Red Dress and Snow White Comparative Essay

Topics: Self-esteem, Vincent van Gogh, Affect Pages: 5 (1810 words) Published: January 1, 2011
Comparative Essay

Fitting in is always an issue in the world of teenage girls and some girls have better outcomes than others. “Snow White” by Grace Hu is a story about a teenage girl named Mary who is an albino. Mary struggles to be accepted because of her scary white exterior. Also she has low self confidence from being teased by her peers. Mary also only has one true friend that begins to drift apart from her. Another story that deals with the issue of acceptance is the story “Red Dress”. “Red Dress” by Alice Munro is a story about a teenage girl entering her first year of high school. She fights to be accepted and decides to go to the school dance with her one friend Lonnie, despite her terrible clothes put together by her crazy mother. Acceptance in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” is affected by appearance, family influence, and being left out by their one true friend.

Both the protagonists in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” struggle with acceptance based on their appearance. The protagonist in “Snow White”, Mary, appearance as an albino affects her being accepted. An example of Mary’s appearance affecting her being accepted is when Mary reminisces of how when she was in elementary school kids used to tease her by chanting “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how’d you get so white and scary”. This shows that kids who didn’t understand her condition chose to tease her instead of trying to accept her for herself. Another example of how appearance affected Mary being accepted is when the boy at the party comes dressed up as Mary. The boy and his friend then continue to have more fun at Mary’s expense when the boy asks for a miller lite and his friend quips “you mean a miller white”. This shows rather than get to know Mary and see that she was a nice person, he and others decided to judge her solely based on her appearance and mock her by painting his face white, and wearing a Mr. Bubble shirt, obviously dressing up as Mary. The protagonist in “Red Dress” also struggles with acceptance based on her appearance.

In “Red Dress” the protagonist appearance affects her being accepted by her peers. The protagonist appearance in regards to her home made clothes and ill put together outfits. The protagonist shows that she wore these horrible outfits since she was a child not knowing how she would be looked at by people. She talks of how her mother made her these outfits by saying “She made me, at various times when I was younger, a flowered organdie dress with a high Victorian neckline edged in scratchy lace, with a poke bonnet to match: a Scottish plaid outfit with a velvet jacket and tam: an embroidered peasant blouse worn with a full red skirt and black laced bodice. I had worn these clothes with docility, even pleasure, in the days when I was unaware of the world’s opinion.” This shows that the protagonist was judged based on her appearance since she was young, and also without her knowing. Her mother was making her these terrible outfits since she was young and just assumed that they would be deemed acceptable ensembles by her peers, never knowing that these ugly clothes were getting her teased, mocked, and judged. Another example of the protagonist being unaccepted by her peers based on her appearance is because she even judges herself based on her looks and has very low self esteem . This shows in the quote “My head was muffled in velvet. My body exposed in an old cotton school slip. I feel like a great raw lump, clumsy, and goose-pimpled”. As well as the quote “I must look scared and ugly”. These quotes show that if the protagonist thinks these things of herself then her peers will only think the same. It also could be explained that her low self esteem could be a result of being made fun of for so long based on her appearance. The protagonists in both “Snow White” and “Red Dress” were not accepted based on their appearance.

Family influences affect both the protagonist in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” being accepted. In “Snow...
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