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All posts for the month March, 2012

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 9 – Back to Work… and Riches?

Published March 28, 2012 by srsfairytales

Sammi jolted upward in her seat. Having only recently returned from the kingdom of Sleepytime, she had been so caught up in the sudden return of her duties that she had neglected to record her journey! She sat down and got right to it.

Sammi’s journey to the kingdom of Sleepytime had introduced her to a variety of versions of the well-known tale of Cinderella, and it was these that Sammi now sat down to ponder. The “rags to riches” motif was not altogether an uncommon one, but the way the Cinderella tales presented it was… a little less than usual.

Sammi knew that the “rags to riches” story did happen occasionally in real life… just look at Oprah! This was an uncommon journey, however, and what made it even more unlikely was the stipulation that came with the Cinderella tales: that Cinderella gained riches from magic and marriage.

Again, our heroine thought, people do sometimes come into wealth from marriage, but to instill into our youth the idea that so long as you are good, beautiful, and filth-covered, you will be rescued by magic and married into money? Didn’t seem like a likely circumstance at all (especially the magic part!).

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Maybe it would have been better to encourage a go-getter's attitude, because no amount of scrubbing floors will guarantee you a prince!

There was, Sammi conceded, nothing wrong with encouraging the reader of these fairytales to be a good person, or to marry their true love, or even to look to improve their life conditions, but it was unlikely that it would be marriage and magic that would bring them into these conditions.

Though, she did admit, she still liked the fairytales… after all, in some versions, it was Cinderella’s ingenuity that brought her into her good circumstances! Let’s hear it for the Princess in the Suit of Leather!

Having caught up, Sammi was pleased to note her next foray would take her into one of her favorite stories… Bluebeard!

To be continued…

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A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 8 – Summons In Regards to the Neighboring King

Published March 9, 2012 by srsfairytales

Over the course of our heroine’s travels, she had gotten into a routine: she attended the ministrations of the kingdom on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she cataloged her adventures on Sundays. However, on this particular Friday, Sammi was abruptly summoned to King Esa.

“I declare,” said the King, “that because break is approaching, and because of the recent visit of the neighboring King Rust, you shall record your adventures today instead of on Sunday!”

Now, Sammi didn’t mind this declaration so much; after all, she could write while King Rust’s teachings were still fresh in her mind, and besides, if she had been required to write over break, she would likely forget to do so. So she sat down at ye olde computer two days early and began to write.

Sammi wrote that she had very much enjoyed the teachings of King Rust. In fact, the lesson had made Sammi want very much to take an ASL class. It had been very eye-opening for Sammi to be shown just how different the language and history of ASL were to the auditory language. She had had no idea that the grammar was so different, let alone that they had their own methods of conveying stories and music! They made poetry and told riveting stories with their hands, faces, and bodies, and Sammi thought it was beautiful.

Sammi particularly enjoyed learning about the different types of narratives, especially the personal narratives and the folktales, which were often linked. It was news to our heroine that these personal narratives often became the stuff of folktale, and that they were not simply told, but told in a way that made the stories more visually appealing. There were also so many ways to tell stories in ASL (number stories, anyone?)! ASL, she realized, truly was its own language with its own culture and stories, just like the other cultures that had their own fairytales. And if it was the case that folktales often became meshed into fairytales, who knew? Maybe the stories of ASL would make their way into the other fairytales of the world!

In reflection, Sammi realized she had really enjoyed this lesson on the stories of ASL. She was glad it had occurred, and she felt enriched for the experience. Now, though, she was REALLY looking forward to her week of vacation. She packed her bags and left the kingdom for a brief trip to the kingdom of Sleepytime. She knew she would return, but in the meantime, she had some serious Zzzs to catch up on.

To be continued…

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 7 – The Second Challenge

Published March 5, 2012 by srsfairytales

As Sammi left the theatre, she was stunned to see that the town madman was desperately trying to get her attention. When she approached him, he whispered, “Follow the posts,” handed her a piece of paper, and ran off.

