Research Paper on Snow White

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Fairytales and Archetypes
May 15, 2013

RESEARCH PAPER ON SNOW WHITE

Snow White has been a classic fairytale told throughout the decades since it was written. The tale has many interpretations, one of them is the adaptation by Disney, that converts the fairytale into a children’s movie. The original Snow White tale, falls under the category “Other Tales of the Supernatural” in Tales of Magic in the Aarne–Thompson and Uther tale type index (ATU). This is because Snow White revolves around how a talking magical mirror influence its possessor (the queen). Since this magical mirror never lies, when the queen asks “Who in this land is the fairest of all” the mirror responds “Your majesty, you are the fairest of all”, that is until Snow White reaches the age of seven (Pullman). Since this tale depicts the mirror as something magical and the queen as somewhat of a witch, for mixing potions, it falls under said category. In my opinion, the ATU index does not help understand the message it seeks to convey because it doesn’t explain in detail the reason of each category and its placements. Nevertheless, the index can lead into the archetypal symbols of the tale, like the “supernatural” power of a poisoned apple. An archetype, “An original from which copies are made”, can be “found in situations, characters, objects, and themes that have a universal appeal” (Choksi). An archetype is an original piece, for which different authors elaborate a replica that they modify to suit specific targets, so is the case of the apple in Snow White. Both the tale by the brothers Grimm and the movie by Disney, portray a story revolving around beauty and jealousy, but they differ in the plot, where Grimm’s provides a more complex problem, and Disney falls into a very simple “disobeying is bad” idea.
The story is centered on a Good and Evil theme that is portrayed as Crone vs. Maiden (Choksi). The Crone takes form of the queen and Snow White as the maiden. This fairytale tells the story



Cited: Inge, M. Thomas. "Art, Adaptation, and Ideology." Journal of Popular Film and Television 32.3 (2004): n. pag. EBSCO Host. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. Pullman, Philip. "Snow White."Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm. New York: Viking Penguin, 2012. 206-220. Print. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Dir. David Hand. Perf. Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Harry Stockwell, Pinto Colvig, Roy Atwell, Otis Harlan, Moroni Olsen, Billy Gilbert, and Stuart Buchanan. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment :, 1937. Film. Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the folktale,. 2d ed. Austin: University of Texas Choksi, Shefali. "Fairytales and Archetypes." Class Notes. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Harbor Walk, 10 Apr 2013. Lecture.Press, 1968. Print. Uther, Hans, Antti Aarne, and Stith Thompson. The types of international folktales: a classification and bibliography, based on the system of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2004. Print.

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