Little girls often learn what qualities a female needs and what their roles are. Movies, television, social media, and literature often show girls that they often need ideal beauty for them to be loved. Some short stories that have a theme of ideal beauty are The Brothers Grimm’s “Little Snow White” and Neil Gailman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples.”
In “Little Snow White” by The Brothers Grimm, Snow-White’s name came from her beauty: “white as snow, and as red as blood, her hair was as black as ebony” (Grimm). From the beginning of the story, people can see attractiveness is the representation of female roles. As Snow-White grew, she became more beautiful. The Queen, her step-mother, relied on a magic mirror telling her she is the fairest. She becomes incredibly jealous of Snow-White’s beauty because she is the fairest in all the land. Her jealousy took over, wanting to kill Snow-White. The queen tried killing Snow-White because of beauty several times. Yet, none were successful. When Snow-White escaped the first time, she came upon the Seven Dwarfs’ house; they offered her to stay, only if she cleaned the house and cooked. After multiple attempts on her life, the dwarfs would always warn her not to open the door. Snow-White is portrayed to been less intelligent because she did what she was told not to do. In the end, the queen had killed Snow-White with the poison apple. The dwarfs put Snow-White in a glass coffin in order to still see her beauty. When the prince’s servants stumbled upon a stump, the shock from the fall had had made the poisonous piece of the apple come out, and Snow-White woke up. When she woke, the prince said, “I love you more than everything in the world; come with me to my father’s palace, you shall be my wife” (Grimm). Instead of just asking Snow-White, he made it perhaps an order. The prince had not gotten to know her, he only wanted her for her beauty. When they got married, the queen had went and was forced to dance with iron slippers until she dropped dead. This ending had put Snow-White in power, whether by accident or not.
Neil Gailman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples” is not like the original Snow-White people all know of; this Snow-White is a creature much like a vampire. In this story, the queen is the narrator. When the queen first meets Snow-White, she is five years old. One night when Snow-White went into the queen’s room, she was described with “…eyes…black as coal, black as her hair; her lips were redder than blood… her teeth seemed sharp…” (Gailman). This described Snow-White to be a creature. Instead of being pushed out of the palace by the queen’s jealousy, she is a creature who killed her father and was then sent away. In this story, the queen is not the wicked one. She loves and is devoted to the king. Several times throughout the beginning, the queen was called to the king’s room to make love to him; her being called for that one action is minimizing her as a woman because all he wanted her for was for sexual relationships. It is obvious that she loves and is devoted to him, but the readers cannot tell if his feelings are mutual. The prince charming in this story is not a so called “knight in shining armor,” he is a lady’s man who has intercourse with others besides Snow-White. When Snow-White and the prince marry, the queen was shoved into a kiln to be killed, when she had done nothing wrong besides keeping Snow’s heart in order to protect her king and people. When she was dying, she saw her own reflection in Snow-White’s eye; “I will not scream. I will not give them that satisfaction. They will have my body, but my soul and story are my own, and will die with me… I shall think instead of the snowflake on her cheek” (Gailman). The queen stated she was a good person who only wanted to protect the king and her people. When she died, they had her body, but as she said, they do not have her soul or story. Only individuals can tell their own stories, and nobody else.
Edgewood respects individual thoughts and ideas, and because of this they have the three COR questions: Who am I and who could I become? What are the needs and opportunities of the world? What is the role in building a just and compassionate world? In the “Little Snow-White,” snow-white gets kicked out of the palace because she was so beautiful. When she found the seven dwarfs, she became their mother. By the end, Snow-White had not learned much besides how to take care of herself and others. When she married, she was only twelve which portrays her as someone who is young, naive, uneducated, yet compassionate to the dwarfs. Yet, in “Snow, Glass, Apples,” the snow-white is a vicious creature throughout the story. In this story, readers can see the Queen growing more than Snow. At first, she was just a devoted wife who wanted to protect her husband, but as she grew, people can see that the devotion grew much more.
In “Little Snow-White,” every character in this story wanted beauty. Snow-White’s mother wanted her daughter to be beautiful and she got her wish. Snow-White is beautiful; that is what helps her gets away with many things, such as being killed by the huntsman, staying at the dwarf’s cottage, and finding the prince. Throughout the story, the Queen was immensely jealous of Snow-white’s beauty. In “Snow, Glass, Apples,” Snow-White was selfish. She had an evil mindset and all she wanted, no matter how many people she may have hurt or even killed, was her heart.
In “Little Snow-White,” one could say that Snow’s actions are unintelligent. After having escaped to the dwarf’s cottage, on countless occasions, she was told not to open the door for anyone, yet she does. The Queens actions are out of jealousy. She kept trying to kill Snow-White so she could be the prettiest in the all the land. In “Snow, Glass, Apples,” Snow-White’s actions are very harmful. She will not let anyone get in her way. Even though she was harmful to others, she was beautiful. That does not excuse her actions even though it might for some. The Queen’s actions are selfless. All she wants is to protect herself and her land.
The roles that these stories play in American society can be influential. They demonstrate that beauty can get you through anything. “Little Snow-White” and “Snow, Glass, Apples” are classic examples of how beauty is portrayed as an influential part of a woman, but what really should count is one’s personality and how they act towards others.