Friday, March 11, 2011

Elvis and Annabelle - A Discussion

Let's focus on the interesting aspects of the movie and how it relates to the traditional version of Sleeping Beauty.

Obviously, there's very little "sleeping" in the movie as it wouldn't be much of a movie if all the heroine did was sleep. Or be dead.

What did you think of the "Prince" kissing the dead girl? I mean, did you feel that it was shown in a negative light, positive light or were there no feelings associated with it? Was it conclusively shown as right or wrong?

And Elvis and Annabelle? How different are they from the prince and the princess of the traditional tale? Do some character analysis. Annabelle is shown as pretty fluffy stuff but it isn't necessarily negative. At the same time, Elvis is hardly the well adjusted golden Prince Charming. Clearly he has issues but then again, who doesn't?

Parallelisms between the relationships of the two and their parents. Elvis and his dad compared to Annabelle and her mother. Thoughts?

Also, I know a lot of you are tired by the feminist approach but this needs to be asked, what did you think about Annabelle's mother? She seemed a more realistic look at what the modern Evil Queen from Snow White would be, to be honest. Concerned with beauty, not so much for herself as for her daughter. 

Other thoughts, observations?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yet another Quote...

"Fairy  tales are the bedtime stories of the collective consciousness.  They persist in the cultural memory because they interpret crises of the human condition that are common to all of us. They are shared wish fulfillments, abstract dreams that resolve conflicts and give meaning to experience. Philosophers of myth have sketched the genealogy of fairy tales, tracing most of them back to primitive rites de passage and initiation rituals. In some way, most of them celebrate the metaphoric death of the old inadequate self as it is about to be reborn on a higher plane of existence. Like Charon's boat they grant us passage to a world where the mortal and the eternal, the sacred and the secular, meet; where the past and the future are divined; where good and evil clash, but where goodness, truth and beauty are destined to victory. Fairy tales are thus primarily metaphors of the human personality, of the individual psyche's struggle to be free of fear and compulsion." - Madonna Kolbenschlag, Kiss Sleeping Beauty Good-Bye

The Second Sex - Simone de Beauvoir

Woman is the Sleeping beauty, Cinderella, Snow
White, she who receives and submits. In song and
story the young man is seen departing adventurously
in search of a woman; he slays the dragon, he battles
giants; she is locked in a tower, a palace, a garden, a
cave, she is chained to a rock, a captive, sound
asleep: she waits.

This is a poem/extract from The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. I found it interesting take on fairytales and the roles women play. I'll bring it up next class, see if I can start a discussion ;)

Sleeping Beauty - A Discussion

Here are some questions to help you get thinking about Sleeping Beauty in a more academic manner.

1. Why is Sleeping Beauty the least popular of all the romantic fairy tales in the canon (esp. the ones we are studying)? And what do the reasons for its unpopularity (or would it be lack of popularity?) say about our contemporary society? What is it about Sleeping Beauty that we can no longer find acceptable (kissing dead/unconscious women being one of them)?

2. Does the spindle symbolize anything, do you think?

3. Let's, for a change, look at how the men are disregarded in this story. We have been reading from a feminist stance all this while but I do think that there's a lot of injustice where men are concerned too. At least from a modern perspective. Thoughts?

4. If you were to re-tell the story and you could twist things around any way you wanted, what are the things you would change? And why? (You can use the two books we read as a sort of directive in this question.)

So tomorrow, we will be discussing your answers to these questions amongst all the other observations you have about the readings.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Margaret Atwood's "Unpopular Gals"

These are vignettes or maybe even shorter glimpses into the psyche of the "unpopular girls" of fairy tales. The evil stepmother, the ugly sister, etc. It's a short fun read and it's Atwood. Read it!

"You can wipe your feet on me, twist my motives around all you like, you can dump
millstones on my head and drown me in the river, but you can't get me out of the story.
I'm the plot, babe, and don't ever forget it."

Read it here.