Literary And Rhetorical Impact Of The Grimm 's Children 's And Household Tales

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In this source, Alfred and Mary Elizabeth David, philologists at the Institute for Central European Folklife Research, interpret the literary and rhetorical impact of the Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales. They aim to examine the collection in a new light “upon the hundredth anniversary of the death of Jacob Grimm” (180). Throughout the source, David asserts that the Grimm Brothers’ view of nature prejudiced their revisions of the oral folktales. As an introduction into his argument, David clears a misconception that all of the fairy tales were originally derived from oral recollections of German peasants. The German Romanticism movement of the early 1800s swayed the Brothers to incorporate elements of nature into the motifs and morals of their fairy tales. What they perceived as "fundamental truths and values" (184) were incorporated into their works, sometimes almost imperceptibly. The Brothers believed that the modernist movement was distorting the pure German spirit and thus collected German folk tales to “[restore]..the German literary past” (182). During this process, they struggled with deciding what they considered ‘nature’ and what was a manmade construct. Thus, David argues that while the content changes are the most jarring between different editions of the collection, the changes most worthy of analysis are stylistic, especially those in relation to the incorporation of natural elements. David cites The Juniper Tree, an archetypical Grimm Brothers’ fairy…

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