Domestic Violence Grimm style

14 Oct

Grimm’s stories reflect a sense of benevolence and perseverance in each of their characters, but there’s much more to their stories than the outer coat, the "Disneyfication" of some of them takes away the true essence and meaning, also the idea of the stories being only for children, when in fact the compilation of the stories told in "Household tales" is a gift to the world where grown-ups and children alike can enjoy from their direct and hidden messages.

The Hare’s Bride is a story that reflects a form of domestic violence and cultural distortion of what it is to be wedded. Once in the marriage the hare shows his true intentions ["Now," said he, "set to work and cook some bran and cabbage; I am going to bid the wedding guests."] not caring for his bride’s sadness.

The story is short in length but deep in code, it hides a reality in which many couples are in. Obviously the maiden didn’t imagine marriage being so difficult to take in, take for example a fixed marriage where the parents give their 13 year old daughter to an older male, what can she expect from that? The fairy tales her mother used to put her to bed are not like the life she’s about to enter.
"Typical of most domestic violence cases, the abuser isolated her from her family and friends, effectively imprisoning her in his home." (Funnell, 2010) much like the rabbit in the story.

Forms of domestic violence like the one the brothers Grimm reflect in this story are also shown in Lean Lisa and The Frog Prince, in the first we have a couple that argues about what to do with a cow "She was reaching for his hair, but Lanky Lenz raised himself up, took hold of both her skinny arms with one hand, then pushed her head into the pillow with the other one. He held her there and let her scold until she fell asleep from exhaustion.".

The frog prince also makes a reference to violence; subtle in a way, when the frog asks in return to be the princes’ companion, she has to oblige because her father tells her to, she has a fit and throws her companion against the wall revealing his true self, in this case he was abused by her by not returning what he asked for.

Although in the stories the characters manage to get out of their predicament in a creative way, they can’t escape a moment from the violence before they can be freed from their troubles. The maiden fooled the hare with a straw doll before he could slap her silly for not having the food on time for the guests. Lisa calmed down and woke up another day, would she make the same mistake? And the prince stayed with the princess even though she had shunned him before.

The brothers Grimm offer us a wide range of tales that give us a glimpse of society in Germany before it was a country, how each story has a lesson to learn and ideas to give, they will not fade away because of the practicality of which they present everyday situations, where we can imagine being Rapunzel, or a lucky man trading his possessions along the road, in which the situations turn out fantastically in favor or sadly in con.


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