Literary Analysis Essay on Hansel and Gretel

Topics: Brothers Grimm, Family, Stepfamily Pages: 2 (574 words) Published: July 29, 2012
The story of Hansel and Gretel is about a pair of siblings that get abandoned in the forest by their father and evil step-mother. She disliked her step-children and thought only of herself.. As the story develops, Hansel and Gretel encounter an evil witch in the forest whose plan was also mean and malicious. She plotted to feed them well and then eating them. Events occur and the wicked witch is dead. Meaning they will return home only to find out their step mother is also dead. Continuing the story it becomes more clear that the narrator‘s way of portraying evil in both the step mother and the wicked witch indicates that perhaps they may be the same person. Throughout the history of folklore stepmothers are portrayed as evil and self-centered. They always become a major complication and the outcome isn’t good at all, although “stepmothers” have an important role as the antagonist and the one who helps to develop the protagonist. In the story of Hansel and Gretel their step mothers characteristic are quite clearing; her fear of dying from starvation; fully human yet fully horrid and concerned only with her own welfare was evident in the story. It is because of the stepmother that Hansel and Gretel become so independent and brave. Also, while reading I noticed that the stepmother refers to Hansel and Gretel as, "Naughty children" after they have returned home from the first visit from the forest claiming that they slept for too long and that she and their father was worried about them. This language is used by the Grimm brothers to add to her nasty character because by blaming the children she isn’t avoiding her own incrimination. The stepmother is an important character that is used in many tales such as Snow White, Cinderella, and this one, Hansel and Gretel. Witch’s also played a major act in many folktales. For example in “Repunzel” the witch also plays a malignant role. The witches either help the character develop or are just an obstacle for the character...
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