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Author Comment
Gunnlods Cup
Registered User
(3/21/05 10:11 pm)
Symbolism in Snow White Rose Red
I'm hoping some of you here can help me with a project for school.

It's not a research project (meaning I'm getting no extra marks for the research, as far as I'm aware).

I'm a textile artist and it's a woven piece. Since most of my work involves myths or fairy tales, I chose Snow White and Rose Red (partly because I've never worked with the tale before). But I'm having a bit of difficulty with the symbolism in this tale. Snow White and Rose Red themselves I've already got covered, but it's the roles of the bear and the dwarf I'm having trouble with. And the more I try to figure it out, the more lost I feel. The criteria of the project includes the fact that if I choose to tell a story or convey a message I cannot use representational images so I'd like to have a relatively firm grasp on the symbolism before I try to portray it in the piece.

We've only been given 4 weeks to design and weave the piece, and I've already spent a whole day on Google, and another rifling through the archives here, as well as the annotated fairy tale pages, and the Endicott studio pages, I'm hoping someone can give me suggestions as to where else I might look, or offer some insight into the story.

The bear is obviously an animal bridegroom, but the bridegroom isn't the primary antagonist. I know the symbolism of dwarves and of beards, but I'm wondering what people think might be the reason for the separation of the antagonist role, and animal bridegroom role.

Any help at all would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Brenda

Writerpatrick
Registered User
(3/22/05 11:10 am)
Re: Symbolism in Snow White Rose Red
I'm fairly familiar with this story from a (yet to be published) re-telling I've done, and I don't know if there really is symbolism in the story.

Basically, the bear, who is in fact an enchanted prince, and the dwarf have a history. The dwarf is somehow responsible for the prince becoming a bear and stealing his treasure. Snow White and Rose Red become involved when the bear seeks shelter at their home with their mother.

If you are looking for symbolism, then it's possible that the bear/prince would represent power and the dwarf a lowly being who steals from the prince. The two maidens then become heros through their kindness and give the prince back his nobility.

redtriskell
Registered User
(3/23/05 12:53 am)
Re: Symbolism in Snow White Rose Red
Perhaps this is a useless idea, but what about the colors involved? I seem to recall that the bear was brown (earth, solidity) and the dwarf wore a yellow jacket (cowardice). And, of course, white is purity and/or innocence and red can be just about anything- love, lust, sexuality, passion... As I remember the story, wasn't Rose the bolder of the two? Anyway, not sure if this is remotely helpful to you, but your project sounds really cool. Good luck with it.

RaggedyMoth
Registered User
(3/25/05 4:15 pm)
Re: Symbolism in Snow White Rose Red
The story seems very seasonal. During the winter the adversaries- bear and dwarf- can do nothing. Their battle begins again in spring. Then the man as beast defeats the beastly man, and releases the riches of the earth, and himself.
Maybe it's about awakening. (Although that seems like a very 'modern' take).       
Aka, I donít really know, but good luck!

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