Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow White, the poison apple and generations under the influence


Snow White fanart from Pixiv.
Snow White has captured millions and billions of hearts since the Grimm brothers concocted her story.
With each reinvention, Snow White manifests into a different creation. Sometimes the story will
be darker, sometimes more lovable or twisted. The versatility and symbolism behind the story allow this classic to be one of a kind.

Out of all the Disney fairytale films, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, is not my favorite by any means.
I have plenty of favorites that I draw inspiration from ( i.e. Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid or Hunchback of Notre Dame). During my youth I had trouble connecting to Snow White.

I felt no intrigue, empathy for the princess. In fact, I found her to be rather annoying and wimpy. Compared to Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan she was just a damsel. A damsel whom was deemed beautiful for traits that I lacked. Traits that many had considered classically beautiful. So where did that leave my relationship with Snow White? Ugh, it was non-existent. I cringed everytime she was put on my lunchboxes alongside my favorite princesses.
So where did that leave my connection to Snow White? Absolutely nowhere.
A friend of mine gave me a Brothers Grimm book full of their collected work a few years ago.
As eager as I wanted to be I found every opportunity to read each story and analyze the symbolisms behind each one. As expected, I skimmed and skipped over Snow White. Yeah, yeah, yeah, she ate the apple, I already knew all about it. I got it, I was good. Within days I had read through the entire book...and craved more. To my dismay, the only thing left was Snow White's measly self. With a little desperation I read through her story and analysis and was completely entranced.
Snow White's traits of beauty say more as you read between the lines. They represent the struggle and path of coming of age:

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs // 1937

In this story the mention of the color white represent the purity and innocence that can be found in all of us during childhood. Children have no real sense of the real world or societal norms. Therefore, they just react. It has been said that by romantic era writers like Emerson that this is the only period of time in which you can uncover your true self. You are so pure because you simply haven't been tainted and tamed by society.
"Lips as red as the rose". Red represents the passion and zest for life.
During this course of time Snow White is faced with adversity and ripped out her pure and innocent world. She is thrown out just like a bird from its nest and must survive on her own.
And so, as the zest and passion for life passes, death greets us. Black represents the end. Snow White meets this with a curse of "eternal sleep".
The Poison Apple
Suprised yet?! I sure as heck was! To add more to the level of symbolism let's discuss the poison apple.
Things start to get biblical here. The apple represents the struggle of good vs. evil, Snow White and The evil queen. Sound familiar? Oh yeah, this has a bit of Adam and Eve in it. She is offered the apple just as Adam and Eve are offered the apple by the serpent. Knowing she shouldn't speak to strangers, she does anyway and is punished for this immediately.
There are so many more biblical symbolisms in they tale, but i'll leave the rest for you all to decipher. Among those is the significance of seven...and I'll leave it at that. Whether you agree with what some of things things doesn't matter. It's all in fun. One thing I learned to love about this story is the resilience of Snow White as well as her naive perspective. She never seems to become as jaded by unfortunate events like the rest of us. So while she seems like a damsel, there are still some things to take away from her.
I could definitely say I would trust no one after getting poisoned and chased away.
So there you are... I am now hooked on Snow White. I know, I know I never thought this would happen either. When I now read the story or watch any of the films I view with fresh eyes. The dichotomy of light & dark, good & bad, innocent & evil is all to interesting. Its a common old tale, but it seems to never tire.
...and I'm extremely excited for the adaptation of 'Snow White & the Huntsman" to begin filming and come to theatres.
 I don't have the courage to do get any of the tattoo art these ladies did... but I gotta admit they look damn good.
This is my first tattoo, of snow white :)

This is my new tattoo on my leg, still have to go back and get it colored. Done by my friend Kevin Boudreau at Artifact Tattoo in Newington CT.
this is my favorite.
WOW is all I have to say..
...stay away from those poison apples!

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