Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I know it's not Friday, but I had a hard time trying to come up with a post about the positive elements of fairy tales. I guess it's more interesting for me to look at the dark side of them!
Today, I will be discussing the Christmas related tales from Hans Christian Andersen, the author of fairy tales such as "The Little Mermaid," "The Snow Queen," "The Princess and the Pea," and "The Ugly Duckling." Andersen has several stories set during the winter holiday season, but they are not very festive. They tend to be sad. These stories include "The Little Match Girl," "The Snowman," and "The Fir Tree."
"The Little Match Girl"
Okay, "The Little Match Girl" is one of my favorite fairy tales. It makes me emotional every time I read this tale. It's set on New Years Eve where a poor little girl goes out onto the streets, trying to sell matches to make money for her family. It's snowing and freezing, but she doesn't go home. She needs to make money or her dad would punish her. She decides to take shelter between two houses, and to keep herself warm, she lights a match. She hallucinates and sees a stove which warms her up. (Hallucinations come with hypothermia.) Then the light goes out. She lights another match and sees a holiday feast. Then another and sees a Christmas tree. Then another and sees her grandmother who had passed away previously. The little girl loves her and wants to be with her. When the match goes out, she lights the rest of the matches in a single batch, and her grandmother takes the little girl's hand. The little girl is happy as they fly into the sky--heaven.
It sounds like a happy event. But it's also sad. The next morning, her frozen body is found, but there's a smile on her face. She is dead, but her soul is set free.
See how it's emotional for me? The little girl no longer suffers because she's in heaven now, but it's sad that she must die in order to do so.
In "The Snowman," a snowman falls in love with a stove inside the house. He pines for this stove and loves it whenever the house door opens, sending some warmth out towards him. Then one day, the snowman collapses and melts. A stove poker is found within him, and it shows why the snowman had been in love with the stove. The stove poker belongs with the stove.
It's so sad for the outcome of the snowman. Dead. The snowman's love for the stove has been impossible from the start. He would only melt in the stove's presence if they are closer together. With the presence of the stove poker is shown, it makes sense why the snowman would be in love with something that would kill him.
"The Fir Tree"
In "The Fir Tree," a young fir tree is growing up in the woods. He feels so small (a hare hops over him like it's nothing and children call him a baby) and unimportant (bigger trees are chopped down to be made into ship masts.) Then one day, he is cut down and brought into a home. He is happy when he is decorated as a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. Children come in, eat candy, and open presents while they listen to a man tell the story of "Humpty Dumpty." The fir tree loves the moment and expects it to happen again the next night. But it doesn't. Instead, he's taken into the attic. He feels sad and lonely until the mice come out. He then tells them the story of "Humpty Dumpty." But when the rats come and puts down the story, the mice leave, never to return again. (Peer pressure, most likely.) In the spring, the withered tree is taken out into the yard, chopped up, and burned. The end.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Here's something funny to keep my blog light this week! It's a clip from the show DREW CAREY'S IMPROV-A-GANZA. It's so funny that I've already seen it so many times! It's a skit where two audience members provide sound effects for the two performers, Jeff (in the suit) and Ryan.
You should hear what sounds Jeff's muscles make!
Monday, December 19, 2011
If you didn't win, don't worry. I still have my "Happy Birthday Giveaway" still going on here: http://chenyanchang.blogspot.com/2011/12/happy-birthday-giveaway.html!
Friday, December 16, 2011
I will discuss cannibalism in other fairy tales.
First of all, Cannibalism is so wrong. People eating people. It's psychotic. Mad, even. Anyone remember the "Don't Come Around Here No More" music video by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? The whole tea party, hosted by the Mad Hatter, eats Alice like a piece of cake!
This music video creeped me out when I was younger! A tea party supposed to be a delightful event. Instead of being a guest, Alice becomes the dessert!
When people think about cannibalism in fairy tales, the Evil Queen in "Snow White" comes up.
In the story, the Evil Queen wants Snow White killed because of her stepdaughter's beauty. She orders the Huntsman to bring back Snow White's heart. (In another version, the lungs and liver.) Instead of killing the girl, the Huntsman kills the boar. The Evil Queen eats what she believes to be Snow White's heart.
