Fairy Tales Are Actually Scary…


Found this interesting article….

Fairy tales: Scarier than you think

The original versions of tales like Sleeping Beauty were never meant for children.

By Mary, Quite Contrary

Unless your childhood was devoid of cartoons and storybooks, you should be quite familiar with tales featuring the likes of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. They’re all saccharine sweet and full of happily ever after, which masks the fact that they are based on gruesome, bloody tales that were never meant for children. Sleeping Beauty, for instance gets more than a kiss from her Prince Charming in the original story, written by Giambattista Basile in 1636. Instead, she gets raped and subsequently gives birth to twins.

Fairy tales originated as women’s stories passed down orally as a means of rebelling against oppression, political censorship and the literary establishment at that time. Usually violent and with a moral to boot, they became more palatable when Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm started collecting these tales from German peasants and Charles Perrault started retelling them in neighbouring France. These eventually evolved to become the well-loved stories we know today. Here’s a look at three fairy tales popularised by Disney.

Cinderella – mutilation

Both Perrault and the Grimm Brothers wrote versions of this tale, which differ vastly in plot and characterisation. In the Perrault version, for instance, Cinderella actively sources for transportation to the ball, suggesting that the rat trap might be a good place to find a coachman, instead of standing around looking bewildered as she does in the Disney version. She is also as scheming as her stepsisters, pretending to have been woken from sleep by their return and feigning surprise when they tell her about the mysterious princess at the ball.

All this pales in comparison to the Grimms’ account. In it, as in Perrault’s version, the ball is not a one-off affair but a two-day festival. On her first night out dancing with the prince, Cinderella manages to disappear when the clock strikes 12. On the second, night, however, the prince shows himself to be far from charming and gallant. He orders that the stairs be tarred with pitch. Cinderella’s left slipper gets stuck. Happily, she sustains nary a sprain and sprints off into the night.

The obsessed prince hunts her down, but the evil stepmother insists that her two daughters force their feet into the tiny shoe so either one of them can marry him. To expedite things, one cuts off her toe; the other, her heel which really, is no less than what some women would do for a pair of Louboutins. It doesn’t work and the prince eventually finds and marries Cinderella, who receives her stepsisters’ eyeballs as a wedding present from the birds (the ornithological version of the fairy godmother). An eye for an eye, as they say. Or four.

Snow White – cannibalism

Old Walt cut his animation teeth on this fairy tale, which became the first full-length animated feature to be produced by Disney. One stark difference between this version and the original telling is the Queen’s motive for asking the huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back the heart. In the cartoon, all the Queen wants the heart for is proof that Snow White is dead, completely omitting the Queen’s intent to have the heart for dinner. The huntsman, however, doesn’t have the gumption to do it and brings back a pig’s heart for the cook to salt, after which we imagine the queen had a grand time smacking her lips over a good stew.

In some versions, the Queen doesn’t stop at the heart. She must have been on a high-protein diet, because she asks for Snow White’s liver, lungs, intestines and even a bottle of her blood stoppered with a toe. Wonder if she ate the toenail too?

The Little Mermaid – murder and suicide

Of the three cartoons we’ve covered here, The Little Mermaid deviates most from Hans Christian Andersen’s account. In the Disney version, Ariel goes to Ursula the sea witch to trade her voice for a pair of legs so that she can become human and pursue the Prince. Ursula, however, uses Ariel’s voice to bewitch the Prince and nearly succeeds in marrying him before she is overthrown and Ariel struts down the aisle in a poufy dress, keeps her gams and gets her voice back. Joy.

In Andersen’s version, however, the witch warns the mermaid before cutting off her tongue and turning her tail into legs that she will die and turn into sea foam if she fails to hook the prince. The mermaid gets to shore and moves in with the prince who, sadly, treats her like a sister. He soon falls in love with a princess and they get hitched.

Desperate to save the mermaid, her sisters swim to shore sporting 10-dollar haircuts. Their hair has bought time from the witch – if the mermaid kills the prince, she will get her tail back and live another 300 years before she dies and turns to sea foam. If she doesn’t, she will die at sunrise. The mermaid can’t do it, and in a fit of depression, kills herself by jumping off the ship. And you thought Korean celebrity suicides were dramatic.

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If you’d like a different take on the above by Arthur Nonimus Click Here

34 Responses

  1. And we thought these princesses ended up happily ever after! We’ve always known fairy tales as stories to help drift children off to sleep! If I heard the uncensored version as a child, I’d have a chronic sleeping problem by now. Interesting info!

