Guest Author - Nicole Pickens
It’s not unusual to see the errors of literary favorites on a cinematic screen. Readers are very judgmental and for very good reason. The story of Snow White is very high on this list and a survivor of an editorial butcher block.
Do you remember the story? A beautiful girl with raven black hair, porcelain skin and ruby lips was left under the care of an evil stepmother after her father died. The stepmother was very vain and jealous, and plotted to murder her. The conspiracy didn’t go very well and Snow White was left to reside with seven dwarfs, hidden deep in the forest.
Snow White made lots of friends but her evil stepmother found out she continued to breath and contrived another plan to kill her. She used a poisonous apple to make her sleep for an eternity. This made all of Snow White’s friends very sad. Eventually, a young prince whom she met with before her stepmother’s schemes, found her and kiss her back into life.
Walt Disney and his production crew admitted that they based the story on a German fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm. I could not find the Brothers Grimm version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” I found a Grimm fairy tale, entitled “Snow White and Red Rose,” and it had nothing in common with the Disney version.
Snow White and Red Rose were sisters who lived with their mother in a cottage. They were very kind and hardworking girls, and they shared everything. The girls were the pride of their mother.
One cold snowy night, a persistent knock fell on their door. It was a bear. The bear asked for shelter. They cautiously agreed to help him out and he stayed with them for several days, before departing into the forest. They all became friends.
Snow and Red frequently visited the forest for a variety of things, and on one such visit they came upon a dwarf who got himself tangled up, somehow. The girls helped him out of his predicament. But the dwarf was a complete ingrate and he departed in a huff.
Snow White and Red Rose crossed paths with the callous dwarf several times and each time he was more unpleasant toward them regardless of how much help they extended him. The sisters took it in gracious stride.
One day while helping the insensitive dwarf, again, an angry bear showed up. The bear threatened the dwarf and the dwarf spent considerable time persuading the bear to eat the girls instead of him. The bear didn’t like that.
The dwarf was eaten and the girls ran away screaming but the bear swiftly revealed himself as a previous guest in their cottage. This made the girls very happy.
The bear also informed the girls that he was really a prince who was enchanted by that dwarf to steal the family fortune. He had a brother, too.
So . . . everyone got married and lived happily ever after.
These stories are so independent of one another. I can’t help but question how one influenced the other. It may be that this story has a universal connection with other cultures. I’m still researching for similarities but until then I think the “real Snow White” finally stood up.