Fairy Tales 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
I also felt like these tales were similar to Beauty and the Beast. One major difference though was that there was no prince charming under the facade of the Beast, but instead a much more horrible beast under the facade of a normal man (minus the unnatural blue in his beard). The beast in these stories really was a beast.
I have to disagree with the last comment though about the leading lady in Bluebeard being stronger than Belle in any sense. Belle did make the decision to live with the Beast without being forced into it because she wanted to be virtuous and keep promises made in order to honor her father. This last wife of Bluebeard's sometimes did not have a choice about the marriage and when she did, she only acquiesced based on his wealth. Also, she took the time to be obedient and get to know him and fall in love with the Beast, instead of immediately doing something to disobey and build mistrust with her husband and then encourage his death. I believe Belle was the stronger female in these stories.
Also in contrast, the B&B stories focus on the love between them growing while in the Bluebeard stories the focus is on mistrust and murder. I know that I have focused on the differences, but I believe there are many more similarities between the stories than differences. I am curious about how closely their tale types are related.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
One thing that occurred to me was that it has often been revealed through interviews with other psycho paths (modern day Bluebeards)the thrill of the chase, the excitement of predator and prey, the building of fear in their victims to raise the interest they have in murdering people. If Bluebeard really did not want her to go into the room, he didn't need to give her the separate key that went to that room (unlike in the beauty and the beast story where the father gave his daughters a key that went to all the rooms in the castle and told them not to go into one, Bluebeard has to give her a separate key for the room. He is bloodthirsty and clearly enjoys killing his victims, so I believe that he had the intention to kill her eventually whether she opened the door then or not, but by giving her the key, he knew he was making the option irresistible and that she would open the door and be horrified (which heightens the thrill of her murder for him).
He is crazy in a very bad way and he is a serial murderer; she just opens a door and through gaining this knowledge saves her life. Why is she the bad guy in this story?! I just feel that the past critics and our class is missing something...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Another thing I noticed about the Bluebeard tales is that they tend to be more gruesome than many of the other stories that we've read. This series often focuses on the horrible deaths of the former lovers of Bluebeard and how he killed them. In my opinion, this series is the least "family-friendly" series since it is so violent and particularly descriptive. I think it is definitely on a different level than the rest of the fairy tales because of its mature content. Out of all of the different collections/themes that we've studied so far, this series is the one that was newest to me, but I know that it's most likely because of the maturity level of it that I was never introduced to it as a child.
On the other way the invention of the devil also takes away the wife’s responsibility of her own destiny. It’s not her fault anymore and she does not really have a choice about what she’s doing as the devil is influencing her. Taking this a little bit further, one could get the impression that this movie suggests that women do not really have a choice, but that their curiosity is part of their nature imposed by the devil and that they therefore cannot be trusted. It is obvious that the devil part has a much bigger influence on the woman than the good fairy. Thus, the moral message of this scene for the husband can be interpreted as don’t give too much responsibility to your wife as this is going to destroy your relationship. It somehow reflects the classical Victorian ideal of the husband being the leader of the household and the wife being his servant that does not have any authority at all.
Curiosity is a theme that has reappeared in several fairytales that we have read this semester.
But I find the gender constructs surrounding curious characters troublesome. This is because in general, women are punished for their curiosity and men are praised for it. Curious women suffer consequences for their interest in the unknown and curious men are rewarded for their journey into the forbidden.
Perrault’s Bluebeard repeats this theme of female punishment for curiosity. It seems to me that fairytales have a way with internalizing what is appropriate behavior for women and men. And if the story of Bluebeard is to teach women anything, it is that they must learn to control their curiosity.
Aside from providing women with a model of behavior, the story of Bluebeard diminishes women by portraying them as beings without willpower, and dependants on the men in their lives for saving (in this case, her brothers). This subjugation of women is the norm in Perrault’s stories and this influenced his 17th century audiences and these structures, reinforced by fairytales such as Bluebeard, continue to influence gender understandings today.