How can I write a thesis on the relationship of the original Grimm works & modern day adaptations?
I am supposed to write a research paper for my tenth english class. I chose the topic of the Brothers Grimm. I was going to write agout how the original works differ so much from the modern day adaptations and movies. I know that the original stories are much darker and often sad and violent. How should I compaqre the Disney movies and the original pieces. Does it have anything to do with the culture of 19th century Germany and modern culture?
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I think you are correct in assuming a relationship between cultures and their literary productions. In the case of the Grimm brothers, some of the tales they collected go back before the 19th century. Also, many of the tales were circulated in an "oral" society--that is, they were not written down or "published" prior to the brothers' collections, so there are many "variants" or different versions. Also, the brothers edited the tales in their collections to make them more "literary." The particular cultural values at certain times in history also dictated what could and couldn't be said or written publicly. Disney has more or less followed the same process--changing the fundamental story so that it appeals to today's audiences. In some versions of Hansel and Gretel, for instance, in the published works, the ending has been "sanitized," so that the witch isn't put into an oven, there is no wicked stepmother, and so on. If you compare several variants of a tale with their time periods, and perhaps do a little sleuthing as to the standards of child rearing during those eras, or an older version of a tale with the Disney movie in order to see what is acceptable or not according to ratings and critical reviews today, you will have a workable thesis. Be careful in your research--in folk tales, there is no such thing as an "original"! Good luck!
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