memoir, Out of the Woods, Writing

Snow White could give lessons on giving the cold shoulder

I am always the Princess.

I am Snow White, surfacing from a coma brought on by the apples of knowledge that both my mother and stepmother gave me.  I almost want to stop right there and leave it for you to noodle on–but I’d rather root the whole fairy tale up and dump it all in a big pile.  Please bear with me while I shovel everything out.

  • Apple (knowledge)
  • Snow White (Princess)
  • Dead mother (abandonment)
  • Stepmother
  • Sleep/coma—->blindness/emotional blindness/denial
  • Prince

Emotional or mental blindness–like hysterical blindness, y’know?  Blind like the sailor in Joseph Conrad’s story of the blind captain–the sailor had no idea his captain couldn’t see, and only realized it in a sideways leap of logic when he noticed a pilot fish guiding a whale.   (Dr. Stampfl–my former professor– calls that abduction.) The captain was physically blind, but the sailor was mentally blind.
Still thinking….

So. Emotional blindness and paralysis are Snow White’s problems.  My problems, too, sometimes.

Some’d say this is making a kid’s story too complicated.
I say no.
There’s a reason these stories have survived hundreds of years. They speak to us on some level beyond our ken.

 

  • I welcome your thoughts….

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Snow White could give lessons on giving the cold shoulder

  1. I like the abduction definition. What would the archetype definitions be for the Prince and for the Stepmother?

  2. They’re part of my shadow, and part of the fairytale’s shadow, too.

    1. The prince wants a comatose (read: passive/nonthinking/nonchallenging/submissive) woman.
    2. The stepmother tempts SW with objects of desire.

    I haven’t nailed down a specific archetype, but Caroline Myss informs my take on this, to a degree.

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