(3/31/05 10:46 pm)
Research Paper HELP!!!!|
To all who come across this message:
I am a current freshman at the Hartt School of Music, and currently I am writing a research paper on how the portrayal of women as victims in Grimms' Fairy Tales is affecting the behavior of the youth (both boys and girls), in respect to their social and gender developements. As well as how, women of the present are breaking away from this mold of the "victim" in our modern society.
What I would love to do is have anyone who is interested in my activity to contribute. Thus, if you are interested please feel free to answer any of the questions below (or if you are very eager; you can answer them all). Thank you all so much for your time and effort. A hopeful student.
1) How would you define the essence of a modern woman in the United States? Describe your image of the modern woman represents in today's society. What are your images or conceptions of women based upon? (Or in other words, what objects in your life have aided in the formulation of your idea?)
2) How do you see the treatment of women in today's society in the economic, social, and domestic settings? (Please add in your own personal experiences when necessary).
3) In your opinion, are modern women portrayed as independent visionaries of their own future, or are they still entrapped/oppressed by images found in the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales of vulnerability, dependency, and irresponsibility?
4) What are some contemporary forms of media or literature that realistically portray the image of women in the United States? What makes the media's product so realistic in their representation of women?
5) Were exposed to fairy tales when you were little? If so, which tales were you knowledgeable of? Do you feel that your life as a young lady growing up, was affected by the stereotypes found in fairy tales? Did they have a direct impact on your behavior and actions? If so, how?
6) Do feel that fairy tales have a definite positive or negative impact on the social behaviors of children? How so?
7) Are little girls being oppressed by the ideal fairy tale model of females as being silent, obedient, and dependent? Furthermore, are little boys living in anxiety in their attempt to become the strong, stalwart, heroic prince?
8) Do you think there is a direct correlation to the biblical images
of Eve and the silence of women/heroines in fairy tales? Do you
feel that there is still this shadow of oppression held over women?
9) Are the values of 19th Century Germany of silence, obedience still predominating factors in your life as a woman? Have women moved on from this point, and have they evolved into stronger equal members of society?
(4/1/05 1:34 am)
I think you're going to raise some hackles with with this post-- who decided that fairy tale heroines are universally characterized by "vulnerability, dependency, and irresponsibility?" The question "Are little girls being oppressed by the ideal fairy tale model of females as being silent, obedient, and dependent?" implicitly assumes that all Grimm heroines are silent, obedient and dependent, and while you might argue that, I don't think you can begin with it as an established fact. It sounds like you already know what you want your research to prove...
(4/1/05 3:46 am)
If you don't mind me going freshman-comp teacher for a minute, I think the real problem here is that you've got way too much going on for a freshman paper--if you were writing a social psychology dissertation you might be able to address all these issues, but not in a freshman paper. You simply won't have the tools to find out what "the essence of modern woman" is--an unfeasibly general question in itself, or to figure out what impact fairy tales have on the status of women. You're going to need to pick one of these questions and then narrow it down further.
There are links to extensive previous discussions on women
and fairy tales as well as children
and fairy tales. There has also been a lot written on women
and fairy tales and most of the best books are listed on that page
(4/1/05 10:44 am)
Do you know the history of fairy tales in general, and of the Grimms'
collections of fairy tales in particular? That's a good (and important)
place to start, because not all fairy tale heroines are victims
and you'll need to understand the history of fairy tales to know
why some are portrayed that way and others aren't. There are several
good books on the subject, including The
Annotated Brothers Grimm
by Maria Tatar and Clever
Maids: The Secret History of The Grimm Fairy Tales
by Valerie Paradiz. Otherwise, judging by your questions, you
run the risk of building your thesis on modern assumptions about
fairy tales that may not be historically true.