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There's More Than One Way to Tell These Tales

August 02, 1992

Having recently completed a graduate course on the fairy tale, I read your article on anti-feminism and violence in the genre with great interest.

I was surprised that the author left the impression that the Grimms' "Cinderella" is anti-feminist. It is, in fact, so pro-feminist that it became the favorite fairy tale of many women in my class.

In the Grimm version, Cinderella, as opposed to her stepsisters, is so reluctant to marry the prince that she runs away from him three times. Other famous Grimm tales will be equally surprising to feminists who haven't read them lately: Hansel's ideas fail--and it is Gretel who kills the witch and gets them home; Snow White does not wake up because the prince kisses her, but for other reasons, and readers of "The Frog King" will be shocked to discover that the Princess never kisses the frog--she turns him into a prince by throwing him against the wall in disgust.

SHARON GILBERT

West Los Angeles

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