FOLK AND FAIRY TALES
,BNCHANT ED •BRIDE (GRO OM)
and husband, while in the somewhat similar “East of the Sun, West a love grows out of the youngest daughter’s discovery that an imposed nevertheless succeed when it is nurtured with trust and determination. By love in “The Frog King” only becomes,possible after the princess’s act of viol assertion that is also her declaration of independence from her father. “The Frog King” also differs from the two previous tales in the rapid ‘d ment of the central character—she goes from child to married woman in thio es. This “accelerated childhood” is in fact not an uncommon occurrence in 41 (we see something similar in “Snow White” and “Rapunzel,” for instanceV’ • reminded that this is a world in which children are obliged to grow up fast. the princess’s behavior at the beginning of the tale is childlike, as is her. ol3e4 to her father; the ending of the tale is noteworthy, since several well-known tives exist that invite quite distinct interpretations. The ending that you will,k8 this anthology is that preferred by the Grimms, although (as D.L. Ashlitnarlr on his excellent websitel) they altered the tale substantially between firSt an editions’, in part to make it less sexually explicit. An alternative endingiiii wlji princess permits the frog to sleep on her pillow for three nightS and thus enchantment, was made popular by Edgar Taylor’s first English translation6 Grimms’ tales (1823); no doubt he saw such a display of forbearance andy tion as more befitting a well-brought-up young lady.’ Also not to be forgot-tnis ending wherein the princess is induced to kiss the frog in order to break his, enC ment. Although scholars have had difficulty in tracing the origins of this pitie climax to the story, it is nevertheless firmly entrenched in popular cultuke has provided considerable scope for those adopting a more irreverent approad the tale. In “The White Cat,” we have an example of a “salon” tale, written by an aristoq is Frenchwoman, Madame la Comtesse d’Aulnoy (1650-1705), whose upperi-e Perspective is clearly visible in the self-conscious tone and opulent descriptibitt characterizes this tale. At the same time, there is no mistaking her debt tb‘thefb. tale in the extensive use she makes of the tale that Basile published as “Petrbsinell. and the Grimms would later record as “Rapunzel.” Reflective of the role these saldh played for their predominantly female adherents, there is an interesting exampl role-reversal here, in that the youngest prince’s good fortune (not to mentiolgtlii4 of his father and brothers) is entirely attributable to the assistance of the White’e and in that respect the tale may be seen as a contrast to “Beauty and the Beast.”, • v)
ilubt that the animal’s gender is of major consequence. While the ciOusness towards Beauty is neutralized by his barely restrained c.’sucl-1 tension between the prince and the White Cat, whose rela-rackially to a moment of supreme trust.
THE BEAST’ een, il,3eaumont
4114E THERE lived a merchant who was exceedingly rich. He hree boys and three girls—and being a sensible man he spared on their education, but engaged tutors of every kind for them. All his ;,pretty, but the youngest especially was admired by everybody. When tie was known simply as the little beauty,” and this name stuck to her, ifdeal•ofjealousy on the part of her sisters. est girl was not only prettier than her sisters, but very much nicer. The s were very arrogant as a result of their wealth; they pretended to be edining to receive the daughters of other merchants, and associating eOple. of quality. Every day they went off to balls and theatres, and for g, 4k, with Many a gibe at their little sister; who spent mach of her time ood books. &girls were known to be very rich, and in Consequence were sought Imany prominent merchants. The two eldest said they would never g’Ss they could find a duke, or at least a count. But Beauty—this, as I have was the name by which the youngest was known—very politely thanked ippOsed marriage to her, and said that she was too young at present, and sled to keep her father company for several years yet. g Y the merchant lost his fortune, the sole property which remained to him id[i house in the country, a long way from the capital. With tears he broke children that they would have to’move to this house, where by working like fliey might just be able to live. to elder girls replied that they did not wish to leave. the town, and that they ;r4ladinirers who would be only too happy to marry them, notwithstanding
See <http://www.pittedui—dash/frogking.html>. a The importance of being aware that a specific tale may have many variants is made clear by Alan pi!n.4q, his essay “Fairy Tales from a Folkloristic Perspective’ (p. 335)• ;:a$
Orki in -17s6, This text from Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Taies, trans. Angela Carter Gollancz,1982).
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