Fairy Tale Rapunzel

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Hair can be straight, long, short, frizzy, or curly; with different colors and textures, but in the case of “Rapunzel” it was golden and very, very long in which it took the audience to a deeper understanding of who she really was. Her hair in a way represented distress and at the same time freedom in which she strived from living in an enchanted tower in the middle of the forest. The story of “Rapunzel” is sought to be one of the most recognized fairy tales for children and parents alike. As a result the Grimm Brothers’ first version of “Rapunzel” was later revised to better reflect their critic’s choice. Fairy tale stories are mainly known by children but in fact they were destined for adults. While most critics say that the fairy tale “Rapunzel” is a children’s bedtime story it reveals that it has adult themes and that it is not merely for younger audiences but for older viewers. The story of “Rapunzel” was first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. It was later revised on 1857 in which it would “meet both critics’ approval” (Tatar pg. 372). Terri Windling depicts that“[s]cholars have shown that a number of the storytellers from whom the Brothers Grimm obtained their material were recounting ‘authored’ tales from German, French, and Italian literary sources rather than anonymous folk stories passed orally from teller to teller” (Windling pg.1). Therefore the story of “Rapunzel” was derived from other stories similar to this one and was edited for the viewers’ preference. The original focus of this story was as an “adult fairy tale” (Windling pg.1) in which case children were not a part of. According to the SurLaLune Fairy Tale website, one can “think of fairy tales as a subgenre of folklore along with myths and legends” (par. 2). Even though it was considered an “adult fairy tale,” children would be reading it more than adults. Shortly this case would bring to the conclusion that the Grimm Brothers would have to edit their story. As a result the German folklore became a children’s fairy tale bed time story. The Grimm Brother’s main intention for the fairy tale story of “Rapunzel” was mainly focused toward older audiences that would soon caught up to the children. As Wilhelm Grimm was “eager to find a wider audience” (Tatar 373) he went ahead by “deleting sexual references and making heroines more virtuously moral. Thus, in their version of ‘Rapunzel,’ they glide right over the conception of the twins, and over the fact of her pregnancy, until the children appear, without explanation, at the story's end” (Windling pg. 2). As a result their focus grew more on writing children books rather than the previous intention for scholars. Thus the second version better “emphasized the value of the tales for children, noting—almost as an afterthought—that adults could also enjoy them” (Tatar 373). The critic’s views show that the original version of the Grimm Brothers would have not “comfort a child before sleep, let alone pass the censorship rules for children’s stories” (Tierney). Very well the original version would more likely confuse their young readers where nonetheless adults would understand “premature sexuality—sex before its time” (Cashdan pg.155) being inflicted toward the “Rapunzel” fairytale. The deeper meaning to this story eventually falls onto the hands of real life. At the beginning of the story it depicts her parent’s greed towards the loss of Rapunzel therefore placing the sorceress as the surrogate mother. As Rapunzel hits puberty it is apparent that the sorceress is afraid to lose her therefore locking her away in a tower. It is then she meets the prince “[t]hus the transfer from a relationship established to a parent to that of a lover is symbolized” (Bettelheim pg 148). Rapunzel feeling guilty “spills [out] her secret” (Bettelheim pg. 148) by innocently asking a question and revealing the truth. It is then that “selfish love is wrong and always loses out, as does the sorceress’, again the child can...
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