Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Analysis of Snow White OR Dwarfs do it with funny red hats



Relax, the sense of deja vu is perfectly normal since I have already done an analysis of Snow White.  In fact it was the first one of these that I did and my plan back then was to connect them all by having the running gag of people going off to fight in the Unicorn Wars.  Thankfully I was able to cast such ideas to the wind but this particular story seems to beg for an update.

An update which, if you  hit the jump you can read.

There are many kinds of beauty that one might possess in the world but we should all be wary of holding such a two edged sword.  There are beautiful people who seem to be targets of the less attractive or, worse, another one of the beautiful people who have decided that none may be more beautiful than themselves.

It sounds impossible I know but the simple truth is that kindness and beauty don't always walk hand in hand  here then is the Story of Snow White a cautionary tale of woe, terror, dwarfs, and poisoned apples in four acts.



Right then.  Once upon a time there was a castle  Of course this being the land of stories this fact surprised nobody and the fact that the princes daughter was very beautiful was only of news to the tourists.  
Now this young woman had a stepmother who was also a great beauty but the major difference between the two was that she was much more insecure about the whole thing.
Every day, for instance, she uncovered the magic mirror (1)  and asked a very simple question
“Mirror mirror on the wall.  Who's the fairest of them all?” 

~I break from the narrative to point out that this question is  right up there with “Does my butt look big in this?”  There is really no answer to this~

Anyway back in the stepmothers bedroom the pair were waiting for their cues and the stepmother repeated her line
“Mirror Mirror on the wall.  Who's the fairest of them all?”
Since the mirror was enchanted it quickly reviewed that section of Facebook which is reserved for the beautiful people (2)  and invariably gave her the answer that she wanted to hear.
“Naturally it's you and everyone knows it”
The stepmother would smile because there was no point in being the most beautiful if everyone didn't know about it.
Life continued in this way for a while and then Snow White reached a certain age and, well, we could say that she blossomed but I'd like to think that we're all above such obvious metaphor.

Of course the stepmother found out about it because of the whole magic mirror thing and, to completely understate the situation , was slightly miffed.  It also didn't help that Snow had the kind nature so often found in Disney Princess's which only served to ramp the beauty levels right up to 11.

The stepmother had a servant who was loyal to her and even more so after she dangled a large sack of loot that would be his if he would only take Snow White out into the forest and kill her in a manner most horrible.  That might have been the end of the story except that when it came time to do the deed the servants courage failed him and he ran off, leaving Snow sitting beside a tree in the middle of the forest

If she'd run into these guys then the story would be much different.

Night came (3).  Snow White began to tremble and cry at the thought of all the terrible eyes spying on her and the strange sounds and rustlings that made her heart thump

"This girl needs to grow a backbone hoom hoom"

"We agree"

"It's not as if we're even in this story"

"Get on with it!"

Eventually, after much stumbling about and jumping at EVERY. LITTLE. THING she curled up under a tree and went to sleep. When dawn awoke the forest to the song of the birds it meant that Snow White reached over and hit the snooze button.  Except that the alarm clock turned out to be a squirrel and after she had managed to fend off the angry rodent she found that she was a lot more awake than before.

Of course she had no real idea of where to go but reasoning that anywhere was better than here she started walking and eventually managed to find a tiny path which led to a clearing with a strange looking cottage.  There was a tiny door, tiny windows and a tiny chimney  in fact everything about this place was much tinier.
“How tiny everything is!” Snow White declared as she wandered around the house “it's almost as if this place were built for people who were smaller than the average citizen”

"Oh right, ha ha ha.  We're just going to read a magazine while she gets all the short jokes out of her system"

“I've got an idea” said Snow, who had just gotten an idea “I'll make these people dinner and when they come home they'll be glad to find  a meal ready”

