The German fairy tale Snow-White and Rose-Red (German: Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot), just as the more famous Little Snow White, is one of the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, who brought their version of the fairy tale in accordance with the moral norms of the contemporary German society. According to other sources, it was written by Caroline Stahl under the title The Ungrateful Dwarf (“Snow White and Rose Red” par. 2).
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Let’s start with the protagonists in the tale, the sisters Snow-white and Rose-red. Snow-white is a quiet and indrawn child who prefers fireside comfort to the outdoors (“Snow-white sat at home with her mother, and helped her with her housework, or read to her when there was nothing to do”), unlike her sister Rose-red, who “liked better to run about in the meadows and fields seeking flowers and catching butterflies” (Grimm and Grimm par. 1).
In spite of the fact that the girls’ characters are so strikingly different, they are inseparable like the two sides of the same coin (“Snow-white said: ‘We will not leave each other,’ Rose-red answered: ‘Never so long as we live,’” (Grimm and Grimm par. 2). Snow White from the other Grimm’s fable (Little Snow White or Snowdrop) and its 2012 movie adaptation Snow White and the Huntsman is a combination of the both characters. Her skin is pale like that of Snow-white, and her lips are the red of Rose-red. Although, their stories have little in common (Snow-white and Rose-red help out a grumpy dwarf while unaware of the fact that he laid a spell on the Prince by turning him into a bear, whereas in the 2012 movie, just as in the Grimm’s other tale, it is the main character herself who gets enchanted by an evil sorceress though eating a poisoned apple and falling into eternal sleep).
The girls from Snow-White and Rose-Red and Snow White from the movie have loving and caring mothers (“You possess rare beauty, my love. In here…[pointing to young Snow White’s chest/heart]. “Never lose it,” the mother admonishes her daughter in the movie (Snow White and the Huntsman); “they sat round the hearth, and the mother took her spectacles and read aloud out of a large book, and the two girls listened as they sat and spun,” sisters spend time with their mother (Grimm and Grimm par. 6)).
Snow-white from Snow-White and Rose-Red is the quintessence of naiveté and innocence; she is compared to “a white dove with its head hidden beneath its wings” (Grimm and Grimm par. 8). In contrast, in the 2012 fantasy Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart portrays a brave female warrior who “defeated the Evil Queen Ravenna to regain her kingdom” thus resembling the more courageous Rose-red (“’Snow White and The Huntsman 2′: sequel gets a new title and characters” par. 1).
The antagonist image of the evil dwarf who enchanted the bear is one that may be compared to the sorceress Ravenna from the 2012 movie. They both possess magic powers; in the fairy tale, the dwarf’s beard is endowed with miraculous properties, whereas in the film, in addition to Ravenna’s dark magic skills, she has an artifact, the Magic Mirror. The dwarf uses his beard to disappear, while Ravenna applies her powers more extensively, taking “the youth and beauty of women by absorbing their life energy, shape-shifting, creating monsters and soldiers made of obsidian stones, cooking potions and artifacts” (“Queen Ravenna” par. 5).
Both the dwarf and the sorceress are willing to sacrifice the protagonists, each for different purposes. In the Grimm’s tale about the two sisters, when there is a threat to the dwarf’s life, he offers Snow-white and Rose-red to the bear: ‘Come, take these two wicked girls, they are tender morsels for you, fat as young quails; for mercy’s sake eat them!’ (Grimm and Grimm par. 25). In the movie, Ravenna aims to extort Snow White’s life force to maintain the eternal youth.
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In the fairy tale, the antagonist does not pose a major threat to the girls; the dwarf is small; he even tries to take advantage of his smallness (he shouts to the bear ‘you would not feel me between your teeth’ (Grimm and Grimm par. 24)). Unlike Ravenna, the more complicated evil character, the sorceress in charge of a vast kingdom. There is an army of warriors at her disposal, although a lesser means prove to be effective (a poisoned apple).
In both the Snow-White and Rose-Red and Snow White and the Huntsman, there is an act of unspelling. In the former, it is the secondary character, the Prince, who turns back into a man with the help of the sisters (“suddenly his bearskin fell off, and he stood there a handsome man” (Grimm and Grimm par. 25)), marrying one of them afterwards. On the contrary, in the film, it is Snow White who wakes from the bewitched sleep after being kissed by the Huntsman who represents the Prince. As it can be seen from the comparison of the two stories, fairy tales underwent certain changes due to the cultural evolution; the characters became stronger and more violent, there is no place for sentiments. Although the moral stays the same; everyone gets what he/she deserves.
“Snow White and the Huntsman 2′: sequel gets a new title and characters.” Latinos Health. Latinos Health. 2015. Web.
“Snow White and Rose Red.” Tales of Faerie. 2012. Web.
“Queen Ravenna.” Villains Wikia. n.d. Web.
Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm Grimm. Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Project Gutenberg. n.d. Web.
Snow White and the Huntsman. Ex. Prod. Borders, Gloria. Roth Films. Universal Pictures. 2012.