Snow White is a sweet story of an innocent girl fighting for her life. Do you know that the original version of Snow White fairytale is full of shocking plots?The Grimm’s collection is our only source of the original version of the story as Perrault did not include Snow White in his collection. Grimm made two versions. The first was recorded in 1810 and known as the “peasant version”. In this first version there were no stepmother and prince.
Snow White, in this version, was put to sleep by her own mother. Her father discovered her body, killed her jealous motherand revived her. This 1810 version was never published because it included the element of incest which was heavily conflicted with Christian value. Grimm then altered this first version. In the second version the father is absent, the mother is a stepmother, and an unrelated prince saves Snow White. Grimm had sanitized the original peasant version of the story. Anyway, even this sanitized version is still disturbing in modern perspective.
The general outline of Grimm’s second version is not very much different with the modern one. The differences are highlighted below.
Snow White is only a seven years old girl
In the newer version, Show White is portrayed as a grown up lady. But yes, in the original version Snow White is only seven years of age at the beginning of the story. The fact that the stepmother hates a seven years old girl so much that she wants to kill her is disturbing. At the end of the story, there is no evidence that Snow White had grown to become an adult. So, what does the Prince want with seven years old girl in his hand? Is he a pedophile?
Why the huntsman spares Snow White’s life?
In the newer version, the huntsman pities Snow White when he sees her put a baby bird back in its nest. In the earlier version, the huntsman pities her because she is so beautiful. So it is not because Snow White is innocent or kindhearted that the huntsman let her go, it is solely because of her look.
The Queen’s tricks
In the original version, the Stepmother tries to kill Snow White not once but three times. First, she dresses herself like a peddler woman and sells laces to Snow White. The Stepmother ties the lace so tightly until show White loses her breath and falls down. Luckily the seven dwarfs come in time to cut the laces. Secondly, the Stepmother sells poisonous comb to Snow White. Snow White let her hair be combed and once the comb touches her hair, she falls down. Again this time the seven dwarfs come in time to take the comb out of her hair. Why do you think Snow White falls for the first and second trick? Well, even Snow White wants to be laced, to be combed; all that will make her physically even with
In both the newer and earlier version, the Stepmother is suffered from narcissistic pride. Her desire to be the fairest of all is the dominant motive of her sadistic envy. The story now and then is all about physical appearance. However, the earlier version makes it clear that Snow White also has a desire to match the Queen’s beauty. In this perspective Show White does not look as innocent as she is in the newer version.
The cannibal Queen.
In the newer version, the cannibalistic action of the Stepmother is not mentioned. In the earlier version, the Stepmother orders the huntsman to kill Snow White and bring the girl’s lungs and liver, not only as proof that she is dead but also to be eaten. This cannibalistic action is horrific as the motif is surely not hunger. The Stepmother eats Snow White to obliterate her, to posses her beauty and characteristic. Cannibalism in this context reflects ancient belief that “one will acquire the power of whatever one eats”.
The necrophiliac Prince
In the newer version Snow White is awaken when the Prince kisses her. In the original version, there is no kiss. The Prince insists in having the coffin. Then, he asks his men to carry the coffin with the girl’s lifeless body in it. When the men carrying the coffin stumble over some rock, the poisonous apple comes out of her throat and Snow White is once more alive. What does the Prince want with a dead girl’s body? In the original version, not only is he a pedophile but a necrophiliac as well. The fact that the seven dwarfs refuse to bury the girl and instead keep her in a glass coffin so that they can stare at her is already disturbing. The desire of the Prince to have the body adds to the horrifying aspect of this original version.
Gruesome death of the Queen
The bad guys in fairy tales originated in medieval era always end with gruesome death, including Snow White’s stepmother. In the newer version, there are several narrations on how the Stepmother dies. In one version, it is said that the Stepmother is thrown into a cliff, in other version, it is said that she is killed when trying to kill the dwarfs. In the original version, the death is most gruesome: the Stepmother is forced to wear hot iron slippers and dance until she drops death.