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Revisionist Fairytales.docx

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Western University
English 2033E

Revisionist Fairytales Two Kinds: 1) stories that take a recognizable story and give it a twist 2) stories that tell a new story using fairy tales conventions, but includes a startling break from tradition Revision  Re-vision re-seeing i. “the act or an act of looking over or surveying something again” ii. “to form an image of something again or afresh especially in one’s memory; to envisage again” Stories: Paper Bag Princess, In the Company of Wolves & When the Clock Strikes Femininity in Fairytales - all addressing gender and how femininity is constructed in these stories’ - fairytales idealize the way women should act, such as in Cinderella, who only goes to the ball when a magical being intervenes - woman forced into the domestic sphere (Snow White) - emphasis on vanity, appearance and beauty - forced to sacrifice something important (Little Mermaid) - woman waits around - none are very educated - women who aren’t passive are generally the evil, older women. Old, ugly and mean. Portrayed very negatively - elements of exoticism - function of children’s lit. is to offer a model for children to emulate, which when Disney presents women, is a weak woman who needs to wait for a man to come save her - POSITIVE ROLE MODELS: Gretel, Beauty and the Beast (Beauty rescues the beast and her father)  in general though, ft over emphasis that women should sacrifice much in their lives, much devotion towards male figures of negative female characters. Males in Fairytales - a lot of vain men in fairytales - Hansel and Gretel, the father wont stand up to his wife - Cinderella’s father lets her disappear into the background - Blue Beard kills his wives for going into a room  violence against women - Men are generally quiet. Revisionist - tweak the fairytale and unsettle us - playing on an idea of the “uncanny” (unsettling)  repetition of something we know very well and does a twist which makes us uncomfortable, which makes us question what we know/see Robert Munch “Paper Bag Princess”  What kind of fairytale conventions do we see in the PBP? - the princess who needs to be saved - dragons, castle, prince and princess - First Picture: both dressed very well, not in contemporary times. Ronald holding a tennis racket, more modern (anachronism), wealth (status sport).  Elizabeth has a sensible haircut  Ronald is about the same height as the Elizabeth, on the same plain. Also very slender and small  Ronald doesn’t really care about this Elizabeth, not head over heals  Ronald is the one wearing all the jewellery  Princess doesn’t have exaggerated features, is proportional, looks her age, almost fading into the background as opposed to Ronald who is standing apart from his surrounding  Elizabeth is shown naked, but it is not inappropriate. Her size is always very emphasized in the pictures - Ronald and Elizabeth are very common names, not regal or abnormal - Elizabeth doesn’t have to give herself up in order to make a conquest. - Ronald scolds Elizabeth for saving him while not looking like a princess, instead being in a paper bag - Elizabeth rejects Ronald by saying ‘you look like a
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