• Classic Literature and Fairy Tales

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Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales usually involve a moral at the end of the story, and are particulary popular with children aged 2-7. In many fairy tales there is usually both a protagonist (hero/heroine) and an antagonist (villain). Fairy tales are thought to have originated during the Victorian times, but many are also from other time periods of history.

Noteable authors include the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault.

Cinderella

The fairytale Cinderella has been told for hundreds of years; its origins are unclear. There are thousands of variants of the tale told around the world.

Plot

Cinderella is about a girl whose mother has died and her kind and loving father marries another woman with two daughters; their wickedness and uglyness lead to them being called the Wicked Stepmother and the Ugly Sisters respectively. The two sisters make the protagonist, Ella, do all of the household chores and give her the name Cinderella. One day, however, a letter arrives stating that all the females in the household are invited to a ball, where hopefully the Prince can choose his bride. Cinderella is told by her step sisters that she cannot go to the ball, even though she wishes to do so.

Snow White

Plot

"Snow White" tells the story of a young girl whose mother dies as soon as she is born. Her father then remarries, to a beautiful but vain woman. The new Queen possesses a magical mirror that constantly reassures her that she is "the fairest of all". However, when Snow White reaches the age of seven, the mirror proclaims that she is the most beautiful, which angers the Queen.

She orders a huntsman to take Snow White to the woods and to kill her, bringing back her lungs and liver to prove that she is dead. However, the huntsman finds that he cannot bring himself to kill the girl, and tells her to flee from the Queen. Snow White later finds a cottage inhabited by seven dwarves who allow her to live with them as long as she keeps the house in order. The Queen, who had been provided with a boar's lungs and liver instead of her stepdaughter's organs, is horrified when her mirror continues to tell her that Snow White is still alive and still the most beautiful.

The Queen resorts to disguising herself and visiting the dwarves' house to try and kill the girl. First, she disguises herself as a travelling salesman and offers Snow White some beautiful stay-laces. She uses these to tie her up and leaves her for dead. Luckily, the dwarves find her and revive her by loosening the laces. Next, she disguises herself as an old woman and brushes Snow White's hair with a poisoned comb. Again, she collapses and is saved by the dwarves. Finally, the Queen offers Snow White a poisoned apple (while dressed as a farmer's wife). The girl is wary of this, and so the Queen herself eats a non-poisoned part of the apple to show her that it is safe. When Snow White takes a bite of the apple, she falls into a deep sleep. The dwarves are unable to revive her, and so place her in a glass coffin under the impression that she is dead.

After a long time has passed, a Prince comes across the coffin. Her falls in love with the girl inside, and begs the swarves to let him have the coffin. The dwarves agree, but as the Prince's servants are carrying the coffin away, they stumble, causing a piece of the apple to dislodge from her throat. She wakes up, and after declaring his love for her, the Prince and Snow White plan to marry.

The next time the Queen asks the mirror to name the fairest woman, the mirror tells her that the "young Queen" is. Believing her stepdaughter to be dead, the Queen arrives at the wedding to see who the "young Queen" is.

What follows this varies depending on the version read. Many traditional versions state that the Queen, upon realising that Snow White is still alive, is forced to dance to her death in a pair of heated iron shoes. Other version state a different cause of death.

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