After sunset seven tiny men marched home singing the traditional Hi ho song (4) and to their surprise they found that the house had been cleaned, the pot of squirrel soup was bubbling away nicely and Snow White herself was asleep on one of the beds
“Well” said the chief dwarf after he'd woken her up and heard her story (5) “I think that you'd better stay with us.  I mean we're dwarfs and if there’s one thing that fantasy writers agree on its that you can't go wrong with dwarfs on your side”
“What about elves?” Snow asked
“Don't talk to me about elves” and all the dwarfs bristled so violently that their beards looked like a group of hedgehogs having an orgy
“All right then I'll stay”

Of course this was the cue for a party (6) and in the morning the dwarfsh (7) left for the mine “Now whatever you do don't open the door to any strangers and  do practice your drunken dwarfish singing”
“Gold gold gold gold” sang Snow White as she waved the dwarfs goodbye “Gold gold gold”


We don't have to have any more.  I mean if you think about it the stepmothers happy, the dwarfs are happy, Snow is certainly happy.  There are no problems, everyone is happy except for the squirrel.
Oh wait did I say everyone?  How silly of me.  Because we've forgotten all about the servant.  It seems that his finances were far from golden due to a love of fast women and slow horses and, in a desperate attempt to claim the reward,  presented the stepmother with the heart of a deer and then ran off quickly with the bag marked Loot (8) 

“Righty then” the mirror was uncovered “I've got her heart in my hand and no sense of humor at all.  So you'd better tell me what I want to hear”
But the mirror couldn't lie and informed the stepmother that Snow White was:
[A] still very much alive.  [B] more beautiful than ever and most importantly [C] currently out in the forest living with the dwarfs.  
Surprising no one except for the aforementioned tourists the stepmother was, again, slightly miffed at this whole affair although this time at least she had some justification.  Furthermore, when she found out that that her “trusted” servant had scarpered with the cash she went from miffed to irked.
Clearly there was nothing else to do but disguise herself as a peasant woman  in a costume that she just happened to have taken from the props department without signing for it.
Into her basket went the famous poisoned apples that have caused fairy tale people so much trouble and set out for the dwarfs house and act III


“Gold” Snow White peeled vegetables in the warm kitchen “gold gold gold” Her singing was interrupted by someone knocking on the door
“Who's there?”
“I'm an old peasant woman” the stepmother called out in the way that someone had once told her that peasants spoke “selling apples”
“I don't need any apples”
“But they're beautiful apples”
“It's the middle of winter.  Where are you getting apples from?”
“Open the door and find out”
“I don't think so.  I'm not supposed to open the door to strangers”
“and as a reward for being so good I'll make you a gift of one of my apples” the stepmother joined the rest of us  in a collective eye roll “you should never open your door to strangers”
Tempted by the thought of a free apple (9) Snow opened the door and bit into the poisoned apple which of course had the desired effect of causing her to fall down dead.

Laughing madly the wicked stepmother  cast off her disguise and danced around the body before running off into the forests but as she ran she tripped and fell into quicksand , sinking quickly with nobody around to hear her cries for help except for a few squirrels who did nothing to help 


“This isn't good lads” the head dwarf looked up at the storm clouds and the lightening that ripped the sky in two
“It's just weather dad” the youngest one spoke up “we have it every day”
“Not like this” another dwarf said “see those clouds?  Something bad has happened”
The head dwarf looked over at his companion “You wanna watch it mate.  That's coming dangerously close to elf talk”
“Lets not hang about here then” the youngest dwarf suggested “we should go see if Snow is alright”

The rain stopped once they discovered Snow's body but that was little comfort.  They wept but all the tears in the world couldn't bring her back to life and finally they built a crystal coffin and each day they laid a flower in remembrance.
One evening they discovered a young man standing at the bier and looking at Snow White through the crystal.
“I am a prince” he said after listening to the story (10) “and if you'll permit me I'll take her back to the castle.  I'll call in famous doctors to waken her from this peculiar sleep”
“Sleep? She's dead” the chief dwarf exclaimed but he couldn't stop the young man opening the coffin and kissing the corpse “eew”
To everyone's astonishment Snow White opened her eyes and sat up (11)
“Go on do another one” the dwarfs urged 
“I'm sure I don't know what you mean” the prince protested but suddenly pulled a squirrel out of the chief dwarfs beard with a cry of “Hoopla!”

