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Literator (Potchefstroom. Online)

On-line version ISSN 2219-8237
Print version ISSN 0258-2279


BANKS, Monique. Rewards and punishments as developing gendered ideologies in Grimm Brothers' Briar Rose. Literator [online]. 2020, vol.41, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2219-8237.

Fairy tale literature can be identified as didactic, as it shares moralistic and educational ideals through its characters and themes. Intending to instruct, fairy tales relate specific moralistic concepts, indicating accepted and unaccepted conduct. Researchers have postulated the correlation between a fairy tale and its social context, considering that these tales include contrived elements specific to the societal structure from which they originate. Specific to this research is the connection between a fairy tale and the gendered ideals held within the society as noted in Grimm Brothers' Briar Rose. The version analysed in this article is the Collins Classics collection of the Grimm Brothers' tales, which was published in 2013. This tale reflects content which perpetuates and supports the patriarchal expectations of the 19th-century Germany. The Grimm Brothers' treatment of the princess, 13th fairy and prince reinforce gender-specific roles for men and women. The rewards and punishments earned by the characters mould not only their behaviours, but also potentially the behaviours of the 19th-century readers. This article analyses the behavioural consequences faced by the characters in Briar Rose, with particular consideration of how these responses convey gender ideals to the readers, and how these influence their own subsequent behaviour and expectations.

Keywords : the Grimm Brothers; Briar Rose; fairy tale; gender ideal; 19th-century literature; patriarchy; gender roles; reward; punishment.

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