W is for...Wicked Stepmothers and Witches!

Both wicked stepfamily and Witches are often used as villains in fairy tales. Both were depicted as very evil, and fairy godmothers were often shown as their opposites. In a lot of fairy tales, wicked stepmothers were initially wicked mothers, but were changed to stepmothers to make the stories seem less shocking and violent. The aim of the main hero character in fairy tales is to overcome the problems that the wicked stepmother or witch causes.
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Cinderella has a wicked stepmother AND two wicked stepsisters, who all generally just treat her like a servant and live luxurious lives while she cleans up after them. Of course, we all know that Cinderella overcomes this with the help of her Fairy Godmother and the love of her Prince Charming!
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Snow White's stepmother actually attempts to have her killed, because a magic mirror told her that Snow White was "the fairest of them all", and she was jealous! Again, Snow White overcomes this problem with the help of her Prince Charming.
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Then we have the stepmother who sent her stepchildren Hansel and Gretel into the woods to starve, so that she and her husband could live. Hansel and Gretel eventually find their way home to realise that their stepmother is dead and their father regrets letting her abandon them (as he should!)
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And now, for the Witches! The witch in The Little Mermaid 'helps' her by giving her a pair of legs, but can it really be called helping when she takes her tongue for payment, gave her pain whenever she steps with her new legs, and gives her no guarantee of her prince? In the original version, the Little Mermaid doesn't actually defeat the witch, as she dies because her prince didn't choose her. In the Disney version however, she lives happily ever after with her prince.
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The witch in Hansel and Gretel lures children to her gingerbread house (I think I'd have to visit, if I saw one) so that she can fatten them up and eat them. Hansel and Gretel defeat the witch by shoving her headfirst into her own oven, which is a little ironic!
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In Rapunzel, you have a witch who kidnaps babies just because of pregnancy cravings! Rapunzel overcomes her problems when she finds her blind prince and cures him with her tears, leading them to live happily ever after.
I hope you all enjoyed my very rushed 'W' post!

Comments

  1. I never would have known this post was rushed if you hadn't said anything! Excellent as ever :)

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  2. Time for a song
    Ding Dong the Witch is Read

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  3. Until today, "stepmother" is a word associated with evil in my mind, all because of those fairy tales! In reality, I know many examples of brilliant stepmothers with good relationships with their step-daughters, but the word association never goes

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    1. I know, I always think step-parents will be evil now, thanks to fairy tales! They hardly ever are, though :)

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  4. I wonder why stepmothers are always portrayed as evil in fairy tales.

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    1. I was thinking the EXACT same thing. Is because the father married again and that is why the step-mum's are EVIL.

      It is was a great post Laura.

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    2. Thank you! Maybe it has to do with the idea of 'replacing' the mother that the main character loved so much? I have no idea, but they certainly make good villains! :)

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  5. Brilliant post! Nothing like a good evil step-mother to spice up a good old fairytale. I must admit the step-mother in Cinderella is just really creepy. I think it might be something to do with the eyes...

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    1. I love stepmothers as fairy tale villains! They're always so evil! I see what you mean about the step-mother in Cinderella, it might be her facial expression too, just unpleasant!

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  6. It didn't seem rushed to me... great details! Awesome post!

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  7. Well done with your subject, and beautifully illustrated too. Blog on!

    http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.com/

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