Sunday, December 7, 2014

Final Entry

Not gonna lie, when I found out I would be taking this class I thought it was going to consist mainly of watching Disney movies and reading page long stories. But I was SO wrong and this class turned out to be a completely different and awesome experience! Little did I know that fairytales weren’t all about cute animals, the rule of threes, and handsome men with good voices, but rather a whole lot more in terms of maturity. Never did I expect the tales to hold so many hidden meanings related to sexuality, abuse, and even psychology.

Looking back at all of my blog entries for this class, I was surprised by what I picked up on but, then again, not surprised that I missed a ton of stuff. This class, of course, helped with that and despite these fairly vague entries I feel that I have developed a strong understanding of the class’s topic.

I think the best part of this class was simply the discussions we had. While we would sometimes get off topic (no complaints – they were fun!) we mostly stayed focused and the openness of these discussions definitely helped in understanding the material. Another part of this class I liked was the end-of-term project where we taught a particular fairytale to a group of kids at the Boys & Girls Club and the middle school down the road. While the Boys & Girls Club was fun, I did find teaching at the school more organized and therefore easier/les stressful. The kids were far more interested in what we were teaching them which also made the experience more fun and fulfilling.

At the beginning of the course back in August and September, I was slightly overwhelmed because of the fast pace and level of difficulty of the class. Like I said I naively expected it to be an “easy A,” but over the course of the first semester, I discovered how laid back, while still passionate about the subject, Dr. Esa was and how much he cared about us feeling comfortable and succeeding and I began to feel more confident that I could do well in his class. What also helped was the enthusiasm of my fellow classmates and, of course, peer mentor. Without this enthusiastic vibe, I’m sure the class wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Entry 9

While it’s difficult to locate a cartoon devoted to the story of Rapunzel without finding numerous pictures from Disney’s Tangled, I did manage to find two in particular that I liked.

This first one comically portrays Rapunzel as a feminist as she confronts her prince saying that she refuses to allow men to use her as a “stepping stone.” While we want to think of these Grimm fairytales of true love as romantic and such, we can’t ignore the fact that some of them are, in fact, quite sexist. This cartoon simply illustrates the main sexist issue with the story of Rapunzel.

The second cartoon I found addressed an issue that didn’t necessarily exist in the original tale but rather a more current one. In fact, it’s not really an issue at all. In this picture, Rapunzel has cut her hair to the recently popular “pixie” haircut. This creates a problem as her prince no longer has easy access to her. I thought this cartoon was honestly just charming as it puts a little modern “hipster-esque” twist to the classic tale.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blog Entry 8

[In case you can't read that: He claims she was skipping around in a threatening way, carrying a suspicious package and wearing a hoodie. - John Darkow]

This picture caught my eye, as it’s addressing an issue we have been seeing a lot in society lately. Though the problem is extremely serious, the artist has thought up a way of presenting it comically. There have been too many instances where people have been accused and even killed, just because of their physical appearance. This little piece of art is, in a way, accusing the authorities as it shows them looking over the Wolf’s actions simply because Little Red Cap was wearing a hoodie and carrying a “suspicious package.” As we are all constantly reminded: if you see something, say something! And this artist has done a good job at focusing on the negative outcomes of this advice.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blog Entry 7

Let me just start out by saying that if I were forced by my father to share my meal and bed with a talking frog, I wouldn’t be too happy. As we could see, when reading the Grimm’s tale, “The Frog King,” I’m not the only one who feels this way. “The Frog King” and the classic Greek story, “Cupid and Psyche” are two tales that easy to compare as they share a similar plot; pretty girls are forced into spending their precious time with ugly monsters.

Both stories can be easily compared to the classic story of “Beauty and the Beast,” simply because the “beasts” happen to be, unknown by their princesses, strapping young men. Not only this, but what both stories also have in common is that the protagonists are extremely beautiful princesses; however, one seems to be slightly less spoiled than the other. The nameless princess in “The Frog King” refuses to treat the frog with the slightest bit of respect merely because of what he is, while Psyche in “Cupid and Psyche” found herself accepting the situation she was thrown into and did all she could to make matters better for herself in a more mature manner. Both are rewarded with surprisingly handsome men, but to me Psyche is rewarded for a much better reason. She had no way of judging her husband because she literally couldn’t see him. This made her a much less shallow character; therefore probably resulting in her being respected by readers a great deal more than the princess in “The Frog King.”

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blog Entry 6

Okay, I hate naming names so I'm just going start off by simply saying that I read a number of different blogs from this class and enjoyed seeing what different people had to say.  I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with people about certain things. I thought it was especially interesting to see what everyone considered to be the definition of a fairytale. I really enjoyed reading a particular blog where the writer related her definition to a cooking recipe. I thought it was a very creative way to get her point across and certainly got my attention as it was so unlike any of the other posts.

There was another person in the class who's entries were short but concise. Though I would have loved to hear more from him, I thought he made clear what his point was. There was another writer whose blogs I found to be extremely entertaining to read. Not only were they playful and conversational, but also very incisive. Of all of her posts, I most enjoyed her first where she expressed her interest in the class in a narrative similar to that of an actual fairytale.

Picking a favorite of all the blogs in the class isn't necessarily something I can do as I really liked them all. I thought each was different and everyone brought their own styles to their entries. I'll even admit that I enjoyed the pictures as well even though I didn't include any myself.

Overall, I think that everyone has done a really good job writing up these entries. There are a few people who, it seemed, are missing some and one person who I didn't find at all, but for everything that I could read, I thought was really good. And I'm not "just saying that…"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Entry 5

While the Walt Disney’s version of “Snow White” does the original Grimm fairytale a fair amount of justice, there are still numerous obvious differences. A fairly large difference between the two versions is the fact that the film is not nearly as dark as the original story. This, of course, was done for a particular reason, that being that the movie theater was a place where one might go to escape reality and considering that the film was released during the depression, a lighter and happier film was certainly more ideal. The film includes cheerful songs, dancing and plenty of adorable animals who, just by being cute, manage to create a more pleasant experience for the viewer. The Dwarfs, as characters, are also explored much more than they were in the original text; for example they are given names to fit personalities they didn’t formally have. They provide us with an appropriate amount of comic relief to keep us entertained and therefore become slightly more important to us.

Though it could be said of nearly any of the Grimm’s fairytale protagonists, Snow White wasn’t originally very relatable. We are constantly told by English teachers to show not tell in our writing which is something the Grimm brothers tend not to do. We are told how sweet, caring and good these young girls are, but it’s never really clarified. In the Disney films, though the characters could still be explored a little more, we get a better picture and true understanding of why we should love them as much we do. Disney’s Snow White character is one we can relate to more, not only because we can physically see her, but because she has been given more of an important “role” plot-wise. In the Grimm’s story, she is only seven years old, which makes her slightly less capable of acting in more mature and even heroic ways, while in the Disney adaptation, she is probably a good ten or so years older and thus more – debatably – mature.  

Another significant difference is that the film is extremely romanticized; from the love at first “song” all the way to true love’s kiss, speaking of which leads us to the Prince’s character who becomes much more important. Even though he, like practically all of the other princes, only really spent about five minutes or less with our female lead, he was still absolutely positive that he had met his match. Yes, it seems shallow to us now, but in comparing it to the Grimm’s story, their relationship seems like one that’s lasted a lifetime.