An Analysis of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
According to Bruno Bettelheim, the form and structure of fairytales suggest images to the child by which “he can structure his daydreams and with them give better direction in life” (1). In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the film contains animals that sing and dance, little dwarf men, and a beautiful princess, however it also contains dark scenes of death and transformation. Primarily based for a child audience, Snow White teaches children many valuable lessons such as the importance of cleanliness, and friendship that will enable them to shape their values in life and choose which path they want to follow. Although in the bigger picture Snow White offers the message through examples of isolation and polarization that even in unfavorable situations if one makes the best of it, eventually good will supersede evil.
In the Disney version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a Wicked Queen calls out to her magic mirror to ask who was the fairest maiden in the land, in hopes it would reply she was indeed fairest. However in clothes of rags, hair a mess, a maiden, Snow White was still deemed the fairest in the land. The Queen becomes furious that Snow White is still considered fairest and devises a plan to have her killed. As the story begins, the Queen sends a hunter out into the forest with Snow White to have her killed, and bring back her heart as proof.
Bettelheim claims that the modern child often feels isolated (5). Isolation occurs in Snow White when she is lead into the woods by the hunter, unaware that she is supposed to be killed. The hunter exclaims “I cannot do it, it’s the Queen! She will stop at nothing! Go! Run! Far away and never return!” This leaves Snow White running frantically through the woods where she encounters scary shadows, birds and creepy creatures in the night. Snow White eventually awakens on the forest floor only to find herself, alone and frightened. As she cries the...
Cited: Bettelheim, Bruno. “Fairy Tales and the Existential Predicament.” Marjorie Ford, John Ford. Dreams and Inward Journeys. Pearson, 2007. 1-6.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Dir. William Cottrell, Walt Disney. Perf. Adriana Caselotti Lucille La Verne. 2009
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