Reblogged from Strange Goings On in the Shed:
Many of us have grown up with the older versions of fairy tales, visceral stories that were handed down from generation to generation. I certainly recall the earlier folk tales, devouring each tale with zeal, especially those of the Brothers Grimm. The Brothers collected and revised an enormous number of oral and written narratives covering a breadth of folklore traditions. Many of these have been cannibalised by Disney and the film industry, transformed into either sickly sweet concoctions or vehicles dripping in blood and nothing else. Being a lover of things gothic, this writer revels in the exploration of mysteries hiding in the great forests of the imagination. Where’s the harm in breaking through the hardened layers of bland camouflage to reveal the reality of nature ‘red in tooth and claw’. It’s plain where I stand but not a viewpoint many would agree with.
With tongue firmly in cheek I now march forward in this short and irreverent take on a few favourites. These fairy tales have a subtext that’s worth exploring. Nothing is as it seems, which makes them worth reading. They’re not sanitised but exist in forms that aren’t easy to face. We must ask ourselves why this is so.
Rapunzel is the result of a magical pregnancy due to her mother eating rapunzel lettuce from a sorceress’s garden. The child is demanded as payment by the sorceress and whisked away to a lonely tower in a remote forest at the age of 12. Her only company is the old woman until the fateful day years later a handsome prince comes by and ends up knowing her in the biblical sense. Their trysts do not remain a secret and results in Rapunzel losing her glorious hair and the prince trying to commit suicide, becoming blind and the pregnant woman being banished into the ends of the earth. The prince finds her eventually, a mother of twins, miraculously recovering his sight. They live happily ever after. What do we have here? Child trafficking and teenage pregnancy.
The familiar tale of bereavement and difficult relations with new stepfamily. Cinderella’s mother dies and her father remarries but life turns out to be very difficult for her. Relegated to the position of a servant she leads a terrible life, everything taken away from her including her father by her stepmother and stepsisters.
Continue reading: Fairy tales: Faces Glimpsed in the Forest