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Briar Rose Essay

1109 words - 5 pages

The book Briar Rose follows closely with the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Becca Berlin’s grandmother, Gemma, was being held in a secret concentration camp called Chelmno. She was put in the gas chamber and she was rendered unconscious rather than dead. She was dumped in a ditch with dead bodies. Josef Potocki and his band of rebels where tampering with the railroads leading to and from the camp. The group finds Gemma in the ditch and the doctor of the group, Avenger, revives her with CPR. Gemma and Avenger fall in love and are soon married. In the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty is revived with a kiss. Then the princess, of course, marries the prince and lives happily ever after. The band calls Gemma ksieznicka, which means princess in Poland. Gemma’s story does not end happily. The band of rebels are ambushed by the Nazi and all of them were murdered except Josef and Gemma. The fairy tale is used as a metaphor in the story. Gemma used the tale as a less frightening way of telling the children of her past. Little did Becca and her family know, they knew Gemma’s story of her meeting her prince and her near death experience. Hitler is maleficent in the Disney version of the story and the evil fairy in the other version. Gemma’s unconsciousness is the deep sleep. The life-saving CPR by Avenger was the spell breaking kiss from the prince. Gemma picked a very creative way to tell her story by hiding her story with Sleeping Beauty.
Gemma represents Woolger and Woolger’s Demeter. After her husband is murdered, Gemma and her unborn child escaped to America and she is always spending time with her grandchildren. She is caring and loves the children. Gemma provided for her daughter alone. She provided a safe and orderly home for them. She is a perfect representation of Woolger and Woolger’s Demeter. Becca Berlin represents Jean Shinoda Bolen’s virgin. Becca is the youngest of three sisters. She seems the most emotionally mature and more invested in Gemma’s story. She does not fight and bicker like her sisters. Becca is independent and has her own self direction. She follows her dream and becomes a reporter and she follows through with her promise to Gemma, even when one of her sisters begged her not to go to Chelmno. Becca has a need for autonomy. Autonomy is the ability to make your own decisions. Becca’s mission is personally meaningful because she made a promise to her family to find out all that she could.
Vladimir Propp analyzed folktales and he identified thirty one common actions of a fairy tale. Propp said that not all fairy tales have all thirty one common actions, but they will follow the same time line. Waller Hasting simplified Propp’s thirty one functions to five. There is a lack of something. The hero goes on a mission to find what is missing. The hero has a helper on the mission. The hero is subjected to one or more tests. After passing the test, the hero achieves their reward. In the book, the lack of something is information. Becca is...

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