Monday, December 1, 2014

Blog Entry 11

Looking back on all of the blog entries and assignments for this FYS course, I learned a lot. I learned that fairytales are not just “fun and games” and bedtime stories told to young children. They have a deeper meaning and a deeper connection to life. Sometimes fairytales include the coming-of-age of a woman, the menstrual cycle, oedipal conflicts, rape, and rags to riches, magic, sorcery, and more. There is a meaning to all fairytales. I have learned that Walt Disney altered and changed a lot of the fairy tales made by the Grimm brothers. This was because Walt Disney wanted the fairy tales to be more appealing and children friendly.

            When having to complete the oral presentation of The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim “The Jealous Queen in ‘Snow White’ and the Myth of Oedipus,” I learned about a curse cast on a haughty father in relation to the evil stepmother in Snow White. “Snow White’s story teaches that just because one has reached physical maturity, one is by no means intellectually and emotionally ready for adulthood, as represented by marriage. Growth and time are needed before the mature personality is formed and the old conflicts are incorporated. Only then are they ready for a partner of the other sex, and the intimate relation with them needed for the achievement of mature adulthood.” Those parents who (like the queen) act out parental oedipal jealousies nearly destroy their child and certainly destroy themselves. In the end, the vain, jealous, and destructive queen is forced to put on red-hot shoes and then dance until she dies. Untrammeled sexual jealousy, which tries to ruin others, destroys itself (as symbolized not only by the fiery red shoes but by death from dancing in them). Symbolically, the story tells that uncontrolled passion must be restrained or it will become one’s undoing. Only the death of the jealous queen (the elimination of all outer and inner turbulence) can make for a happy world and rid oedipal jealousies of child and mother.
            This class was very interesting to be in and I enjoyed it. We have grown as a class and we are all now friends inside and outside of the classroom.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Entry 10

The cartoon I found online that shares the same “Rapunzel” motifs was of the video “English Talking Book - Rapunzel” by the cartoonist and YouTuber ‘APPUSERIES.’ This video is both similar and different to that of the Grimm version of “Rapunzel.”
            In the YouTube video, there is a farmer and his wife. They stole fruit from a witch’s garden. The witch then threatened them that if they steal from her again she would turn them into rats. She did not make a deal with them that they could take as much fruit or vegetables from the garden in exchange for their first born child, like in the Grimm version. Instead, she told the farmer and his wife that she would let them go unharmed if they agreed to give up their first born child to her.
            As time goes on, the witch names the child Rapunzel, just like in the Grimm version. Then she locks the girl in a tower. The girl grew up to beautiful with long, golden hair. The only person who Rapunzel was familiar with was the witch. She would come to the tower every day and call out “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” The witch would climb up Rapunzel’s hair to get into the tower.
            Another difference with this story and the Grimm version is that the prince that is in the Grimm version hears Rapunzel’s voice and follows it. In the YouTube story, the prince passes by the witch and his curiosity got the best of him as to what she is up to. But similarly to the Grimm version, the prince decides to use what the witch says: “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” He was able to climb up to her room.
            The prince and Rapunzel fell in love at first sight and began to secretly meet every day after the witch left. Then Rapunzel mistakenly said the witch that she is much heavier than the prince. The witch was infuriated and cut off Rapunzel’s hair and sent her off deep into the forest. In the Grimm version, Rapunzel was sent out into a desolate land.  Further into the YouTube video, the prince found the witch waiting for him at the tower and she cast a spell on him to lose his eyesight. In the Grimm version, the prince was taken up by the witch to the tower using Rapunzel’s hair and then fell out the window by surprise. He fell into a thorn bush and lost his eyesight from that.
            Days later, Rapunzel found the prince wondering around the forest and wounded. She started to cry about his eyesight being gone. Her tears cured his blindness just like in the Grimm version. They found love within each other again and went away to the prince’s kingdom and lived happily ever after.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blog Entry 9

“The Robber Bridegroom” is one of the versions of “Bluebeard.” This was about how a miller having a beautiful daughter who should get married by anyone of his interest. It turn out that this rich bridegroom was of his interest, but he was also a murderer. The daughter found out he was a murderer by going to his house in the forest and discovering his hidden secret. She even saw him kill a maiden. There to warn the beautiful daughter was a bird; then an old woman helped her to escape the murderer bridegroom’s home. He was executed because at the wedding celebration, the daughter told the people of her “dream” that she experienced at the murderer’s home.
            In the fairytale “Fitcher’s Bird,” a sorcerer disguised himself as an old poor beggar to lure women back to his home. He found three sisters at house and put one of them in a basket to take back with him. He gave her the keys to all of the rooms in his house but warned her about opening one of the doors. He forbid her to go in the door but still gave the daughter the key to the door. She opened the forbidden door and discovered a large basin in the middle of the room with cut-up women in it. The daughter was so shocked that she dropped the egg that the sorcerer had given her before he left. The egg was stained with blood because she dropped in it in the room. The sorcerer chopped her up because she disobeyed his orders and found out she went into the room. He then lured the next sister into his basket and took her to his home. She did the same thing the first sister did. The sorcerer tricked the next sister, but this time it was different. This sister was able to put the body parts of her sisters back together and not drop the egg when she had seen the basin. She was set to marry the sorcerer but outwitted him and pretended to be a bird out in the forest. He and his house were set to flames by the three sister’s family.
            In the fairytale “Bluebeard,” there is a man with a bluebeard who has been known to being married to several women before. The youngest daughter of a family he knows thought Bluebeard was an agreeable man and decided to marry him. He had to go away on a business trip, so he gave his new wife the keys to all the rooms in his country house. There was a catch to this though, he forbidden her to go into one door and just one door only. But curiosity got the best of this young woman and she opened the door and dropped the key in blood. The room was full of his previous wives’ heads. The key was stained in blood and Bluebeard found out about this. He was to kill his new wife but she had to “pray.” Her praying led to calling out to one of her sisters to have her brothers save her. Thus, her brothers killed Bluebeard and saved the youngest sister.
The actual fairytale “Bluebeard” by Charles Perrault also relates to the other two versions explained above. There is the main character being the man who is the villain, in this sense. These men trick the women to make it seem like they are being married to a man who is rich. Another similarity between all three versions of Bluebeard is that the women’s curiosity over the secrets of their men gets the best of them. They decide to enter the home and rooms of these men to discover the hidden truth about them all being murderers. The keys represent temptation or trust the female has in the male. The key also is the knowledge for finding out what is hidden. In this case, the hidden secret is that these husbands/soon-to-be husbands are murderers. The bloody basin, the dead wives in the locked room, and the drunken robbers killing the maiden, are all examples of the consequences of curiosity and the women giving into temptation.
Personally, my favorite “Bluebeard” fairytale is “Fitcher’s Bird” because the woman outwits the male in a more interesting way. She uses a skull and decorates it to get her “lover’s” attention so that he goes up to the room where it is in and then that is when her family comes to burn the house down with the bridegroom in it. I also like how the male gives the women an egg; it is just different. Why does the woman need an egg? What is it for? It gets the readers thinking about what is the importance of the egg. I liked all the versions of “Bluebeard” but “Fitcher’s Bird” was more exciting to me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blog Entry 8

"Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs 
Instead of finding a cartoon with the theme of “Little Red Riding Hood,” I chose an interesting song that conveys a different message but still involves the same theme. The song is called “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs. I would say that this song is more of a social type of song over political because it is not concerning anything about a party or groups in politics.
            I really like this song just because you can imagine your own cartoon for it. Also, it has a different type of ending and message than that of the Grimm version of the fairy tale and in the movie “Hoodwinked.” In the Grimm version, the wolf is set out to be the bad guy. The wolf symbolizes the lustful thoughts of a man or sexual predator - when analyzing the Grimm tale. The wolf is set out to be a predator and someone who Little Red Cap does not trust because he stray her away from the path into the forest to her grandmother’s house. However, in the end, a hunter cut open the wolf when he ate the grandmother and Little Red Cap and was outwitted by the three characters thus ending up dead.  But the wolf in the movie “Hoodwinked” is actually a very determinate, bold, and just a good guy who has a heart more than just being hungry. He is willing to help and protect the other characters in the movie, including saving Red and helping to rescue her Granny. This movie also had a happy ending but the wolf was just more of a good character.
            In the song by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, they focus on how people have already made their interpretations of the wolf as a horrible, hungry, flesh eating wild animal. They use this social aspect of the wolf to explain how, in reality, he is just understood as a monster but not as an animal with feelings. In the beginning of the song, the singer describes the setting of the story “Little Red Riding Hood.” They still cover the main plot and theme of the girl encountering the wolf and him following her to grandmother’s house. During the song, they describe eyes, lips, and heart. But instead of describing the ears, hands, and mouth of the wolf, the artist depicts the lips and eyes of the little girl and how that lures such a bad creature toward her. Then they just describe how big the heart is of the wolf because he really is not looking for someone to eat like in the Grimm version with his big mouth.
“What a big heart I have-the better to love you with. Little Red Riding Hood, even bad wolves can be good. I'll try to be satisfied just to walk close by your side. Maybe you'll see things my way before we get to grandma's place.”
            In short, this song just focuses on how the wolf does not want to be seen as the bad wolf. He does care and he just wants Little Red Riding Hood to understand that he is not like the rest of the wolves out there. This could symbolize men and their treatment towards women. Some women view men as pigs and predators and because of their past experiences with some men, they think this is how all men act. But the wolf is trying to get his point across that he is not like “everyone.” Just like how some men try to prove to women that they are not like the other guys they have been with. Some men actually do have a heart like the wolf in the song.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blog Entry 7

In the story of “Cupid and Psyche,” the princess Psyche is said to be more beautiful than the goddess Venus. She is the youngest of the three daughters just like that of “The Frog King.” Venus then gets jealous; so Venus sends her son Cupid to get vengeance of the beautiful Psyche to fall in love with a monster. But Venus’ plan does not go so well because Cupid scratches himself with his own arrow and then falls in love with Psyche. They are then married before Psyche was actually able to see what he looks like. She is only with her husband at night because he bans her from seeing his face. After her jealous older sisters influence her that her concealed husband Cupid may be a monster that will eat her, the princess finally looks at him. She reveals his face but holding a lantern up to it and discovers that he is not a monster, but a god. Nonetheless, he flies away from her but she is able to win him back. They both live happily ever after together.

            “Cupid and Psyche” relates to the Grimm tale of “The Frog King.” A princess is the youngest of three but is forced to marry a frog because of the act of “kindness” he did for her by fetching the ball that landed in the well. She is terribly upset about the promise she made with the grimy frog and so she throws him against the wall which then reveals a handsome prince who was cursed by a witch. The princess marries the prince and lives happily ever after just like in the story of “Cupid and Psyche.”
            In both stories, the youngest princesses of three think they have married some type of beast. But it then turns out that these men were actually handsome princes. Even though in "Cupid in Psyche" the princess marries Cupid before she has seen his looks, she was able to discover his beauty. In the Grimm tale of "The Frog King" the princess did not actually marry him until she found out he was a handsome prince after his transformation from being a frog. Both stories are in relation to the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" because both princesses find happiness and love within the "beasts" or "monsters" before or after they have discovered the man's looks.