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Puss In Boots, A Fairy Tale With Questionable Morals

1609 words - 7 pages

For my picture book of Puss in Boots, I choose a pop-up version of the fairy tale, printed in 1983, which was designed by a Czechoslovakian artist, Vojtěch Kubašta. The pop-up book is based on the original fairy tale Puss in Boots, or The Master Cat, by Charles Perrault. Kubašta’s pop-up version of this tale closely follows the original Puss in Boots tale, with some small changes made to characters and the plot, while maintaining the integrity of the original story. None of the elements that are different in the pop-up version are elements that alter the questionable nature of the character Puss and his methods of achieving what he deems necessary. This essay will explore the differences and similarities in these two versions of Puss in Boots, the artistic aspects of Kubašta’s pop-up book, and whether or not story, in either version, is morally upstanding or whether the motivation and actions of Puss are questionable.
Kubašta’s pop-up book is a fantastic representation of this fairy tale, keeping with the styling of the original story. The character Puss is represented in the same manner in the pop-up version as he is in the original; a charming, street-smart cat who is able to use his wit to get what he wants for himself and for his master. The King’s character is represented similarly as well, kind and gracious towards Puss for his hard work. The master, “the Marquis of Carabas” is also given the name Peter in the pop-up version, but his character is also the same, highly trusting of his cat, Puss. The profession of the Marquis’ father, a miller, is his profession in both versions. The manner in which Puss achieves his goals is also the same, by threatening the peasant workers into telling the King that the lands in which they are working are owned by the Marquis of Carabas, “the King will be here in a few minutes. He will ask you who owns the meadow and you must say it belongs to the Marquis of Carabas. If you forget, you will lose your heads” (Kubašta).
The differences between Kubašta’s pop-up version and the original fairy tale are somewhat small, and do not largely impact the moral of the story or the plot line, but are obvious differences. The first difference between Kubašta’s version and Perrault’s version of Puss in Boots is that the King rewards the cat with a thousand ducats in the pop-up version, but in the original version he merely is gracious; “tell thy master," said the king, "that I thank him and that he does me a great deal of pleasure" (Perrault). The second obvious difference is that the second group of workers, originally corn field farmers in Perrault’s version, whom Puss comes upon and demands they inform the King that the Marquis of Carabas owns the land, are not in Kubašta’s version of the tale. Rather than Puss meeting these workers, the storyline skips ahead to him meeting, and ultimately outwitting, the owner of the lands. The third difference, which could somewhat affect the storyline, is that in Kubašta’s...

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