Lecture 12

Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Snow White

Gilbert & Gubar

  • Why does a mirror know and tell who the prettiest woman is?
    • Isn’t this super subjective?
  • The mirror in Snow White is basically a man saying who the prettiest is, while pretending to be the ultimate knower of truth.
    • Opinion posing as truth
  • Being chosen as the hottest by men posing as a mirror is the basis of the queen’s power.
  • The world tells women that their only access to social standing and power is through a designation of beauty given by men.


  • The Grimms turned the evil queen from a mother into a stepmother.
  • A child is incapable of understanding the complexity of relationships, so we need to separate cool mom vs. hurtful mom into separate characters.