Enchanted Education: The Cultural Appropriation of Selected Grimms' Fairy Tales
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This dissertation will investigate the appropriation of selected Grimms’ fairy tales for the social and cultural education of children between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. It will use the tales of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ (1857) and ‘Little Red Cap'(1857) for primary analysis as tales that are centered on the experiences of children. To benefit this exploration, this dissertation will examine the tales using a historical and cultural analysis to assess the changes made to the tales’ narratives as the attitudes towards the education of children within their respective eras altered. A psychoanalytic methodology will also be applied to discuss the subversive ‘meaning’ fairy tales can have on the developing psyches of children and how this may benefit their social development. Chapter One will explore the nineteenth-century publications of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘Little Red Cap’ by the Brothers Grimm – taken from the seventh edition of their collection, Children’s and Household Tales (1857). It will explore the conscious editorial changes made to their narratives to evaluate how they reflect the values of nineteenth-century Germany and the psychological impact the Grimms tales have on the psyches of children. Chapter Two will then build on the findings from the first chapter, exploring the use of the Grimms’ fairy tales within Nazi Germany (1933-1945) as propaganda for the indoctrination of children towards Nazi ideologies. Finally, Chapter Three will conclude this dissertation by examining contemporary revisions of the Grimms’ tales to evaluate how they may have been appropriated for children following their ban in Nazi Germany for being dangerous to the minds of children. It will explore adaptations by English children’s literature authors to determine whether the tales continue to reflect Germanic nationalist values as they have been appropriated for audiences outside Germany. Furthermore, it will assess whether the psychoanalytic meaning of the tales remains appropriate for children and is universal across different cultures despite the tales’ appropriation.
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