Tag: Snow White

  • How can setting be a character?

    How can setting be a character?

    When asked to write something about setting, for an essay or an exam, what exactly are we being asked to describe? When I was in high school my English teachers advised us all against writing the exam essay on setting. So I did. But I wouldn’t advise the same thing. Setting essays provide plenty of opportunity for demonstrating knowledge and…

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  • Animal Kingdom Modern Fairy Tale

    Animal Kingdom Modern Fairy Tale

    Animal Kingdom is an Australian movie based on a Melbourne family who wreaked a lot of havoc in the 1980s. This movie was the inspiration for the American TV spin-off set in San Diego. Below I make the case that Animal Kingdom is a modern fairytale. Breaking Bad is also a modern fairytale blended with crime and heist plot elements.…

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  • Cameras In Storytelling

    Cameras In Storytelling

    The invention of cameras was a boon for storytellers. Writers and film directors have this new narrative tool — in the shape of a camera — which allows them to play around with perspective, to use as a metaphor and as a way to explore death. (No kidding. Read on!)

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  • Goldilocks and The Three Bears Fairy Tale Analysis

    Goldilocks and The Three Bears Fairy Tale Analysis

    This month I wrote a post on Teaching Kids How To Structure A Story. Today I continue with a selection of mentor texts to help kids see how it works. Let’s look closely at a classic fairytale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. STORY STRUCTURE OF GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS Here’s the version I’m looking at: Goldilocks, wildflower picker, enters the snug…

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  • Hair In Art and Storytelling

    Hair In Art and Storytelling

    It’s stating the obvious to point out that, in children’s fiction, a character’s hair maps onto personality. But in continuing to use hair-personality shortcuts, are writers perpetuating stereotypes? Canadian teen actor Sophie Nélisse plays the title role, a young girl in foster care who we know is not terribly well-off emotionally because her hair is so flat. Her attitude stinks,…

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  • Nice Does Not Equal Good

    Nice Does Not Equal Good

    A lesson we must all learn at some point: ‘nice’ person does not equal ‘good’ person. I use these words as shorthand for ‘outwardly amenable’ and ‘morally generous’. Defining morality is a mammoth task in its own right and a nihilist might argue there’s no such thing as morality. I take the view that there is a shared cultural view of…

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  • Symbolic Archetypes In Children’s Stories Analysis

    These symbolic archetypes are very old. The earliest written record we have is often in fairy tales. Innate Wisdom vs. Educated Stupidity Some characters exhibit wisdom and understanding of situations instinctively as opposed to those supposedly in charge. Loyal retainers often exhibit this wisdom as they accompany the hero on the journey. This pretty much describes all carnivalesque picture books.…

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  • Pygmalion In Modern Stories And Literature

    Pygmalion In Modern Stories And Literature

    Pygmalion was a sculptor who falls in love with an ivory statue he had carved. The most famous story about him is the narrative poem Metamorphoses by Ovid. (Pygmalion can be found in book ten.) In this poem Aphrodite turns the statue into a real woman for him. In some versions they have a son, and also a daughter together.…

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  • Proulx’s Bunchgrass Edge Of The World Short Story Analysis

    This modern retelling of The Frog Prince by Annie Proulx was published in the November edition of The New Yorker in 1998 and included in her Close Range collection of short stories. Many of [Proulx’s] stories are explicitly anchored in the history of the United States, and abound with references to background historical events and to real places. To give but one…

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  • Rumpelstiltskin Analysis

    Rumpelstiltskin Analysis

    The tale of Rumpelstiltskin asks a moral question: Who is the worst of the three men? The lying father who gives away his own daughter, the greedy King who threatens death, or the proto-men’s rights activist dwarf? Or is it the daughter herself? This is my all-time favourite fairy tale because it’s so twisted. It’s got everything: greed, abandonment, deceit,…

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  • Symbolism Of The Forest In Storytelling

    Symbolism Of The Forest In Storytelling

    Be it woods or forest, when a character enters the trees in fiction, beware! We learned this from fairytales, but is fear of the forest innate,  or taught to us via fiction?

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  • The Three Little Pigs Illustrated by Leonard Leslie Brooke Fairy Tale Analysis

    The Three Little Pigs Illustrated by Leonard Leslie Brooke Fairy Tale Analysis

    The Three Little Pigs is one of the handful of classic tales audiences are expected to know. Pigs are handy characters: They can be adorable or they can be evil. You can strip them  butt naked and let the reader revel in their uncanny resemblance to humans. Or, you can dress them in jumpers and they’re as cute as kittens. Brooke’s version…

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  • Sleeping Beauty And Cannibalism

    Sleeping Beauty And Cannibalism

    If you’ve already read Angela Carter’s short stories, in which she rewrites famous tales as feminist ones, you may well hear her scoffing silently in your head as you read these tales, mostly by Charles Perrault, who added his own paternalistic, misogynist morals as paragraphs at the ends. And if you’ve never read these tales by Perrault — and you…

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  • Fathers In Children’s Literature

    Fathers In Children’s Literature

    Across children’s literature, young readers see less of mothers than they do in real life, and, as a type of wish fulfilment, many see more interaction with fictional fathers.

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  • The History of Hansel and Gretel

    The History of Hansel and Gretel

    Hansel and Gretel is one of the best-known fairytales. Almost everybody knows the basic story but, more than that, this tale is the ur-story for many seemingly unrelated modern ones. For example, whenever a character meets a character in a ‘forest’ (whether the forest is symbolic or not), the audience is put in mind of wicked cannibalistic witches.

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