Comparing Grimms' The Brave Little Tailor and Aschenputtel
In Germany, fairy tales were a part of day-to-day life and "the Germans have repeatedly used fairy tales to explain the world to themselves" (Zipes 75). In fact, Kinder-und Hausmärchen was indeed in nearly every household in Germany. These fairy tales written by the Grimm Brothers are known for being "German fairy tales." So what makes these tales so Germanic and others tales not? How do Grimms' "German tales" compare to others? Through evaluating two works by the Grimms, The Brave Little Tailor and Aschenputtel, we will answer these questions.
The characteristics that the Grimm fairy tales possess do seem to be quite Germanic. The German people are usually very stubborn, more violent than not, and very sarcastic. In The Brave Little Tailor, the cat carries the characteristics of a typical German. He has gone and collected partridges for the King and returned with gold for his master. He then tells his master that this gold will not make them content, that they will need more to be happy. How stubborn of the cat to be so greedy in nature. This tale begins with the death of the miller and ends with the death of the king. Although not giving gruesome details of the death, this continues to have a feeling of violence. The last trait is that of sarcasm. The cat is trying to fend for his life against being made into a pair gloves while the narrators, the Grimms, make fun of a cat being able to talk and walk like a human. This seems to be a serious part of the story; however, the Brothers make it light hearted by contributing sarcastic humor. In Aschenputtel, there is not one character that possesses all the Germanic traits. The stepmother demonstrates being stubborn when she continuously finds chores for Cinderella to do. First she puts only one bowl of lentils in the ashes and the next time she uses two bowls. The sarcasm is very light in this tale but is shown through the repetition of the pecking...
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