All magic aside it came as a surprise to nobody, not even the tourists, that Snow White and the Prince were joined in matrimony and went off to live in one of the many castles that seem to pop up like mushrooms.


  • The Prince – My big question is what is the prince doing out in the middle of nowhere?  We know that the dwarfs live far off the beaten track because it took Snow all that time to find her.  The stepmother and she isn't telling anyone which only leaves the magic mirror.  I know we're supposed to be on the princes side because of the whole true love and happily ever after thing but if the prince is getting information from the mirror then it might be that he is, or will become, the male equivalent of the stepmother.  Forever demanding to know if anyone in the realm is better than him in some way.
  • The Stepmother – It may interest you to know that the stepmother/queen/evil queen/mistress/ comes to a sticky end in almost every version of this story.  From what I can tell the original version had her put in red hot iron shoes and being forced to dance.  An idea that the Grimm’s reused in quite a few of their other tales. (12) Clearly whoever wrote this version thought that death by quicksand was preferable to death by quickstep.
  • Snow White – I'm just going to go off on a a tangent here.  All we're ever told about Snow White, all that we ever really see of her is the whole beauty aspect and it's for that reason that I don't think she'll be happy with the prince.  This is because the prince represents a return to the courts that she's known all her life where she has to be the perfect princess, listen to people tell her how beautiful she is and generally spend a lot of time doing nothing but looking good while she does it.

    Something else to remember is that she's an old style princess which would translate into a life of servants who do everything for her and, while it sounds nice to you and I, when you've grown up with them all around you then the inclination to do anything for yourself will be low to non existent.

    It's because of all this that she takes to the tasks of cooking and cleaning for the dwarfs with such enthusiasm.  For her the dwarfs represent freedom from the courts and sycophantic courtiers and quietly efficient servants.  Realisticly speaking this is the first time in her life that she's able to do something that actually matters  and while I realize that she's not exactly Rosie the Riveter I feel that sometimes you just go to take baby steps. (13)
  • So with all of that out of the way I suppose that the only question left is the moral of the tale.  Given that this whole thing started because someone decided, on the opinion of one other person/animated object, that Snow White would look much better were she to wear blood red and actually succeeded in killing her before quickly dying herself.  With all of that going on the moral of tonight’s tale simply must be “No one who trusted a squirrel never got nowhere”


  1. Because it was hanging up in her bedroom which only gives rise to more questions than I get paid enough to answer
  2. Don't ask me for an invite.  I tend to stick with the regular pages where the people are ugly as sin but considerably more interesting.
  3. A sentence with all sorts of unfortunate connotations 
  4. Not, it should be noted, one of the many variations that non dwarfs seem to learn in school – taught by elves no doubt as some sort of anti dwarf propaganda .
  5. It's a little like this one only much less sarcastic.
  6. Unexpected parties being something of a dwarfish tradition 
  7. I had to rrreshearch the drinking habits of dwarfs a few timessh <Falls down laughing revealing naughty dwarfish runes shaved into the back of my head>
  8. It was also marked Jabberwockery Props Department but he kept that bit hidden.  We've had to put labels on thing because they keep on going missing
  9. and leaving aside the biblical implications of same
  10. again, a much less sarky version than this one
  11. “Oh drat” said the prince looking disappointed and left to try and find the stepmother
  12. I've got a few witchypoo friends who assure me that this method does not help to get rid of witches at all.   They suggest tea, biscuits and a good old natter.
  13. Time to update my CV again.  This perskowlagy stuff is easy peasy.

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