Feminist Fairy Tales: Tales as Old as Time?
Dieën, I. van
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This thesis investigates whether feminist retellings of fairy tales reflect the concerns thought most urgent at their time of publication and the general feminist thought of the period. This is done in an attempt to contribute case studies to assess whether feminist fiction from the period reflects the articulated interests of the women’s movement as well as whether the characterization in waves can be further specified. Fairy tales can function as a powerful socializing tool and the lessons or messages they convey can be a reflection of social movements or what is marked as needing to be changed within society. Two retellings of Beauty and the Beast are central in the thesis; Angela Carter’s The Tiger’s Bride and Emma Donoghue’s The Tale of the Rose. I argue that while they show some of the characteristics attributed to feminist thought from their respective waves, the periodization and characterization that comes with it presents a simplified reality. The analysis of the story focusses on the metanarrative that is conveyed in them, especially through their use of stereotypes and the differences when compared to one of the earliest published versions written by Madame Leprince de Beaumont.