Well, this blog post is rather late. Hopefully, it was worth the wait?
Once again, I found myself preferring the more literary of the stories, the least fairy-tale-like of all: “Bluebeard’s Egg” by Margaret Atwood. The thing is, we weren’t even supposed to read that one for class. I just incorrectly assumed that we had to read all of the Bluebeard tales.
I liked it because there was ambiguity. In normal fairy tales, every detail counts, because there are fewer details, and so the interpretations are kind of dependent on how many ways you can look at these details, and how these meanings interact with each other, etc. But this story was more my style- I’m an English major. I liked how there was intertextuality with other fairy tales and Bluebeard tales, and how the main character was in a fairy tales class just like we are, and how it took time to figure out the characters and their identities and their motivations…it was artfully crafted.
But I guess if I had to choose one of the actual stories we were supposed to read, I’d go with Perrault’s “Bluebeard.” It was gory. It was visual. I actually enjoyed reading it…until I got to the ending. Those morals! Ugh. I’m appalled. Once again, a good fairy tale ruined by it’s anti-woman messages. But of course, these messages were prevalent within the tale itself, too. Which brings me back to my frustrations with fairy tales in general, and I guess with society and the world at large: patriarchy.
My goal for the next fairy tales I read? Find something in them besides oppression of women. It’s time I try a different method of analysis beyond the feminist.