“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” has been a beloved children’s fairy tale, as presented by Walt Disney, who stripped it off of its innate, shocking cruelty and ideas which did not appeal to the general public’s idea of what a fairy tale is supposed to sound like. The original story, as captured on paper by the Grimm brothers is one of violence and unnecessary bloodshed, of villains being punished in unimaginably cruel ways, all in order to appease the black and white world of the fairy tale universe.
Most parents believe that children would prefer being told the Disney version, with a mild, softened image of what really happens to the queen. However, some critics believe that if told in a safe, nurturing environment, fairy tales such as the original version of Snow White do not harm children in any way. The image that might be evoked in the child’s mind will always be subdued by the warmth of the bed, the parents’ hug and a goodnight kiss, which serves as proof to the child that it is loved and protected.
Thus, the Disney version offers the image of a princess who is first and foremost beautiful, and as such, she does not need any other skill, because she is conditioned to be a passive, subdued female who will, one way or another, be saved by her knight in shining armor. The violence she is forced to undergo, the poisoned comb, the poisoned apple, being run out of her home, is softened in the Disney version. In the original story, following the line of most German fairy tales of the time, there is an excess of violence, especially when it comes to the punishment of the villain. The queen undergoes a highly imaginative, slow and painful punishment: she is forced to dance in hot, iron shoes until she dies.
It appears that when the good guys in a fairy tale are given the right of retribution, their manner of punishment is even more devious than the villain’s. This reveals a strike controversy in such stories, the moral of which should be goodness, kindness and morality, instead of teaching the children that all bad deeds need to be revenged. Thus, this conditions the child with a completely wrong message, one of evil and following the old saying that one should take an eye for an eye, forgetting that following such a motto would leave the entire world blind.
Consequently, the story of Snow White is one wrought with controversy, which should teach that violence is wrong, yet it promotes it, which also teaches the fact that beauty is not the most important thing in life, and yet, the heroines of fairy tales are conditioned to rely on their beauty and fate, completely disregarding the fact that they themselves can be their own salvation.