Significant Images in the Grimms’ Version of Rapunzel” Essay

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Significant Images in the Grimms’ Version of “Rapunzel”

“…the witch took her to the middle of the forest and shut her up in a tower that had neither stairs nor door, but only a little window at the very top.” (p. 74) A feeling of suspense is instilled just by reading this single line in “Rapunzel” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Elements evoking emotion in a story, such as suspense, increase the degree of entertainment thereby enhancing quality and enjoyment factors. This story is both superficially entertaining and subconsciously intriguing. Exploring the symbolism of images such as the tower, the open window at the top of it and Rapunzel’s long hair will begin to satisfy this curiosity.

The image of a tall solid structure is
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Monte. page 88) Visualization of this image is quite dominant since the bulk of the story takes place in the tower and the actual location of the tower is in the middle of a forest, obviously protruding. The Freudian perspective also gives the placement of the window much more relevance.

That single open window, located at the top of the tower, is really quite significant. This window would visually appear dark from the bottom of the tower, perhaps cavernous, but from Rapunzel’s perspective, it is her only source of light and connection to the world outside. It also serves as an entrance for both her Godmother and the Prince. For the Prince, an entrance it was, until the foolish child blurts this secret to her Godmother, who then growls: “Wicked child! I thought I had shut you away from the world, but you’ve deceived me.” (p. 75) Had this not happened, the window would also have been her only escape, for this was their plan: “Every time you come, bring a skein of silk and I’ll make a ladder with it. When it’s finished, I’ll climb down, and you will carry me home on your horse.” (p. 75) A Freudian interpretation would suggest that this opening represents the female sexual and reproductive organs involved in the genital phase of the psychosexual stages in which sexual intimacy and reproduction are emphasized (C.F. Monte. page 90). Its location, at the top of the tower, is

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