The queen is evil AND cannibalistic. Why would she eat a human heart? It's possible that she's eating Snow White's life, taking it for her own. Or she's eating Snow White's beauty, also taking it for her own.
(Heart represents life and love.)
(Lungs represents breath of life.)
(Liver represents love in the medieval times.)
In my Creepy Villains post in regards to the witch, I did mention Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed, the woman who was accused of killing hundreds of girls and bathing in their blood. The legend has it that she's soaking in their blood to retain her youth and beauty. I can imagine the Evil Queen in this position, wanting to kill any girl more beautiful than her and bathe in their blood.
Ooh, that's creepy!
I'm really creeping myself out!
"Sun, Moon, and Talia"
In Giambattista Basile's version of "Sleeping Beauty," the king's wife is not a cannibal but she tries to make her husband one. The wife finds out that the king is having an affair with Talia (Sleeping Beauty). This affair produces two children: Sun and Moon. So the wife orders her cook to kill the children and serve them to the king. The cook serves lambs instead. The wife is all giddy as she watches her husband eat what she believes to be the bastard children.
Why does the wife want her husband to eat his children? They aren't the wife's children with the king. She doesn't want them around obviously. Maybe she doesn't want them to inherit anything. And why must she feed them to the king? Maybe she wants the children to go back into him since he's the one to produce them.
This event reminds me of the Greek myth where Kronos eats his children as soon as they are born so they won't overthrow him as the king. Maybe the wife in "Sun, Moon, and Talia" doesn't want the bastard children to become the future leaders because she wants her own children to be the next in line. (In the story, she doesn't have any children yet.)
"The Juniper Tree"
The new wife doesn't want her stepson to inherit everything. She wants her own daughter to. So she beheads her stepson and tricks her daughter into thinking that she killed him herself. Then the wife turns the stepson into stew (or blood pudding) and serves it to her husband. The husband actually eats his son.
In this tale, the wife, once again, tries to feed the husband's birth child to him. Here, she doesn't want the stepson to inherit everything. To prevent that, the child is killed and eaten. Kronos reminder again.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Also, some experts on pedophilia, such as Ken Lanning of the FBI, in writing about the seduction of children by some pedophiles, have used the term the "Pied Piper effect" to describe a "unique ability to identify with children."
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?
At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:
As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.
When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
When you think about shoes in fairy tales, the most likely image is of Cinderella's glass slippers. I can't possibly imagine a woman being comfortable in walking around in them, let alone dancing in them. Of course, if they are magical, then they probably feel like air. Charles Perrault was actually the one who introduce the glass slippers into his version of Cinderella. (He also added the pumpkin and the fairy godmother into the fairy tale.)
Glass shoes seem naked and fragile. What does this say about Cinderella?
According to http://www.surlalunefairytales.com:
"The glass slippers provided by Perrault have also been the source of great debate among folklore scholars. For years, the predominant theory was that the original tale included "fur" (French: vair) and not "glass" (French: verre), but that misprints and mistranslations from French sources have given us the famous glass slippers. Now most scholars believe Perrault intended the shoes to be made of glass to add to their magical quality (Tatar 2002)."In the Grimm Brothers' version, the shoes are made of gold which is still extraordinary. Gold is expensive. Gold is precious. Gold is sought after. Those female guests at the ball must have died of envy.
In "The Red Shoes," a girl who grew up poor, tricks her new, rich adoptive mother into buying her red shoes fit for a princess. This girl would wear these shoes to church all the time. Of course, the people around her are offended. Later on, the red shoes become her punishment when she can't stop dancing and eventually she has her feet chopped off.
The red shoes represent vanity. They shock people with the boldness of the color. In the fairy tale, the red shoes also become her punishment.
In "Snow White," the Evil Queen is punished with shoes. She is forced to step into heated iron shoes and dance until she dies. Here, she is punished for her vanity, her greed, and overall wickedness. Not only are the shoes made of heavy metal which would tire the wearer out, they are also on fire. Burn, burn, burn! The Queen can't stop dancing. Who would stand still while their feet are burning?
The heated iron shoes are meant as punishment.
Shoes may represent who you are, but be careful. They may end up punishing you!