Revealing the truth about fairy tales

By KENDRA BURDICK 

For a very long time, authors and screenwriters have rewritten the original fairy tales that taught lessons and didn’t have the happiest ending for the characters. Though these fairy tales might be gruesome compared to the cushiness that people are used to, they teach precepts and it’s important to know where some of the most famous fairy tales come from.

The book “Snow White” was originally written by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, in 1812. This story was retold for a more PG revision by Disney in 1952. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

Pocahontas

The story of Pocahontas is already embedded in United States history, but many people don’t know the truth behind the animated Disney glamour. John Smith made his way to America, he was in his 30’s. 

Pocahontas, 10-year-old or 12-year-old, and Smith actually never had a romantic relationship. She was kidnapped and then forced to marry John Rolfe, an Englishman. Then, she was forced to convert her name to Rebecca and her religion to Christianity. Unlike the Disney’s version, an unknown cause led her to her death in her 20s.

“She lives on through her own people, who are still here today, and through the descendents of her two sons,” says the article “Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend” of the National Park Service.

Ariel

Named after the goddess of old, the sea witch Ursula gets visited by the little mermaid. She makes the mermaid a deal to exchange her voice and tongue for legs. The only way to get them back is to win over the prince’s affection. 

In the real version, the mermaid doesn’t get a happy ending with her prince and he marries someone else. Heartbroken, the mermaid gets an ultimatum, she must kill the prince in order to live. Even after agreeing, it’s too hard of a deed for her and she ends up not going through with it. 

The e-paper “Sunday Chronicle,” written by Deccan Chronicle, states, “She eventually dissolves into foam. But as her spirit floats in the sky, she gains a soul by having to carry out good deeds for 300 years.”

Snow White

Snow White’s tale begins with her mother, the original queen, sewing in the winter. Disney decided to not add-in this scene. According to Grunge, a news site that reveals the truth about misunderstood stories, the main reason for Disney not adding the fact that the new queen (the Evil Queen) is a witch is because they didn’t want to scare children and they also had a fear of upsetting religious people.

Grunge says, “It’s a bit surprising Disney didn’t mention this, since nowadays they’re notorious for hitting you in the face with dead parents in many of their films.” 

As the story goes, Snow White meets the seven dwarves and lives with them. The huntsman is sent after her and she meets him while picking apples.

The huntsman puts his knife over Snow White’s heart but then she begins to beg and plead for her life. Similar to the animated story, the huntsman spears her life because of her beauty. Also, in the original tale, he thinks to himself that an animal will eat her soon and do his job for him. 

He takes the queen a pig’s lung and liver to provide evidence that he had done his deed. But the queen finds out that the organs are fakes and non-human so she decides to take matters into her own hands.

In the movie, the queen tries only once, but in the original tale, she tries three times. First, she makes her alias as an elderly woman and convinces Snow White that she’s selling bodices. Snow White allows the disguised queen to help her try them on, and the queen tightens the laces so Snow White cannot breathe. The queen flees, the dwarfs save her and she lives.

The queen makes her second attempt by dressing as an old woman who is selling combs. Snow White tests the comb, which turns out to be poisoned, and it paralyzes her. Snow White gets saved again by the dwarfs, removing the poisoned comb just before it would have killed her. Then, the queen tries to kill her with the poisoned apple which Disney did add into the movie, which the dwarfs had not saved her from.

At this time, the prince and Snow White have had no contact with each other, but the prince randomly had met the seven dwarfs. They tell him the story of what they had been through. 

Sometime after Snow White fell under the death of the apple, he requested to see her because “he can’t live without looking upon her beauty.” Once he sees her, he makes his servants pick up her coffin and then carry it to the castle.

One of the servants that were tasked with carrying Snow White’s coffin, tips and drops the corpse dislodging the chunk of the poisoned apple that was stuck in her throat the entire time. There was no magic kiss like in the Disney version. But, she gains life, meets the prince for the first time and agrees to marry him.

As for the happy ending, the prince accidentally invites the queen to the wedding. When he realizes his mistake, he gives his guards orders to make her dance with iron shoes that were heated until they’re red hot. 

Another twist from the original tale is that Snow White is seven-years-old for the entire story, thus she meets the prince when she is a child.

Grunge says, “He [the prince] basically wants to wander off with a seven-year-old’s corpse. And then when she wakes up, he marries her!”

Cinderella

The story of Cinderella is not what it seems. For starters, Cinderella’s father doesn’t die but he does help embarrass Cinderella with the stepsisters and stepmother. Cinderella goes to her mother’s grave and says a prayer to the headstone. Instead of a fairy godmother, the gown and slippers just appear on her, making it seem like a gift from her exanimate mother. Her family doesn’t recognize her when she attends the festival, not a ball. 

This is where the prince falls in love, but like the Disney film, she does lose her slipper. When the prince looks for her, the stepsisters cut their feet to fit into the slipper. Due to finding blood in the slipper, he figures out that they know who the mystery girl is. 

Cinderella and the prince have their happy ending, but the stepsisters don’t. They ask Cinderella for a favor and birds peck out their eyes.

Fairy tales have been around for centuries and are still being told to children. They teach lessons about life and give warnings about bad behavior. The original versions of these stories have been censored from children’s books, TV shows and movies which deprives people from learning the original tale and its lessons.

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