Sunday, November 30, 2014

....And then it ends

The girl looked at her computer screen and sighed, it was time for her very last blog entry. It was strange to think that her FYS was ending; after all it was only like October- right? All denial of the class she loved ending aside however, she really had learned a lot in her FYS and had come a long way in how she viewed fairy tales.

Some of the most memorable things she had learned involved Bruno Bettelheim and his...interesting interpretations of the symbols in fairy tales. Namely that pretty much everything relates to sex or sexual maturity in some way. It was slightly weird for her to learn that the tales she had heard or watched as a kid involved so many sexual themes and ideas.

She also had loved learning new tales and not only the ones that are well known and even though the class did not solely study Grimm tales that were turned into Disney movies, she liked learning about the less well known tales and seeing less well known movie adaptations of these tales. It was interesting to see how the movies changed the different tales and to identify why they made these changes. Usually it was to make the tale more appropriate for children or more conforming to the zeitgeist. 

In learning about the tales and their deeper meanings, she learned how to better analyze fairy tales and other texts to find lessons and metaphors that are not immediately apparent. She also learned that fairy tales have other uses than just being used as lessons for children. They are, for instance, very useful in therapy in helping the patient to identify their problem and potentially figure out a solution to it with the help of the therapist.

She also became a better writer through the essays assigned. She needed to think in a different way to be able to successfully write the first one and through that, applied what she had learned in class to be able to find meanings in something she initially thought she would be unable to analyze. She learned to be concise in her essays, to get her point across without being overly wordy. She also learned that specificity is an important part of essays to be better able to illustrate a point.

 The most important thing she had learned however was that a group of strangers thrown together for a class could end up being a lot closer than they ever would expect. Even though an almost ridiculous amount of things happened to this group, they would support each other and end up being similar to a family. In talking with her friends in other FYS’s, she learned that she had a very special FYS and that not all the FYS’s were as close as hers. She would always be thankful and feel lucky that she had been put in this FYS with the all the amazing people she met and although it was sad to be leaving, she would not have changed any of it.

And she lived happily ever after.....well after finals anyway.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your....key?

The comic I chose was drawn by Norman Jung. It depicts Rapunzel throwing the key down  the tower to the prince, but he accidently gets hit on the head and gets knocked out at the base of the tower.

It is sometimes wondered how Rapunzel did not know about the secret stairs that Mother Gothel would have had to use until she was old enough to  pull her up and her hair was long enough. This comic shows a humorous idea of what could have happened even if she had known about it and the potential problems that could have stemmed from that.

If the story had been depicted in a way similar to the cartoon, it would have been very different and potentially a lot shorter. If the key hit the prince on the head and killed him, then presumably Rapunzel could have lost her only way out of the tower. It also raises the question of why she could not just go down and unlock the door from the other side. It also shows that the traditional way of getting into the tower, Rapunzel's hair, is potentially a better way because even though it is awkward and time consuming, the prince would not get knocked out from something falling on his head. The cartoon does not make any mention of the witch or even imply of her. In contrast, Rapunzel is the one who has the power to get into the tower through her possession of the key. This could also imply that she has the power to leave, however she, for some reason, cannot let herself out of the tower and needs the prince to let her out.

The cartoon by Norman Jung shows a very different idea of what could have happened in the tale of Rapunzel and how even though we sometimes question why she did not find the door earlier and use it, the traditional way of the story can work better.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Her curiosity got the better of her and when her husband found out what she had done he raised his arm.......

And then she died a horrible, gruesome, bloody, painful death....or  actually she didn't, because she was saved by her brothers or the power of the narrative or by covering herself in feathers and honey and pretending she was a bird. 

The story of "Bluebeard", "The Robber Bridegroom" and "The Fitcher's Bird" are all fairly similar: there is a girl either just married or about to be married, she goes somewhere she shouldn't and narrowly escapes certain terrible death by either summoning help or saving herself. The heroines in these tales are different than in many others in that they play a key role in being saved. Although an old crone protects the young fiancĂ© in "The Robber Bridegroom" and the young bride's brothers come to her rescue in "Bluebeard", the two heroines do play a part in their salvation: the fiancĂ© in revealing her bridegroom's true nature and the bride in stalling Bluebeard and signaling for help from her brothers. Only in “The Fitcher’s Bird” does the heroine escape solely on her own cunning without any help from others. There is also the theme in each of these of curiosity especially in women being very detrimental or dangerous.

I liked all three of the stories for the most part. I do not agree with the idea that curiosity is dangerous, because no one would learn anything if no one was curious. I think I liked “The Fitcher’s Bird” the best however. I liked how the heroine saved her sisters and herself completely on her own merit and was able to kill the sorcerer who had been terrorizing everyone. Most of the time in fairy tales, the men are depicted as cunning and smart while the women are prizes or overly passive and waiting for a prince so I liked how the tale deviated in that aspect from the fairy tale norm.  

Although, I didn’t like the tale as much, I liked how in “The Robber Bridegroom” the girl was able to save her life through the power of the narrative. I have always believed that words are some of the most powerful things that we can use and I liked how that was reflected in the tale.

I liked all three tales-even though I don’t agree with the “curiosity is dangerous” lesson- because they are very different than the other Grimm tales and I liked how the heroines were instrumental in their own salvation instead of passively waiting to be saved.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Grandmother what big....."

The comic by Chris Hallbeck depicts the classic exchange between Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf she believes is her grandmother, but with a bit of a twist. Instead of responding in a way that would imply that the wolf was going to eat Little Red, his responses deviate, given the more comments she makes. By the end, it almost appears that the wolf actually is her grandmother or has at least taken on the characteristics of her.

I personally like the cartoon because I think it's a funny take on what the response would be if the wolf actually was her grandmother or forgot that he was acting to be able to eat Little Red. I think it shows an interesting perspective of what would happen if the wolf had lost focus on his ultimate goal of eating Little Red along with her grandmother. I thought it was amusing how the wolf became so focused on tricking Little Red, that at the end, he became more of the indignant grandmother instead of the big, bad, scary creature he was supposed to represent. It shows how in acting like someone or something else, you can actually take on some of the characteristics and ideas of them. It was also interesting how it showed how her grandmother probably would have responded if Little Red had just walked in and started making her observations.

Overall, I thought the comic was funny and showed a different way that the conversation could have ended, especially if the wolf became sidetracked by Little Red’s comments.