Envy And Beauty In Snow White

1230 words - 5 pages

Envy, Beauty, and Snow White

Few people can grow up within today's society without knowing the tale of Snow White. From the Grimm Brothers to Disney, it has been told and retold to children throughout the ages. However, what is often overlooked are the true meanings within the story. Fairytales typically have underlying messages that can be found written between the lines, generally in terms of the key themes. Snow White discusses the themes of envy and beauty, and shows how humans' obsessions can lead to their own downfall as well as the harm of others. When focusing on the relationship between Snow White and her step-mother the Queen, it is evident that the combination of these two themes results in a power struggle in which beauty is seen as a commodity and is the basis for the step-mother?s envy towards Snow White.

From the very beginning of the tale it is obvious that the Queen is obsessed with beauty, ?the King took another wife, a beautiful woman, but proud and overbearing, and she could not bear to be surpassed in beauty by anyone??(Grimm and Grimm 166). Further evidence of her narcissism is her daily ritual in which she consults her magic mirror on who is the most beautiful person in the kingdom. As she repeatedly expects the answer to be in her favor, she is outraged when it appears that Snow White has surpassed her. This information drives the Queen to hate Snow White and soon she orders her death. By looking at beauty as a commodity through which power can be gained, this action can be interpreted as a means for the Queen to preserve her power through beauty. The fact that Snow White was beautiful may not have been reason enough alone to kill her, but the fear that Snow White could use her beauty in order to usurp power from the Queen was. After all, Snow White was young and beautiful, and the Queen would only deteriorate with time. Trina Schart Hyman reiterates this point in her analysis of story, particularly in examining the Queen, where the ?only power was her beauty. She didn?t think about [Snow White] as a person. She hated only what Snow White symbolized, which was youth and the power and beauty of youth? (Haase, 2003).

It is interesting to note that when the Queen receives Snow White?s heart, she eats it. ?And [the heart] was salted and cooked and the wicked woman ate it up, thinking that there was an end of Snow White? (Grimm and Grimm 168). This is a remnant of a primitive cannibalistic belief that one receives power and characters through what is consumed. By devouring what she is told to be Snow White?s heart, the Queen believes she is capturing Snow White?s beauty and power within herself (Sale, 1979). These instances show that the Queen was driven to act by her envy of Snow White?s beauty, which was said to be more beautiful than her own. As she saw Snow White?s beauty as a threat to her own (and through it, her power), she saw the need to eliminate Snow White completely. In consuming Snow...

Find Another Essay On Envy and Beauty in Snow White

Examine the literary creativity in the fictional text and non-fictional text: the story of Snow White

3203 words - 13 pages suggestion that the queen's absorption in her beauty ever gives her pleasure, or that the desire for power through sexual attractiveness is itself a sexual feeling. What is stressed is the anger and fear that attend the queen's realization that as she and Snow White both get older, she must lose. That is why the major feeling invoked is not jealousy but envy: to make beauty that important is to reduce the world to one in which only two people count

What do we learn in "Othello" about Suspicion and Envy?

1169 words - 5 pages Two of the main themes in "Othello" seem to be suspicion and envy, these factors combined lead to the downfall of not only Othello but also Iago. We learn how envy appears to destroy Othello; we see how Iago brings on this envy through the deception of Othello. Shakespeare constantly emphasizes and repeats the line, "Honest Iago" it creates such a feeling of frustration in the audience. Furthermore one can see how Iago's envy grows throughout

Wealth, Beauty and Racism in Mexico. The paper focuses on the racism between the indigenous vs. white people in Mexico.

903 words - 4 pages There are two different worlds in Mexico, the world of the white (and rich) and the world of the Indigenous (and poverty stricken). Indigenous people have been excluded from privileges of the white population; they have been abused, attacked, neglected and essentially forgotten.Race and wealth inequality/wealth distribution-Extreme poverty excessively affects the indigenous portion of the population. Statistics (World CIA Factbook) indicate that

Beauty and the Beauty in the Beast.

952 words - 4 pages Once upon a time...The classic opener for any fairy tale, which is no different in the case of Beauty and the Beast. Fairy tales were meant to teach our children life lessons that society, at the time, deems important to learn. They teach us the difference between right and wrong, black and white, good and bad, light and dark, and beauty and ugly. There are many different variations and names to Beauty and the Beast. This famous fable has been

"Heroines Are Not Created Equal": Compare and contrast Mulan , Nala, and Snow White.