  2. Hi Mica,

    Thanks and yeah to think I even used to love reading stories from the Brothers Grimm as a child. Oh and there is also an interesting article about Nursery Rhymes…..let me search for it and I’d probably post it up in a few days…

    Cheers ;)

  3. Is there an original story of sleeping beauty by chance?? Or was that just some fancy fabrication of bored artists?

  4. Here’s what I manage to find taken from http://home.nycap.rr.com/useless/sleeping_beauty/index.html

    A fairy tale of rape and cannibalism.
    Sleeping Beauty.

    A beautiful tale in which they all live happily ever after. Or do they?

    In 1697, a French author named Charles Perrault published a classic book titled Tales of Times Passed. Today the book is better known as Mother Goose Tales.

    Seven of its eight tales have become classics for children. I’m sure that you know some of these: “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” (Sleeping Beauty), “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Blue Beard”, “The Master Cat: or Puss in Boots”, “Diamonds and Toads”, and “Cinderella”.

    Perrault, however, did not write any of these stories. They were all re-workings of stories passed from one generation to the next.

    These stories were actually very cruel and downright nasty in their original form. Perrault simply cleaned them up and let everyone live happily ever after.

    The earliest known written version of Sleeping Beauty was actually published 61 years earlier by an Italian named Giambattista Basile.

    Here is how the story was originally told:

    A great king was forewarned by some wise (old?) men that his newborn daughter named Talia was in great danger. It seems that a poison splinter was in the palace’s flax, and it would destroy her. The king immediately ordered a ban on flax inside the palace walls.

    But, as all great fairy tales go, Talia somehow encountered a flax-spinning wheel and got that nasty splinter in her finger.

    What happened?

    Talia dropped dead.

    As a result, King Dad placed his daughter’s body on a velvet cloth, locked the palace gates, and left the forrest forever and ever.

    Enter the great nobleman, who turned out not to be so noble.

    While hunting in the woods one day, he just happened to stumble on the abandoned palace and Talia’s dead body.

    One would think he kissed her at this point, but no such thing happened.

    Instead, he raped her.

    He planted the noble seed and nine months later Talia gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Their names were Sun and Moon (which is the boy and which is the girl?) and the fairies took care of them.

    One day, the boy was sucking on mom’s finger and sucked out the poisonous flax splinter.

    Talia awoke from her death bed.

    Many months go by and the horny young nobleman returns to the woods to have another encounter with the princess. To his surprise, he found her alive and well.

    He confesses that he is the father of her children and they enjoy a hot weekend fling in the hay (Would you have a love affair with your rapist?).

    The nobleman then returns home to his wife. Somehow she learns about his illegitimate children.

    The wife orders the capture of the children. Her cook is then told to slash their young throats and to cook a hash with their flesh.

    At dinner that night, the wife gleefully watches her husband eat his meal. When he has finished, she announces “You are eating what is your own!”.

    We can be sure that the nobleman did not feel too well at that moment. But then, he did rape a dead woman, so he deserves a little suffering.

    But all fairy tales must have a happy ending, so check out this one:

    It turns out that the cook had a soft heart and never slaughtered the children. Instead, goat meat was substituted.

    The enraged wife ordered the capture of Talia and that she be burned at the stake.

    But she was saved from death by her rapist and they lived happily ever after.

    I wonder why Walt Disney didn’t use this version of the story? It has so much more romance than the modern version.

    • how can a dead woman produce babies? lol

  5. Its pathetic… do you have any proof that they are all true? Please send me the proof for i won’t believe them unless there is a proof…

    • Look at the beginning of the post, I mentioned that I found this article ,not that I had written it. It’s an interesting take is it not? Instead of asking for proof why not disproof it with research? :)

      • It really does not take long to find the original versions on the net! They are all gruesome and scary lol.
        No worse than half the video games out there. I am helping my daughter research the true meanings of fairy tales not hte sugarcoated disney version. Which BTW are filled with sexist ideas.
        Thank you for the article I loved it and found it most helpful. And Bravo to Jules who is more than right. You have the net and all its wisdom at your fingertips wildrose. Use it.

        • Why thank you madame, glad to be of service and I hope your daughter will not be affected by what she reads i.e. the unadulterated versions.

          cheers ;)

  6. where do i buy the movies for these versions?

    • Well if you do eventually find out, do come back and let us know ok? I believe such movies have not been made though I believe there are porno versions available… :razz:

  7. the whole article was great and all but why that last sentence of korean celebrity suicides.. this mary person didn’t necessarily have to write that… its kind of.. i dont know how to put it….

    • Hi Nahae,

      The article was not written by me and I am not sure if the name placed on the article is fictitious because it was copied as is. However I agree with the author and you might too if you ever watched Korean drama serials on how dramatic their suicides are.

      Cheers Jules

      P.S. it is your prerogative to rate the article as you did.

