Saturday, October 6, 2012

Anne Sexton v. Grimm Brothers

The Grimm version of Snow White and Anne Sextons version of Snow White have some similarities and differences. In both the plot of the story is essentially the same, the evil queen tries to have Snow White killed, Snow White survives, she lives with dwarfs, falls asleep, and is awakened by a prince. Anne Sexton’s version is very blunt and direct with her interpretation of Snow White, as where the Grimm brothers weren't as direct and left things more for interpretation.
                Right from the begging Anne Sexton refers to Snow White as a virgin, and unsoiled. Anne Sexton from the beginning is saying that Snow White is pure because she is a virgin. In the Grimm version the reader has to interpret that on their own. Anne Sexton also says that the stepmother is “eaten by age”. She then describes the stepmother as having brown spots on her hands and whisker on her lip. She is making the stepmother sound like an old woman and adds some amusement in it as well by making the stepmother animal like. There is no guessing as to why the stepmother is jealous of Snow White.. it’s because Snow White is prettier than she is and she doesn't like that so she wants Snow White dead. Anne Sexton also refers to Snow White as a “dumb bunny”. Once again this shows how blunt Anne Sexton is. Everyone who reads the take thinks that is dumb that Snow White falls for the evil queens tricks three times but Anne Sexton clearly writes it in her poem and makes it amusing for the reader.

Anne Sexton also adds pop culture into her poem… that was the big thing when she wrote this. Anne Sexton writes things like “she was full of life like soda pop” and “red-hot roller skates”. Descriptions like this were simply the norm when she wrote this poem so it made sense for her to write them. The Grimm version does not have any hints of pop culture in it whatsoever. The pop culture part of the story is part of the zeitgeist in Anne Sextons version.
The key difference I would say between the two versions is the ending of Snow White. In the Grimm version the evil stepmother died and Snow White and the prince lived happily ever after. Anne Sexton however ends her poem with Snow White “referring to her mirror as women do”. This ending is different because Anne Sexton is saying that Snow White is going to be just like her stepmother. Meaning she is going to get jealous when she ages and try to have her daughter killed so she stays the prettiest girl. Grimm would never have that ending because that’s now how typical fairy tales end, the princess stays fair and good and lives happily with the prince.

I liked reading Anne Sextons version of Snow White. I thought it was very amusing and interesting to see how she interpreted Snow White. I thought it was funny how blunt she was and I liked her twist at the end, it was different. It gave me a different view on Snow White and I think other people should read her version too.  

No comments:

Post a Comment