2710 words - 11 pages Walt Disney is responsible for creating some of the world's most well-known animated feature films. With classic movies such as Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Bambi, the production company has entertained the public for many generations. The heroine characters in Disney movies are all different in their own ways, and there is no cookie-cutter heroine for every movie. The difference in female characters is seen in the Disney movies Snow White, The

How to Drive in Snow and Rain

722 words - 3 pages properly drive a vehicle in snow and rain. Before you even get out to the road during the winter, you need to make sure our vehicles are ready to safely take us where you need to go. One way this can be achieved is by making sure the vehicle’s tires still have sufficient tread on them. Trying to stretch out the life of a tire may have serious consequences when the roads are wet or frozen because, as the treads are worn by the use, the tires start

Beauty and women...in society..the beauty myth

981 words - 4 pages Beauty And WomenThe rights and status of women have improved considerably in the last fifty years. Women gained legal rights, reproductive rights, pursued higher education, entered the military, and the sports arena by overturning the ancient and social beliefs about the women's social role. But there is something still killing them softly, the beauty myth, which implies that women 's greatest goal in life is to look beautiful.Women are all too

Prejudice And Discrimination In Snow Falling On Cedars

2256 words - 9 pages How does Guterson present the prejudice and discrimination against the Japanese Americans in chapter 1-15 of Snow Falling on Cedars.This book shows a great difference between cultures on the island of San Piedro. To start with the island is a very cosmopolitan island with its residents all from different backgrounds and countries, Japan, England, Germany, Spain and Denmark to name a few. We can tell this from the long lists of shops and their

Skin Bleaching in Jamica and Femine Beauty

1821 words - 7 pages among women of African decent. As many women of African descent all over the world are doing the same thing and similar things in the name of beauty and femininity, which if I may add is pre-described by white supremacy and western values. The situation of bleaching has a lot to do with African women’s socialization, their concept of feminine beauty, their faith in their self’s and their need to belong and to be certified. Other beauty rituals are

Gender Roles in Beauty and The Beast

610 words - 2 pages Gender roles in "Beauty and the Beast" Gender roles have been ingrained in our society all throughout history. In Jeanne Marie Le Prince de Beaumont's short story Beauty and the Beast, the author presents each character as a reflection of their own genders. Dominance and submission are two specific gender identities that have been assigned to men and women respectively. Beaumont tackles the difference between men and women's roles in

Inner and outer beauty in Dorian Gray

1488 words - 6 pages The term ‘beauty’ may have very relative significance. Something can be beautiful for us, but ugly for other people. The external beauty of a person is often the first thing that we pay attention to. This is the result of the association of beauty with good and ugliness with evil. Through the outer appearance we make a general opinion about a given person. Such a way of thinking may be very misleading. In order to get to know the person we need

Similar Essays

"Sleeping Beauty Vs. Snow White" Essay

890 words - 4 pages Every little girl pretends to be a princess and prances around imagining a prince charming. Even when they grow up and become a woman, they're still waiting for that prince to come sweep them off their feet, so they can fall crazy in love and live happily ever after. This fantasy is much because of Walt Disney movies such as "Sleeping Beauty", "Snow White", "Cinderella", "Little Mermaid", and many others. These stories have been passed down for

The Reality As Opposed To The Disney Versions Of Snow White And Sleeping Beauty

2040 words - 9 pages Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are considered Disney classics that entertain children and provide meaningful role models, it is evident that the true, vulgar nature of these tales are hidden; these stories are about women who are thrown away. Basile’s Sun, Moon, and Talia is the first recorded version of Sleeping Beauty in which Talia the young daughter of a noble, is cursed once she pricks herself with a needle. . Basile uses a very

The Developent Of Cinderella And Snow White

1979 words - 8 pages fantastical imagery continues to appeal to people of all ages. Over time, the tales’ major components have merged together and made their way into modern day movies, television shows and bedtime stories. As will be examined in this paper, Cinderella and Snow White, two well-known fairy tales developed on separate continents, are no exception. CULTURAL INTERPRETATION AND MODIFICATION Much like the game of “telephone,” it’s no surprise that

Comparing The Representation Of Female Characters In Snow White And Mulan

2617 words - 10 pages determined characters they are still happy homemakers just waiting to settle down. Other traditional Disney heroines are characters like Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Cinderella. In many ways they are similar to Snow White and became examples of how to act, what to do, and what was accepted and expected as a role model or just a woman. All three of them are shy, passive, and naïve towards the evils of the world. Their