Poverty And Wealth In Cinderella And Hansel And Gretel

3358 words - 13 pages

How did the cultural and socioeconomic status of the Grimm brothers as well as the conditions in 1800 Germany influence the theme of poverty and wealth in “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel”

There have been several scholarly debates that the Grimm brothers were among the pioneering contributors of the kind of German nationalism whose tragic consequences engulfed the twentieth century. Disregarding questions over the validity of this statement, what remains evident is the invaluable influence the Grimm brothers had on the new culture of the German society through their writings. One of such influences was breaking or challenging the issues of social class with specific effect on wealth and poverty. In several of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales, this issue of social class is an ever present theme. In most cases, if not always, there are dichotomies and physical representations that depict a distinction between the characters in their tales. This theme of social class translates into the basic idea of the haves and have-nots of these tales. Those possessing enormous property and fashionable attires are associated with wealth while those in servitude and clothed in rags are normally associated with the proletariat class. These are recurring facts that engulf their versions of the fairy tales, “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel”. Because of the Grimm brothers’ socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, the effect of social classes, with specific focus on wealth and poverty, was inseparable from their writings.
The “German” nation, before it even became known as Germany, had undergone a period of transition from its inherited culture as a result of the French invasion and the Napoleonic wars. There was a sense that the German culture was fading away which prompted the need for a cultural intervention. The Grimm brothers, given their own socioeconomic backgrounds, took advantage of this opportunity to revive the German culture through their writings. According to Michaelis-Jena, a German-British writer and translator of Jewish descent, their purpose was to ensure that “the buried-gold” of oral tradition be brought to light and preserved” (Michaelis-Jena 226). In his book, The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forest to the Modern World, Jack Zipes argues that the Grimm brothers were indeed nationalistic but not in the negative sense in which the term is used today. When they began their folklore research as young men in their twenties, Germany, as we know it, did not exist. Their ‘country’, essentially Hesse and the Rhineland, was invaded by the French, and they were disturbed by French colonialist aspirations. Thus, their desire to publish a word which expressed a German cultural spirit was part of an effort to contribute to a united German front against the French (Enchanted Forest, 16). Another important factor in Germany at the time was the abolition of Serfdom – which was a system that allowed the peasants to labor for the nobility class which...

Find Another Essay On Poverty and Wealth in Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel

The Dynamic and Ever-changing Hansel and Gretel

1929 words - 8 pages not she would fit. This prompted the witch to offer a demonstration, upon which Gretel shoved the witch in the oven and killed her. Gretel released Hansel, then took all of the pearls from the house, and ran home to their father. Their stepmother had died, so the father and two children were able to live happily ever after, especially with the newfound wealth in jewels they had plundered from the former witch’s house. The lessons to

Twisted Fairytale: The Story of Hansel and Gretel

980 words - 4 pages We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel. Two innocent little children who were walking in the woods and found a house made of candy. There was an ugly old witch inside who tried to bake them into a pie. Well that is only one side of the story. I am here to tell you what really happened. Let’s get one thing straight here; I was not an ugly old witch. My name was Bertha. Also it really hurt my feeling and increased my insecurities when it

Analysis of "The True Story of Hansel and Gretel"

1257 words - 5 pages It was said by an anonymous author, that war changes the inherently good and unique spirit of the human race into the brute savages that they once had been. In The True Story of Hansel and Gretel characters have never known freedom from this war torn Europe. Bloodshed and violence are all that these characters have lived with and therefore we see no other traits other than those that are a direct result of these unfortunate and gruesome

Christians, Wealth and Poverty

2506 words - 10 pages Christians, Wealth and Poverty The Bible does not say that money is bad. However, what it does say is that it is "the love of money is the root of all evil", a powerful message. The Bible also says "no one can serve two masters". What this means is that you cannot be too attached to your money or it will lead you away from the one true master, God. It means you cannot use your money in selfish or bad ways, but

