The Disturbing Tone of Rapunzel
The story of "Rapunzel" has been passed throughout generations in the form of a fairy tale. Typical fairy tales come to a resolution ending ‘happily ever after’. It seems that there is always a villain, always a hero, and some sort of a moral or lesson to be grasped from each story (Rhetoric 102K/L class discussion/lecture, January 18, 2001). Most of the traditional fairy tales involve a ‘damsel in distress’, in which she is happily rescued by a true love. These types of stories leave readers feeling that those who are in pain and anguish will eventually rise above and be granted pure happiness. It is this break in the traditional style that sets the Grimm stories apart from others.
Using the formalistic approach allows for the Grimm version of Rapunzel to be analyzed closely. For starters, the way a story begins and the first impression upon the reader are extremely important. The authors creatively set up a situation in which they manipulate the minds of their readers. They have to pave the road they want their readers to follow in order to have a greater impact. The road starts with the title, which is a direct indication of the main character, Rapunzel. While reading the story the authors have already given the reader a previous insight of what is to come. The story begins describing the situation of “a man and his wife, who had long wished for a child, but in vain”(Grimm 514). This opening line begins to unfold much of the story and reveals the main part of the story, how Rapunzel was the center of their wishes.
The names of the characters are insightful for the reader to relate the events and make connections. In this story the names of the parents aren’t revealed. This is purposely done to emphasize the ‘universality’ of their roles; they are simply typical and average parents, who could be anybody (Rhetoric 102K/L class discussion/lecture, January 18, 2001). The wife asks the husband for some rampion out of the garden of an evil witch, Gothel. The name Gothel resembles the word gothic; it is a gloomy and fitting name for someone of evil origin. The wife has such a desire for this rampion and asks him again to...