  8. This is a good post but it lacks a few details.

    Firstly, In the little mermaid, after she throws herself from the ship she if saved by the children of the air and is able to buy her soul if she does good deeds, like bringing the rain or a cool breeze on a summers day.

    Secondly, Fairy tales evolved out of creations myths and legends, not as the author of this post asserts as a feminist grassroots movement. While it is true that quite a few fairy tale tellers and writers where women there is little to no evidence in the literature or history to support to contention that fairy tales were rebellion against a patriarchal society.

    Finally, the scary elements of the fairy tales have to be viewed in the social context in which they were written. These tales were told during times when disease like consumption (TB), leprosy, scurvy and anthrax (the black death) were common, and with little to no understanding of bacteria and viruses these diseases seemed to be killing people seemingly at will. Death was not a state of non-life but a real entity who stalked the land and stole the souls of loved ones. These were scary times in which to live, if the rains did not come then there would be no food to feed the family, the woods still held untold monsters and demons and illness struck without warning or compassion. The governments of the time still used punishments such as hanging drawing and quartering. This involved hanging by the neck until almost dead, being cut down, being tied to a post where your belly was slit open and your entrails allowed to fall out, where they were then burned, the boby would then be cut up into pieces and each piece sent off to different areas where they would be placed on a spike at the entrance to the city and left to rot. They also used drowning, torture, beheadings, strangulation, stoning and other assorted methods of punishment and execution. When viewed in context the fairy tales like where Cinderella receives her sisters eyes as a present (eye gouging was yet another form of punishment although less common at the time of the fairy tales being written) is actually pretty damn tame.

    Other than that, it is great article. I would like to be able to use it my blog, if I could.

    • Hey Tim,

      Thank you for your keen insights, and as this article was penned under a fictitious name go right ahead and use it. Perhaps you can share the link later on.

      Cheers
      Jules

      • As requested here is the link to my blog with a copy of this post. It is written under my stage name of Arthur Nonimus. But fair warning it is long.

        http://notachildstale.blogspot.com/2010/04/interesting-article-on-fairy-tales-on.html

        • Thank you sir, and I’ve update my post with link to yours right below….cheers

  9. I love this and completely agree. And what about the Hunchback of Notredame? They completely wrecked that story.

  10. I love this article !!!
    The Brothers Grimm had the knowledge and know how to keep us scared and talking about their stories even to this day.
    I loved it so much I had to put a link to your article on my blog for myspace.
    This is where real horror movies start….

    Here’s the link :

    http://www.myspace.com/ghoulsntools/blog

    Ghoulishly yours

    • Thanks for sharing dear….cheers! :)

  11. Love it!

    -Jessica

  12. thanks!:)

    • Welcome… :)

  13. This is great. I had no idea about the differences between the true Snow White and the one we read and see. I wonder if these had all been reprinted/shown as they were originally written if they would have been banned in schools like some of the classics (Huck Finn, Catcher in the Rye.) Can you imagine a nursery school teacher being allowed to read about cannibalism? Where did you discover the original versions?

    Steve
    My site: does creatine help?

    • I read an article mentioning it and did a little digging…cheers

  14. Very interesting post. One guy who really studied the mysticism behind fairy tales is the American Mythologist called “Joseph Campbell”. He analyzed the psyche of the hero and how this effects us. As these stories are often told to small children, they have an incredibly powerful effect on us. A child under the age of 6 is still in the Hypnogogic Age, where their subconscious mind absorbs roughly one million times the amount of info than a fully grown adult.

    Also, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned the German fairy story Hansel and Gretal (by Brothers Grimm, I think). Known in the Slavic world with different names for the children… like Kacha and Dacha or some such thing.

    Toby. My site: Does P90X Work

  15. Dear Catholic jules,

    Thank you for being u and keeping true to what u bleive.
    it is such a breath of fresh air in a world full of Darkness.
    I love the stories and love letters to Mom oh and the little.
    Funny faces u are truly one of a kind.

    • *hugs*

  16. HI!!! I never thought fairy tales would be scary. I thought they were for little kids to read. LOL! :)

    • It shocked me too :D

  17. “Fairy Tales Are Actually Scary Living Life With
    A Passion” was indeed a great posting, cannot wait to look over more of ur blog posts.
    Time to squander some time online lolz. Thanks for your effort ,Kerrie

  18. I feel greatful reading your post, It’s either true or not I would prefer the original stories than Disney’s version. How I wish, such original story line be in movies too, :)

  19. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I’m experiencing situation with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar rss downside? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  20. When someone writes an article he/she maintains the idea of a user
    in his/her mind that how a user can know it. So that’s why this paragraph is perfect. Thanks!

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