The Youngest Sibling in Fairtytales Essay example

Submitted By leoliver8
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The Youngest Sibling in Fairytales When most people think of fairy tales, what comes to mind are these fantastical stories with bits of magic, romance, beauty, optimism and lots of happiness. Fairy tales were the ultimate stories to fall asleep to each night as a small child. When one is little, fairytales are believed to be like real life. Children fantasize about growing up to be princesses and prince charmings, therefore living happily-ever-after. When one grows up, fairytales become stories that he or she wishes were indeed real life because life would be so much easier and fun. Overall, what continues to be overlooked is the symbolism in each fairytale. Some symbols in fairytales are simply archetypes; however, other symbols need further research to uncover true meaning. Siblings in fairytales hold much symbolism that often goes unnoticed. Although he or she is often looked down upon, the youngest sibling in a fairytale family ultimately comes to symbolize the one to look up to. In Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, Beauty may be the youngest, but she proves herself to be a role model even in tough times. Beauty and her siblings had grown up in wealth; however her sisters seemed to really take advantage of it more so than Beauty by giving themselves ridiculous airs and attending lavish parties: “they laughed at their youngest sister, because she spent the greatest part of her time reading books” (Beaumont 1). Beauty was wise and appreciated all that she had but lived simply. At a moment’s notice, their merchant father lost his entire fortune. The family was very distraught at first, but little Beauty regained composure and said to herself, “were I to cry ever so much, that would not make things better, I must try to make myself happy without a fortune” (1). Beauty was aware of the situation, yet chose not to fret. Her sisters, however, still looked upon her as if she were inferior: “Do but see our youngest sister, what a poor, stupid, mean-spirited creature she is, to be contented with such an unhappy dismal situation” (1). As the tale progresses, Beauty is faced with more difficult decisions but ultimately comes up victorious. Beauty’s father returns home one night with terrible news that he has upset a horrid beast and shares with his daughters, the beast’s words, “I will forgive you, on condition that one your daughters come willingly, and suffer for you” (3). When the merchant reached home and made his daughters aware of the situation; almost immediately Beauty stated, “I will deliver myself up to all his fury and I am very happy in thinking that my death will save my father’s life, and be a proof of my tender love for him” (3) During the time period in which this story was written, the youngest child was considered the least significant when it came to such matters as inheritance; she is in fact being sacrificed to the beast. A critic stated, “The story, in particularly, embodies the real–life fears of women who could be promised to total strangers in marriage, and who did not know if they'd find a beast or a lover in their marriage bed” (Windling). It just so happened that Beauty eventually falls in love with the Beast, ultimately breaking his curse and allowing him to turn into a real prince charming. After everything worked itself out, Beauty’s sisters came to see that the sister they deemed inferior stuck with her struggles and ended up winning in the end, becoming the ultimate role model. Simpleton, of The Three Feathers by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, is looked down upon by his two older brothers and father due to his quiet nature and simple-mindedness. The King has grown old and therefore decides that it is time to choose which of his three sons will take his place on the throne. He challenges each of them and says, “Go forth, and the one of you who brings me the finest carpet, he shall be king after my death” (Grimm 1). He blew three feathers into the air to determine in which…