Hansel And Gretel Vs. The Simpsons

1788 words - 7 pages

At one time or another almost every child has read a story about mystical beings, dashing heroes, and evil villains, all acting out a story in a mysterious place, in a time long, long ago. Fairy Tales, while almost purely of a fictional content, offer us a glimpse into the culture and social staples of a certain society. The classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, by the Brother's Grimm, depicts two young siblings abandoned in the forest by their parents during a time of a great famine. The Simpson's has long been a fundamental element of many adolescent children and is a modern, and somewhat skewed, version of the classic fairy tale. These two mediums of expression, however different they may be, give us concepts and facts about cultural norms that tell us what times were truly like when they were written.

Many different societies around the world have a unique version of a certain fairy tale and when these stories are read we find that the things we value most highly, fear so incredibly and hope for so deeply are valued, feared and hoped for by these characters, regardless of where these stories may have originated. Each culture has a unique way of telling one of these classic stories while still keeping those same hopes and values. The fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel gives us an accurate portrayal about lower class peasants in a famine stricken Europe. In a unique spin of this classic tale, the ultra- contemporary (and ultra controversial) Simpson's animated sitcom parodies this unfortunate and sad story, while still holding true some of the main themes.

One important fairy tale element is that the characters in fairy tales are rarely developed by the author or speaker and because of this we do not know a great deal about their personality, their ability to solve problems or how they might react during a tough situation. In the story of Hansel and Gretel we are meeting these two antagonists for the first time and we do not know a whole lot about them. During the parent's first attempt to abandon their children, we learn that Hansel is a very clever boy. While his parents are leading them to their would be demise Hansel is busy dropping pebbles on the forest floor in hopes that it would lead them back to their cottage. He deceptiveness is shown when his father asks, "Hansel, why are you always stopping and staring (Grimm 185)." His reply was " Oh, father, I am looking at my white kitten, which is sitting up on the roof trying to bid me farewell (Grimm 185)." As an audience we all know that Hansel is really dropping pebbles so that he and his sister can follow them back to their home.

Because of Hansel's quick thinking the two abandoned siblings, to the surprise of their parents, find their way back to their meager abode. Their parents attempt to abandon them a second time, again leading them into the forest, this time deeper into this uncharted abyss of trees and creatures. Unable to get pebbles, Hansel drops pieces of...

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