1. Maria Tatar, in Off With Their Heads!, writes: "F airy tales are not written in granite. My own experience has shown that we continue to rewrite the tales as we reread them, even though the words on the page remain the same. But it is important to remember that what we produce in our retellings and rereadings discloses more about an adult agenda for children than about what children want to hear. Thus fairy tales may not offer much insight into the minds of children, but they often document our shifting attitudes toward the child and chart our notions about childrearing in a remarkable way. It is these discursive practices, as they are embedded in children's literature, that invite reflection as we read to a child or when we put a book into a child's hands." Is this statement true? Do fairy tales reflect child or adult values?
2. "The dwarfs, Snow White's rescuers, are the helpers who seem to come into our lives magically, just at the moment we need them. In the ‘real world,’ these helpers may be therapists, friends, relatives, mates, ministers, or just a stranger on a bus. In the story of Snow White, the dwarfs are humble, nonthreatening, empathic, understanding, nurturing men with qualities that present a true contrast to those of the wicked queen. The dwarfs are miners. They dig deep into the earth, seeking precious gems and metals. They help Snow White mine for what is precious in herself. The dwarfs bring Snow White down to earth. They watch over Snow White and try to guard her from her envious mother. They warn her, they support her, and give her a role, a purpose in life." In The Snow White Syndrome, Betsy Cohen focuses our attention on family in the tale. In fact, most fairy tales seem to be mirrors for life, teaching us valuable lessons about... [continues]
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