Gender Stereotypes in 'Rapunzel'
Essay from the year 2013 in the subject Literature - Comparative Literature, Boston University, course: Fairy Tales and Literature, language: English, abstract: In classic fairy tales, the main character is, more often than not, a female figure. She is usually innocent, sweet, and beautiful, and the tale revolves around her. Beneath this surface, however, one can see many different depictions of female figures in fairy tales. Fairy tales evolve over time through different versions told by different authors, and 'Rapunzel' is no exception. One of the very first renditions of the tale appeared as a short story by the Italian writer Giambattista Basile, published in 1637. However, the story did not gain popularity until after 1857, the year it was published by The Brothers Grimm. This later version differed from its predecessor because of its depiction of females as weak and helpless, reflecting society's concrete view of gender roles at the time in which it written. The story essentially evolved from Basile's neutral standpoint to a misogynistic tale that is the most common version of 'Rapunzel' today. The Grimms' version of 'Rapunzel' was also the first to be targeted to children. Therefore, their rendition continued to gain popularity as it was passed from one generation's children to the next, which contributed to how it became the most well-known version of the story. Attempts at eliminating the gender bias present in the Grimms' version and restoring the original tale through modern retellings of the story have been made, and one of these attempts is the Disney film Tangled. However, these efforts ultimately fail since society is most comfortable with the version they know so well, which includes the use of heroic male characters and weak females. In the version of 'Rapunzel' by The Brothers Grimm, the reader is ultimately taught that women are nothing without men. This is not an accurate or appropriate representation of females, but this version's success suggests that it is a concept that society continues to support today.
Weiterlesen weniger lesen