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Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar
Transcript of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar
Snow White and Her Wicked Stepmother"
Summary: The "angel-woman" & the "monster-woman"
Action arises from the relationship between the two women
women kill each other with help of the arts
Sewing, snow, blood
- key themes of the female's lives in this criticism
2. Where is
the King? Absent.
According tho Bettleheim, the evil queen and daughter are battling in a
feminized oedipal struggle -
a battle for daddy's love
At same time, the king is also the voice of the looking glass: a patriarchal voice of judgement that rules a woman's self-evaluation
encapsulates absolute chastity, a frozen innocence, and a sweet nullity
represents the ideal of '"contemplative purity"'
childlike, docile, submissive, and the heroine of a life that
has no story
a plotter, a plot maker, a schemer, a witch, an artist, an impersonator
a woman of almost infinite creative energy
witty, willy, and self-absorbed as all
4. Death Plots
episode: the queen consumes a boar's organs believing they were Snow's
- she is symbolically devouring her own rage, becoming more ENraged
She must then create false images:
a "kind old peddler woman" selling
an "old expert in beauty" luring Snow with a
a "wholesome farmer's wife" offering a
- these episodes depict one of Snow's weaknesses as "the girl finally falls, so it seems, by the female arts of" materialism, "cosmetology, and cookery."
1. Queen vs. Queen: Inward vs. Outward
-A battle/contrast between Snow's biological and stepmother-
introduced framed by a window
" to the snow and sewing-> a sense of purity
introduced framed in a magic looking glass
this drives one "
" obsessively studying self-images and seeking a more perfect self - "narcissism"
5. Snow's "Submissive" Role
Life with dwarfs an important part of her education in
reveals the story's attitude toward the realm of domesticity which Gilbert and Gubar explain as "a miniaturized kingdom in which the best of women is not only like a dwarf but like a dwarf's servant." A woman's relevance is as small as a dwarf's height and her only purpose is to serve.
6. The Symbolic
- What does it reveal about the two women? -
While the Queen struggles to free herself from the passive Snow White in herself, Snow White must struggle to repress the assertive and narcissistic Queen in herself.
In what ways?
Her innocent and dangerous desire for the Queen's offerings.
-What's the symbolism behind the dual colored apple?-
The apple's poisoned
half- red with the Queen's sexual Energy, desires for deeds of blood and triumph- while she herself believes will be unharmed by the passivity of the
Though it seems at first as if the apple killed Snow, Snow White's temporary death only glorifies her even more.
"For, dead and self-less in her glass coffin, she is an object, to be displayed and desired, patriarchy's marble 'opus', the decorative and decorous Galatea with whom every ruler would like to grace his parlor"(Gilbert, Gubar 296)
... everything the evil Queen desired and failed to obtain.
Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. "Snow White and
Her Wicked Stepmother."
The Classic Fairy Tales
. By Maria Tatar. New York: Norton, 1999. 291-97. Print.