Critical Analysis on "Godfather Death"

Topics: Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Godfather Death Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: January 15, 2006

This story is a German fairy tale translated by Jacob Ludwig Grimm (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786-1859), brothers born in Germany. The story centers on a 13th son born to a poor old man who can not afford to feed his new offspring. In order to provide for him the poor old man must choose a godfather for his son. He first meets God and dismisses him as a godfather because according to the old man, God is not a fair person. Later he comes across the Devil and again the old man dismisses him also because according to the old man the Devil tricks humans into sin. Finally he comes across the one ‘person' that he does accept to be the godfather of his son. That person is Death and he was chosen because Death does not play favoritism with no one, rich or poor Death will take them all when their time comes.

After reading this short story a few times it became clear to me of the symbolism present. All the main characters are all male with the exception of the beautiful princess on whom he fell deeply in love with. The story even gives all the main characters a human form be it God, the Devil or Death. We do not see them in this story as supernatural beings but rather as just another person on whom the poor old man just happens to come across as he ran into the highway. No mention is made of the poor old man's wife or of any of his twelve other children in this story, and even thou the story begin with the old man, he soon drops out of the picture and the main characters become the son and his godfather ‘Death'. From the time the son arrives at adulthood the story develops into a classical conflict between a father figure personified by Death and the young man.

Early on in the story, Death is seen in a humanistic way and as a great father figure. Death takes his godson under his wings and guides him to fame and fortune but as with any relationship...
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