Snow White

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The fairy tale Snow-white and Rose-red, by the Grimm brothers, is an excellent example of a conservative, adult-centered text. In this text, the agency is with the adults and the children are seen as nostalgic images of childhood. Snow-white and Rose-red prove that children are good and follow the direction of adult figures even when the adult may not be present. The conservative nature of this text is overwhelming. The author is not challenging children to do anything; but rather teaching them that if they are obedient then they will be happy. For example, Snow-white and Rose-red are described in various ways throughout the story: “ . . . the sweetest and best children in the world, always diligent and always cheerful . . . they always walked about hand in hand whenever they went out together . . . they drew round the fire, while the mother put on her spectacles and read aloud from a big book and the two girls listened and sat and span . . . the tender-hearted children . . .” The children are described as wonderful and obedient children who help anyone in need. They are seen as a quaint family that never argues, listens to their mother read stories around a fire, and did traditional “girl” things like spinning. The ending shows that because of their good hearts they were rewarded: “Snow-white married him, and Rose-red his brother, and they divided the great treasure the dwarf had collected in his cave between them. The old mother lived for many years peacefully with her children . . .” This “fairy tale” ending shows that if you are a good child then good things will happen to you. The text does not wish for children to challenge the things that their mother tells them to do. The text reinforces a sense of good behavior and family closeness. In this family, the mother is the one with the authority and all of the agency. The girls are attentive to the instructions of their mother and follow them with haste. There are several...
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