1. What is the moral of each story? How do you come to that decision? What do you perceive to be the differences and similarities of the morals of the stories?
The Bloody Chamber:
The moral of “The Bloody Chamber” is that while there is typically corruption in corruption and sexual tendencies, which does not mean a woman is supposed to bow down and accept those corruptions. This is somewhat explained by the end of the tale because, at the end you realize this is the girl in the story narrating, but she is different. She is not the shy pianist from prior her marriage, this is a woman. A woman who has seen many horrors and, branded she may be from them, is stronger because of it. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” becomes truth in this story for the once mousy haired brunette.
Not only is she on her own being different, but the boundaries for what a ‘typical’ fairy tale wife are pushed:
1- She is not saved by a Prince Charming. But instead is her mother’s bullet that saves her.
2- Her husband is blind, so he may not know how high or low her Beauty is on a scale. Thus the stereotype of ‘Beautiful Princess’ is also set aside by the end.
3- And finally, they do not live in the castle or even a manor, but instead the couple lives “Happily Ever After” with the Pianist’s mother in a humble cottage somewhere in the countryside.
All three examples are rebuttals to the typical good-natured bride to be, found in fairy tales and even real life.
The Moral to be found in “The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods” is that:
Patience is the ultimate virtue, yet reward.
This is pointed out an explained throughout the
story itself, but is done more boldly at the end within “The Moral.”
Within the story, the moral is outlined by letting the princess sleep for
100 years instead of an initial death from the spin wheel. This means she must,
willingly or not, wait for her Prince to come for her. Even if this waiting is done while in a slumber, it is still made apparent that waiting and patience is to be a main point in the story.
Then, later along in the tale, the princess must
wait once more to be introduced to her husband’s family. For his mother is an
Ogre and may eat her if he is not the one in charge to watch over. So the
princess must wait, once again, till the king is dead so that her husband and
lover may become king in his place.
Finally, the passage tells of the final waiting,
and perhaps the most tedious waiting of all for the princess as well as her
children. For when the new king leaves on business, the Ogress takes it upon
herself to feast on the children and the new queen. This causes the princess
and her children to wait, and wait for the prince to come back as they hide.
(They hide due to the quick Cook’s thinking of faking their deaths and meals)
They wait till last minute, when the king finally
arrives to see his mother about to end the lives of his beloved wife and
children. The Ogress, in a fit of rage, tries to fling herself perhaps at the
young queen or perhaps at the death pit at first, but inevitably ends her life.
All three accounts, 3 being a common theme in
fairy tales, depict how important it is to be patient, and once you have been
patient enough, you shall be rewarded.
The fairy tales above can be similar stories, but their morals are not close to that of the same.
Bloody Chamber is of coming of age and trust and sexual desire and death.
Sleeping Beauty is of Patience and its just rewards.
2. What effect do the illustrations and inline glossary notes have on your reading of “The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods?” For that matter, what effect, if any, does the fact that it is published online have on your reading?
The illustrations and glossary notes did not do much for me, aside from just adding more imagery. The imagery of a normal prince with a normal cape was instantly shattered when the ‘real world’ image of how princes used to actually dress was presented.
Basically, it boils down to
Disney vs. Real life.
The small glossary notes within
the reading were informative in the fact that they described an Ogre was, as
well as a special type of sauce the Ogress wished to eat the children in.
Both, ironically, had to deal
with the Ogress, but it was amusing to see how the author/ narrator himself
felt the need to add those notes in. Almost as if they knew someone might come
across this tale who had never thought of what an Ogre may be, nor what type of
sauce may require sliced onions.
The fact that “The Sleeping
Beauty in the Woods” was published via an online website had no effect on my
reading aside from the basic point of ‘convenience’. I would have still gladly
read the tale had it been in paperback, but this did allow me easier access and
perhaps a tad lack of concentration due to there being other windows open.