Brothers Grimm: 4 gruesome plot twists you may have forgotten(Read article summary)
The stories by the Brothers Grimm have a lot of gruesome little subplots that you may not remember – or even know. How many of these do you recall from childhood?
Ah, the story of "Snow White." What could be more traditional or child-appropriate?
Sure, that emphasis on Snow White being the fairest one of all may be a little much nowadays, and some parents may roll their eyes at Snow being judged by her housekeeping skills. But hey, it's been around for generations, right? What a kid-friendly story. From sweet Snow White herself, to those friendly dwarves, to the part where the corset almost chokes her to death....
Oh, right. There are a few sections of the most classic "Grimm's Fairy Tales" stories that may have been left out of your version and there are others that you may just have forgotten about. For instance, the part where Cinderella's stepsisters start slicing up their feet – remember that?
We thought not. Here are a few other of the oddest and most violent parts of the traditional "Grimm" stories.
1. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Even the Disney version gets a little gruesome, with the queen asking for Snow White's heart from the huntsman. However, in the original Grimm version, the witch first tries to sell Snow a corset, which Snow tries on and which then causes her to pass out because it's so tight, causing the witch to think she's dead. In addition, in some versions, it's not that kiss from the prince that awakens Snow White from her enchanted slumber. In an alternate version of the fairy tale the prince asks the dwarves if he can make the funeral arrangements, and when his servants start to carry the coffin, one trips, causing the lump of apple inside Snow's throat to dislodge. Oh, how romantic!
Well, first of all, in the original "Grimm" version, Rapunzel was 12. In addition, in that same version, the blonde princess gives away the prince's visits by asking her adoptive witch mother why her gown is getting too small. Apparently, she became pregnant. She gives birth to twins after she's been banished there by the witch.
3. "Hansel and Gretel"
The two siblings were apparently the children of fairly heartless parents. Not only does their father allow himself to be swayed by his new wife's suggestion that they abandon Hansel and Gretel in the woods so they'll have fewer mouths to feed, but the first time that the kids go in the woods, they save themselves by gathering white pebbles which they use the next day to mark their path. When their parents plan to bring them into the woods a second time and the children try to leave the house to get more pebbles, the parents lock them inside to prevent them from doing so.
Also, it's a well-known part of the story – although easy to forget – that it's innocent little Gretel who ends up killing the witch. Sheesh.
In the "Grimm" iteration, Cinderella's two stepsisters are so desperate to become the wife of the prince that when the glass slipper fails to fit them, they cut off parts of their feet. And if that's not enough, at Cinderella's wedding, what the Grimm brothers seem to view as karmic doves fall upon the stepsisters and peck their eyes out so they are blind for the rest of their lives.