were passed on to different generations through a story time that they usually had a night time to signify the end of the day. Overall, I was very glad that these two Professors came in and enlightened me. When listening to the stories, I thought about the Native American stories we had read the previous week and instantly made connections between all three. They are all very much alike! The Native American stories have the exact same elements of the other two types of stories! These stories can be found on the internet and in books (because someone was nice enough to write them down so all can see, thank goodness!) so go read them! Let me know what you think! Can you find any differences? What other things do these tales have in common?
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Hier Kommt Die Sonne

Snow White is a fairy tale that has a lot of motifs and symbols in it. These symbols are typically instantly recognized in everyday life. When you see a juicy red apple you think of the poisoned apple that the witch gave to Snow White. When you see someone sleeping and kiss them awake you think of Snow White. But have you thought of the other powerful motifs that can be found in this story? Rammstein has! Rammstein created a video for their song “Sonne” that is based entirely around the Snow White tale. This video is dark and powerful.

Here, go watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIBeYoP9Wi0. 

Some of the motifs you may have not thought of before are really brought out in this video. The red shoe for example. When Snow White plants her foot on the table it’s supposed to stand for power. The power of a woman to be exact. Red shoes can also be found in many other fairy tales. This music video also demonstrates how much of a sexual figure she is. She is powerful and seemingly in control of the “dwarves”. They seem however to not mind that she is really dominating them. Another motif is the snowy mountain, and the bridal veil that she wears in her tomb. The snowy mountain represents the all seeing. The mountain is a powerful place. It is beautiful and protective. They put her on top of the mountain for that reason. The bridal veil represents the “contract” if you will, that she had with the men. It was very much like signing a wedding contract when she agreed to live with them in the story and do the cleaning and whatnot. The showing of this veil in the video represents exactly that. Though this video seems to really deconstruct what we know to be the story of Snow White, I have to say it is right on the mark for telling the unknown story. I really enjoy all the alternate areas this video explores. I hope you do too. 
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