Gretel in Darkness

Topics: Brothers Grimm, Fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel Pages: 2 (888 words) Published: November 20, 2005
While comparing the two poems, "Gretel in Darkness" by Louise Gluck and "Hansel and Gretel" by Anne Sexton with the original Brothers Grimm tale "Hansel and Gretel", different perspectives, point of views and messages are shown. In "Gretel in Darkness" Gretel is reciting the poem. It is written in the first person. In this poem Gretel is overcome with certain darkness in her life. Something is haunting her from the past. Gretel describes an experience that she and her brother have shared together. The experience is Gretel killing the witch, saving herself and her brother, Hansel. At first it seems life is perfect and all troubles are forgotten, but the memory seems to haunt Gretel. Gretel is alone, suffering, the murder constantly going through her head. Gretel is left to deal with the consequences that she took someone's life. Hansel for the most part seems to have no after affect of the murder and seems to be living a perfectly normal life. Hansel is unaffected by his sister's troubles, even though she committed the murder to save him. An example of how Hansel is unaffected is in lines 19-21 in which Gretel states "Nights I turn to you to hold me but you are not there, am I alone?" This is a perfect example of the inner suffering Gretel is going through. These are also the thoughts of an adult, for a child would not have such suffering or be able to rationalize it. Anne Sexton, in her poem "Hansel and Gretel", sticks close to the original version of the Grimm Brothers. The poem is told in the third person. In the poem the speaker starts off in an affectionate tone. A somewhat "adult baby talk" to a child. The terms are very motherly, "I will eat you up. This irony of saying "I am going to eat you up" is in direct contrast as to being eaten up by the witch in the original tale. After the affectionate open, the tone takes a sadistic almost perverse twist as examples of spitting, biting and tying up are used....
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