The following assignments are suggested by Ariko Kawabata, Assistant Professor of English Literature, Aichi Prefectural University in Nagoya-city, Japan.
Consider the historical background of 19th century Germany when the Grimm Brothers collected and retold the fairy tales for the children and the household. Their stories, like other cultural products, could not stand without influences from the ideas of the time, but they also positively worked as a moral agent for children. Take "Snow White" (and/or "Little Red Riding Hood") as an example and discuss your analysis of the dominant ideology of the time and the influence on children. Whose (class/gender/ethnicity) interest did these stories serve? What kind of value system did they help to establish?
Consider the existence of a patriarchy system behind the Grimm Brothers' "Snow White" and "Little Red Riding Hood". Find evidences from the texts and answer the questions below.
Compare and contrast "Snow White" and the stepmother-daughter stories from Japanese folk tales such as Hachikazuki-Hime (or other examples from non-western cultures). Though they are concerned about female relationship under the patriarchal societies, there might be some differences. What are they? Analyze the differences between the western and the oriental stories, and consider the possible cultural factors that cause them.
Use the first-person narrative and re-write the story of "Snow White" from the point view of the stepmother / one of seven dwarves / the prince. Use the first-person narrative and re-write the story of "Little Red Riding Hood" from the point view of the mother / the wolf / the grandmother / the hunter.
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Created February 7, 1997 and is continously revised