Religion, Poverty and Wealth

1216 words - 5 pages Religion, Poverty and Wealth Poverty is now a problem on a global scale, and Hinduism has needed, and will continue to need, to undertake an ongoing state of change and adaptation. Many of the beliefs Hindus held only a couple of centuries ago have been altered or even removed altogether. The globalisation of Hinduism, bringing it into contact with a wide range of other cultures and religions, has influenced this a lot

Religion, Poverty, and Wealth

1865 words - 7 pages Religion, Poverty, and Wealth Christians believe strongly in world equality, as they feel that they have a responsibility to care for the poor and needy. These responsibilities are based upon the five key Christian ideas 1. Stewardship Genesis (1: 28 – 31) In this story God creates Adam and Eve. He builds a beautiful house and a beautiful garden with trees laden with ripe and delicious fruit for them to

Poverty And Wealth In The World

900 words - 4 pages Jesus had a lot to teach about poverty and wealth. Rich people were seen as being rewarded for hard work by God where as poor people were seen as to be punished by God for their sins. Because of this, poor people were not treated equally and were seen as being not half as important as rich people. Jesus would often come across someone rich and would see the way in which they treated a poor person. He said that a rich person should share all of

Wealth and Poverty: Karl Marx

2114 words - 8 pages this age of industrialization. Although this period brought technological advances and economic growth, it also was a period of disparity and poverty. Karl Marx, a German philosopher, saw this inequality growing between what he called "the bourgeoisie" and "the proletariat" classes. The bourgeoisie was the middle/upper class which was growing in due to the industrial revolution, and the proletariats were the working class, the poor. These

Catholic Teaching on Wealth and Poverty

1609 words - 6 pages ways the reason for this is when acquiring wealth the wealth must not be taken from less fortunate people. The apostles led a life of poverty but led a truly Catholic life, living a life of poverty does not mean to give up everything you possess but to share the wealth you have with the people who need it. Living a life of poverty is seen as shameful in this day and age but living a life of poverty is more than giving up

The Christian Belief on Wealth and Poverty

1019 words - 4 pages Wealth, the state of being affluent which is a highly desirable characteristic in life and opposing this is poverty, the state of having little or no money and very few possessions. The Bible teaches us that wealth in your life is absolutely worthless in Heaven and holds no value under the eyes of God. This goes against almost every human’s attitude to earning more money to be content by a better lifestyle. Currently Christian leaders are

Christian Teachings on Wealth and Poverty

2332 words - 9 pages Christian Teachings on Wealth and Poverty When we think poverty, we think being poor, hungry, homeless which is exactly what it means. The opposite of this would be wealthy, meaning a lot of money, property or riches. Even the world we live in is separated between wealthy and poor, this is called the north-south divide. The wealthier countries are located to be in the north, areas including USA, Eastern Europe, Canada

Similar Essays

Hansel And Gretel Essay

974 words - 4 pages Colin HartyGender in Fairy TalesProfessor Whittingham7 October 2014Hansel and GretelIn the original story "Hansel and Gretel" by Jacob and Wihelm Grimm, their mother is portrayed as an evil mother who doesn't love her children. However in the movie Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters which debuted in 2013 it takes place fifteen years in the future and Hansel and Gretel are now witch hunters. Their mother in the movie is portrayed as somebody who

Hansel And Gretel Essay

1982 words - 8 pages In "Hansel and Gretel" and "Snow White" there are many comparisons that arisewithin the two stories. In "Hansel and Gretel" the children's presence creates hardshipsfor the parents, and because of this, life turns problematic for the children. In "SnowWhite" it is not any external difficulty such as poverty, but the relations between her andher parents which create the problematic situation. In "Hansel and Gretel" and "SnowWhite" the mother

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

Poem, Gretel In The Darkness By Luise Gluck Taken From Classic Hansel And Gretel

695 words - 3 pages In the poem “Gretel in Darkness”, the author Louise Gluck writes based off of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale “Hansel and Gretel”. Gluck visualizes herself as Gretel, seeing and feeling from her point of view after being faced with her terrible encounter with the witch. Gretel is distraught and feels as though no one is there for her or cares about what she is feeling. She is overwhelmed with this certain sensation of darkness. Darkness is