It is no secret that fairy tales give readers some sort of message about life and making the transition from a child to an adult. Often time protagonists are faced with the reality of the real world. They need to triumph over their fears in life in order to live an independent life of happiness and security. "Many growth experiences are needed to achieve this" (Bettelheim, CFT 269). The idea of finding a meaning to life sticks with you as you age through the years. Many people use life experiences and learn from them and others continue to have a hard time throughout their life as they are faced with new fears. In order to gain a healthy feeling of self-worth, moral obligation, and overcoming narcissistic disappointments, one needs to understand what is going on with the conscious self in order to know what is going on with the unconscious self (Bettelheim, CFT 271). Through the use of specifically, compiled fairy tales, individuals triumph over the reality of certain fears in their life to fulfill the desire of happiness, while others are not able to surpass their fears.
In fairy tales, it is no surprise to see a "monster woman" (Gilbert & Gubar, CLT 291). Many women are faced with the fear of not being desired as they age in life. In Snow White by Brothers Grimm, Snow's evil step-mother is faced with burning envy and resentment toward Snow White because as Snow matures into a young lady, she is more desirable than the step-mother (84). Based on the Grimm Brothers' version of Snow White, the film Mirror, Mirror directed by Tarsem Singh, the step-mother holds true to her jealousy of Snow White (Singh, 2012). In both Snow White tales, the audience sees how the step-mother uses her fear of growing old and not being as desirable to fuel her anger toward Snow and justifying her reason to kill her. The wicked step-mother uses the mirror to obsessively study her self-image and reassure herself that she is beautiful.