Essay about Fairytales May Convey a Hidden Message

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As innocent as they seem, from the cute fairytales of Cinderella and her submissive character to the passionate story of Beauty and the Beast, a maiden who falls in love with a beast, the true meaning that lies beneath the pretty shell delivers a different message to children. The idea of the “traditional” role of women is constantly portrayed in many fairytales. Fairytales, although fantasy-like, still resemble aspects of the world and throughout history, women were considered inferior to men. “…it is a fair assumption that in a world dominated by men, the fairy tale reflects the world as defined and organized by men…” (Oliver 86). Stories such as The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, Cinderella and Snow White by the Grimm’s …show more content…
As the child absorbs environmental data, learns language, and develops cognition, she begins to say something to herself and about the world and her place in it.” (Oliver 86).
Cinderella not only presents the idea of passiveness and femininity, but a message that step – mothers are evil. Throughout many fairytales, step – mothers, old, wise women are wicked and are meant to be overthrown or be rid of. ““Cinderella” is the supreme statement of the devastating nature of a parent’s [mother’s] unresolved and destructively acted out oedipal jealousy of a child.” (Bettelheim 307). The oedipal mother acts out to destroy the daughter, but later, the daughter is rescued by a man from the evil. Everywhere in “Fairyland”, the domineering mother is set out to demolish the offspring. Eventually, the step-mother loses her power when trying to intimidate and becomes “silly”. (Bettelheim 307).
Although many fairytales, including Cinderella, portray the mother in charge as tyrannical, it’s also common to see children having good relationships with their fathers as in Beauty and the Beast. Belle, the main character, has a close bond with her father unlike Cinderella, who poses as a threat to her step-mother. Not only does Belle share a good relationship with her father, but there is no mother figure in the fairytale. (Bettelheim 307). “…the girl’s oedipal father is the gentle, protective, loving man who hands her over to an acceptable suitor at the

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