The Function of Symbolism in Snow White and Cinderella.
No matter where you are in the world, chances are, you hold fairy tales from your childhood close to heart. They spark a sense of nostalgia just by hearing their names. Have you ever wondered why Snow White bit the apple or why Cinderella's evil stepsisters got their eyes pecked out by doves? My goal is to understand the functionality of the symbolism that the authors from all over the world included in their famous fairy tales. The tale of Snow White was introduced to the world as a story of a young girl condemned to a seven-year sleep by her wicked queen of a stepmother. Everyone knows her as porcelain skinned, black haired princess who befriended 7 dwarves before she fell into an – almost – eternal sleep. Digging deeper, there are some symbols that provide a religious background to the renowned fairy tale, and some that give us some more understanding of why the authors chose the symbols that he did. .
The colors that we know Snow White to be famous for have a deeper meaning than we all may have thought. In the Brothers Grimm version of the tale, Snow Whites mother pricks her finger on a snowy night, making her fall in love with the colors that were as white as snow, red as blood, and black as the ebony window frame. Luckily, she had a beautiful daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony (Tatar 83). Michelle Rahn explains in her article, Symbolism in Snow White, that those prominent colors represent Snow White's life cycle. The white represents purity in her birth, the red represents her maturity and passion in life, and the black signifies the point where Snow White fell into her "eternal" sleep (Rahn). .
Another prominent symbol that can be seen throughout the different versions of Snow White is the number seven. The number seven is significant in Christianity, because it is the Biblical number of perfection.