When Sammi opened the paper, she realized that it had a web address, http://nataliefairytales.blogspot.com/

“How interesting,” Sammi thought. “I wonder what I will find here?”

To her surprise, she quite soon learned that the address linked her to an account of the fairytale exploration of her personal friend, Natalie. Sammi knew it was her second challenge to read what Princess Natalie had written, and to give an account.

She read over the posts and was delighted with what she found there (surely, this was much easier than conquering the beast of two posts previous!). She was particularly impressed with Princess Natalie’s verboseness and explanations, all of which, whether they were opinions or analyses, were top-notch pieces of work. Sammi also laughed when she read one post that began with one word: “Wow.” It sounded very like the Natalie she knew!

Sammi also admired Natalie’s keen use of comedic and poignant images. Sammi loved the comedy in the fairytale cartoon Natalie had added to her “Psychology and Fairy Tales” post. Additionally, she was thrilled to realize that Natalie and herself had picked the same image to represent Cupid and Psyche (as seen in her post, “Comparison of Two Beauty and the Beast Stories”), although Sammi had to admit that the image she added of the transformed Beast in that post was still a face that disturbed her (by no fault of Natalie’s own!). Natalie’s array of images made Sammi herself consider that, perhaps, she, too, should endeavor to add more. So Sammi found the silliest fairytale-related comic she could and added it to her story.

Having done so, Sammi decided that she owed it to her King and, indeed, her fellow members of the Class, to touch on the things she wished her friend Natalie had done.

Firstly, Sammi had immediately noted that in one particular post, specifically “Psychology and Fairy Tales,” Natalie asked some very thought-provoking questions that Sammi had been intrigued to read. Seeing this as a strong facet of Natalie’s personal style, Sammi was hopeful that Natalie would continue to question things, for, indeed, she made Sammi think of things that had not crossed her mind before. Sammi also wished that Natalie would put more of her voice into the posts, as she did with the “Wow” post, for moments like those really made the blog her own!

Sammi smiled as she finished reviewing her friend’s blog. She was proud of her friend for writing such a thoughtful blog, and Sammi herself was thrilled to have completed her second challenge! But it would not be the last challenge Sammi would face…

To be continued…

A College Student and Her Fairytales, Part 6 – An Interlude of Weird

Published March 4, 2012 by srsfairytales

Finally having made it back to town, Sammi was surprised to see that all was not as she had left it. Everyone in town was inexplicably singing the same, repetitive, catchy song. When asked what the song was, the townspeople pointed her in one direction: the theatre.

When Sammi went in a sat down, she was surprised to see that the music video was all about Snow White. However, it was distinctly different in several ways. Firstly, the story of Sonne was told by the dwarves, which was odd, since, for the most part, the dwarves appeared as very minor characters in the tales Sammi had read. Additionally, these dwarves were not as Sammi knew them. They were not lighthearted, nor were they figures of authority over Snow White, as Sammi had known them to be; they were in awe of Snow White, submissively allowing the dominating, sexual, and drug-addicted female to do as she pleased with them (namely, spanking them, abusing them, and having them worship her). The Snow White Sammi knew was not nearly so powerful, or so sexual, but she supposed that was meant to speak to the underlying themes in the original stories.

Sammi also noted that the Queen was never introduced in the music video, and that the apple was present, but it was something Snow White bit into with obvious sexual relish, rather than trepidation. Snow White’s death was thus not the doing of any evil Queen: she did herself in by overdosing on what appeared to be golden heroin. The apple appeared again after Snow White’s death when it shattered her glass coffin and woke her up.

Sammi found the lack of some of the very important characters (namely the Prince and the Queen) very significant. She felt that it made the story more about Snow White being her own undoing (thus contributing to the theories that, in the old tales, Snow White and the Queen are two sides of the same person), and that the apple represented, not Eve’s essentially fatal bite, but an awakening of sorts.

This take on the story was very interesting to Sammi, although she didn’t necessarily appreciate how easily the song got stuck in her head, and she had to say she liked the original tales better (they were a little less… disturbing to her). As she walked out of the theatre humming, she didn’t realize just how rapidly her next challenge was approaching…

To be continued…