Snow White

Fairy tales help people work through archetypal conflicts. In Snow White, for instance, we see the eternal drama of a little girl discovering her womanhood.

A girl’s maturity threatens the position of the mother as the woman of the family. The girl feels that she is transgressing against the mother’s role by growing up. This is, of course, not the actual mother but the dark image of the mother, her negative shadow, which is why she’s called a stepmother in the story.

The girl hides from the wrath of the mother shadow in the company of the dwarves who represent miniature, incomplete, non-threatening masculinity because she’s not ready yet to engage with real, fully grown masculinity. The mother shadow tries to subvert her growing up with the traditional markers of domesticated femininity, clothes, mirror and food. Food is what manages to thwart the girl’s growth because it returns her to the earliest, pre-genital stage of development.

Finally, the prince awakens her with a kiss, which symbolizes the awakening of adult femininity that completes her growth.

I’m writing all these trivialities because I just heard in TV how the fairy tale is evil because the prince kisses Snow White (the name screams to the skies that this is a female coming-of-age story, by the way) without consent. This is very dumb because the point is precisely that sexual awakening happens outside of our willpower or reason.

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12 thoughts on “Snow White”

  1. …the prince kisses Snow White (the name screams to the skies that this is a female coming-of-age story, by the way) without consent.

    To me, the name Snow White means, loudly and clearly, racism and white supremacy. It says that non-white girls cannot have this mythically important coming of age experience. It does not say it say that it is a female coming-of-age story, unless the female is white.

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  2. “the fairy tale is evil because the prince kisses Snow White … without consent”

    I was afraid that some feminist was promoting this as a serious idea but it turns out this was just another dumb actor (most actors have to stay kind of stupid about a lot of things if they hope to remain effective as actors, active intelligence and insight is death to the actor’s craft)
    I’m fine with actors have stupid unrealistic ideas because literally, the last thing in the world I want from them is social or political wisdom. I even like this actress in some things, but I’d rather not hear her take on serious issues. Why do people pay attention to the dumb shit that comes out of their mouths when they don’t have a script to work from?

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    1. You know how it is, the idiot actress says it, people start repeating it like it’s something profound, it gets on the news and FB. I have to try to educate people because this kind of ignorance is sad.

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  3. We talked about this kind of interpretation in my kid lit class. Less about possible sexual readings we touched upon some of them. The thing I found most disturbing about Snow White was that she’s something like 12 and the prince buys her for his collection of beautiful things. Then one day he kisses her and it turns out she’s not dead but just sleeping. Which makes me think of necrophilia. So the metaphorical interpretation makes a lot more sense than the literal image.

    I don’t remember seeing Snow White in Ovid. Is it in the metamorphoses? Do you know which section it’s in?

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  4. The average person’s perception of “freedom”, “rights”, and “liberties” is of being in control of EVERYTHING that comes their way, and of being able to manipulate anything and everything to favor whatever has the advantage for THEM.
    Being caught off-guard or finding themselves in a precarious situation/circumstance is tantamount to being a “victim”. Heaven forbid anyone or anything ELSE might also be capable of affecting things around them.
    Being integral is out of the question for many people. Everything has to be “their way or the highway”.

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