Friday, November 28, 2014

Twelfth Post-November 28, 2014

This is your final Blog. In this blog, please reread all blogs you have written and reflect about what you have done and learned in this semester.

In this semester, I have learned more about fairytales than I ever thought was possible in fourteen weeks! I have been exposed to a whole new world of hidden meanings behind the Disney films I grew up with.  Fairy tales are usually full of light and happy ever after, but they have shadows of darker themes. I knew that the fairytales were dark, but I was not prepared for just how eerie they were. Juniper Tree, for example, contains cannibalism where the child is beheaded and made into a stew. I also learned about all of the psychoanalytical components in the tales, and how twisted they can be if you interpret them a certain way. You want Bettelheim references? I’ve got plenty!  In Cinderella when the prince puts the shoe on her foot, it symbolizes sexual intercourse. In Snow White, the apple is a symbol of sexual maturity.  I also explored how fairy tales connect to each other and how their lessons and morals can apply to daily life.

I have learned many lessons that I will carry outside the classroom. The Boys and Girls Club project taught me to always be prepared and to have a backup plan, as well as a backup for the original backup. I learned to dig a little deeper when answering questions thoroughly on exams, that there is always something there that you can add to enhance your answer. The workload of the course made me stay one jump ahead and be proactive in getting things done. I feel very fortunate that I was able to be part of this world and in this FYS. I truly could not imagine being in another class. My classmates are some of the best friends I have made here in college. I do not know how I will cope with not seeing them three days a week. They are the most kind, supportive, and encouraging group of people I’ve known.  I have a dream, though, that we will stay friends even after the FYS is over and for years to come.  Much like your biological family, you do not get to choose who is in your FYS with you. This family full of poor unfortunate souls is more than I could have ever hoped for.

This class has been so magical, and I hope everyone gets their happy ever after. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Eleventh Post-November 26, 2014 (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Connect A Midsummer Night’s Dream to fairytales.
In Midsummer, we have four lovers, Hermia, Helena, Demetrius, and Lysander. We also have the king and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania. In a way, Puck, a fairy who works for Oberon, is a villain, but she is misunderstood. Oberon tells her to put the love juice in the eyes of the man wearing Athenian clothing, but they are in Athens. Everyone is wearing Athenian clothing. Needless to say, she anoints the eyes of the wrong man.  A huge conflict brews because of this misunderstanding.  Fear not, because an antidote later remedies the situation and everyone loves the right people in the end.
 This is similar to a fairytale, because it contains true love, misunderstandings, and comedy. There are many interwoven plots, motifs, and so many symbols.  Each character is essential to driving the story along. The falcon scene in the play is when Puck mistaking Lysander for Demetrius anoints his eyes with the love potion. It might seem like a small and insignificant scene, but it sets everything askew, and the rest of the play is spent trying to remedy that mistake. There are many comedic elements in this play, including the subplot thread involving the laborers. They want to perform a play for the Duke of Athens’ wedding, but they too get wrapped into the magic and mayhem of the fairies. Magic is used several times in the play, to enchant flowers, remedy wrongs, control people, and to become invisible. There are many spells sung throughout the performance, mostly when the flowers are used. Singing adds another layer of magic and amazement to the show. When characters sing, you know something important is happening. 

This play was an amazing experience to be a part of. I am so proud to be included in such a talented group of cast and crew. It was a magical, glitter-filled few months. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tenth Post-November 22, 2014

Find a cartoon on-line with a Rapunzel motif and discuss the cartoon and compare it with either the original tale or the Disney film.

In this cartoon by Yasmine Surovec, Rapunzel is depicted as a crazy cat lady. She discovers that the cats that have climbed up her hair are the Prince’s cats. Portraying Rapunzel and the Prince as “crazy cat people” might seem odd, but it makes sense once you tie it in with isolation and loneliness.  Rapunzel is alone in her tower with only Mother Gothel to talk too, which can be pretty boring.  These cats that climb up her hair are her only real companions. In the film Tangled, Flynn Rider is always on the run. He does not stay in one place very long, so he does not have the opportunity to make many friends.  The friends he does make, however, he ends up betraying either by stealing from them or deserting them when they need him.

The Prince does not notice Rapunzel until one of the cats has started playing with her long, braided hair, which mirrors how Flynn did not really see the magnitude of Rapunzel’s beauty until the children were braiding her hair and she was dancing with the townspeople at the festival. In the second panel, when the Prince goes to take the cats home with him, he automatically asks Rapunzel if she would like to go with him. This is similar to the Grimm tale where Rapunzel falls in love with the Prince at first sight.  He continues to visit her and make a silk scarf so she can leave the tower.  In the end, the couples get their happily ever after, whether that is a cuddle puddle of cats or marriage.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ninth Post-November 8, 2014

Reflect about the three versions of the story of “Bluebeard.” How are these tales similar or different? What is unique about them? Which one did (didn’t) you like the most? Why/Why not?

My favorite of the three tales we read (Fitcher’s Bird, The Robber Bridegrom, and Bluebeard) would have to be Fitcher’s Bird. In this tale, the daughter is able to save her sisters. She takes charge of things and becomes the heroine. This is very unusual because men were the active ones and in those times, women were supposed to be passive and just wait for things to happen. In the Robber Bridegroom, there is an old woman who warns the girl that her new husband is a murderer. The girl also assumes an active role and tells her wedding guests that her husband is a murderer on the day of their wedding and brings out a severed finger as proof. This shocks her guests, but incriminates the robber.

 In Charles Perrault’s Bluebeard, a woman falls in love with a man at a party. Bluebeard gives her keys and tells her not to open a specific door. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she opens the door to find several corpses of his previous wives. Once Bluebeard discovered her disobedience, he planned on killing her. She begged him for half an hour where she could pray, and she uses that time to summon her brothers, who Bluebeard. By default, the woman is now heir to his estate.

The version I disliked the most was the French film Barbe Bleu. The plot of the film is not linear, as it jumps between girls reading the story and the actual tale itself. However, it did mostly adhere to the plot of the Perrault tale, which I appreciated. The film did include scenes of violence that were unnecessary as well as creepy, which I did not enjoy.