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Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar

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Andres Casas

on 8 December 2013

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Transcript of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar

Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar
"
Snow White and Her Wicked Stepmother"

Summary: The "angel-woman" & the "monster-woman"
Argument:
Action arises from the relationship between the two women
women kill each other with help of the arts
Sewing, snow, blood
, and
enclosure
- 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
3. Characteristics
Snow White:
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
The Queen
:
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
artists
are
4. Death Plots
The Huntsman
episode: the queen consumes a boar's organs believing they were Snow's
IMPORTANT
- she is symbolically devouring her own rage, becoming more ENraged
She must then create false images:
a "kind old peddler woman" selling
Victorian lace
an "old expert in beauty" luring Snow with a
comb
a "wholesome farmer's wife" offering a
poisonous apple
IMPORTANT
- 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-
Biological mother:
introduced framed by a window
looking "
outward
" to the snow and sewing-> a sense of purity
Stepmother:
introduced framed in a magic looking glass
this drives one "
inward
" 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
"submissive femininity"
service
,
selflessness
,
domesticity
IMPORTANT:
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
Apple
- 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
red
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
white
half.
7.
S
now White's
Victory
!
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.
Works Cited
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.
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