Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Snow White and the Seven New Sources

In writing my literary analysis paper on fairy tales and feminism, my focus has shifted to include more of the novel Fairest as well as Ella Enchanted. Fairest is a retelling of Snow White by the same author: Gail Carson Levine. As I have been reading Fairest, I have become convinced that I need to write about it along with Ella Enchanted.

Here's an updated thesis:

The novels Ella Enchanted and Fairest are both fairy tale adaptations written by Gail Carson Levine. The young female protagonists, Ella and Aza, teach opposite lessons than the fairy tales they are retelling, redefining a woman’s beauty, success, and happiness as a result of hard work, wit, and determination rather than the effect of external actions, people, and circumstances.

As I was trying to research, I felt like I had already exhausted my efforts to find new sources. That is before I had a wonderful chat with a BYU librarian at 11:30pm. I couldn't believe it. My husband was amazed that there was someone willing to help me so late at night. I'm telling you guys, talk to the librarians if you haven't already done so. It was so helpful. I was led to these a source that helped me uncover all of these new sources below (and more).

Carbone, Emma . "Ella Enchanted: Reclaiming Fairy Tales / Perpetuating Hollywood Standards." Excellence in Research Awards. Paper 1. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/research_awards/1>.

This article was what led me to my friend on Goodreads who has been very enthusiastic about helping me with my ideas for this paper. She is the author of the above article. In it, she compares the Ella Enchanted novel to its film counterpart and expresses how the feminism in Ella Enchanted is lost completely in the film. It's a fascinating read, and I will use it to support my claims for the feminist themes in Ella Enchanted and Fairest.

Fisher, Jerilyn , and Ellen Silber. "Good and Bad Beyond Belief: Teaching Gender Lessons through Fairy Tales and Feminist Theory." Women's Studies Quarterly 28.3/4 (2000): 121-136. Print..

This article is focused on the definition and influence of the fairy tale in our society, specifically, on women. This has a lot of good information about the historical contexts of fairy tales and what makes them popular. The information in this article will help me have a better background knowledge of the why's behind the anti-feminist stories that seem to appeal to women of all ages.

Snow White by the Grimm Brothers
Märchen, Grot'scher Verlag, Berlin 1975
Stone, Kay. "Things Walt Disney Never Told Us." The Journal of American Folklore 88.347 (1975): 42-50. JSTOR. Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

I am very excited about this article because it directly addresses Cinderella and Snow White and analyzes how they really aren't people at all when their characters are picked apart. This is going to help support my claim that these two fairy tales oversimplify women and in both cases, Levine restores feminine balance and reality to these stories.

Maughan, Shannon. "Fast-Moving Fiction." Publishers Weekly 19 Oct. 1998: 31. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

This reports on how quickly Ella Enchanted became popular to Young Adults. I will use this to discuss why it became so popular so quickly and also what keeps women and men of all ages to enjoy reading it. I interviewed my little brother about his thoughts on Ella Enchanted and why he thinks it can appeal to boys too.

Elder, Alice L. "A Firelight Reverie." Young Woman's Journal. 26.1915 179-82. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

This is a little story about a woman telling her little brother a version of Cinderella. It is rich and impactful and ends with a poem called, "What is Joy?". I want to use this article to help support my claim that happiness doesn't come from waiting around for a prince to save you, but rather, it comes from hard work and determination.

All this is merely scratching the surface! I have found a few other new sources too! Honestly, talk to the librarians. It's something you don't think to do until you know how awesome it is. Everyone needs to do this! Talking to them was the key to me unlocking what I need to give my paper higher stakes. I am having way more fun too. So just do it.

So now what? I am going to start combining ideas to support my new thesis, and reconstruct my first pages to fit in better with my new ideas. I'm excited to bring Snow White into the picture, because I feel there will be a lot to talk about side-by-side with Fairest. I'm going to finish writing the first few pages of my paper and send it to my good friend on Goodreads. She says she would really love to read a little of what I have already, so I'm going to try and create something good enough to show her in the next few days. 


  1. I think your idea for a paper is very interesting. I like the idea about using retold fairy tales to show how they serve a different agenda. I looked up fairy tales and feminism in the library catalog and found a book called "Critical and creative perspectives on Fairy Tales: an intertextual dialogue between fairy tale scholarship and post-modern retellings." I'm not positive that it will help, but I thought that it was interesting that it talks about fairy tale retellings. Maybe it will focus on the different agenda that post-modern stories try to serve. Here's the link:


    1. Thanks Andrew! I'll check it out!