What I Learned From Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm

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It took me quite some time to finally finish this collection. I’m generally really bad at reading short stories and not all of them were that interesting. I definitely enjoyed it overall though; it was intriguing to read the original versions, especially of the ones I grew up with. It was also fun to come across tales I had completely forgotten about (even if it was a different version) and to learn new ones, even though some of them were quite boring.

Anyway, fairytales are supposed to teach kids important lessons, here are the lessons I learned

Eldest siblings beware

If you have siblings and you’re not the youngest – sucks to be you, you’re most likely going to fail at your task and probably going to die trying it (and it’s likely going to be brutal, because these stories are brutal)

Sexism. Sexism everywhere

If you’re a girl it also sucks to be you (surprise surprise), because whether it makes sense or not, at the end of the story you’ll be the male protagonist’s prize. Speaking of sexism…

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A sexist tale is not complete without some slut-shaming, right?

Listen to the ravens

Always listen to ravens’ gossip. I read at least two stories (maybe there were more? It took me months to read this book so I’ve forgotten some stories) in which the ravens’ gossiping was really useful for the protagonist (like ‘you can find the solution to that problem at that place over there’)

Don’t trust anyone

I mean, obviously this was a lesson a lot of these fairytales were meant to tell to children. I definitely learned it. Jesus Christ a lot of the protagonists of these stories are horrible people?? I thought they were supposed to  be heroes?? Or at least I did as a kid. There goes my childhood – not that there was much left of it while reading these but still

Disney’s Cinderella > Grimm’s Cinderella 

I prefer Disney’s Cinderella – bless you for just killing the father off instead of keeping this guy who doesn’t do a thing about his daughter being abused. It’s even implied that he approves??

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Ending stories is hard

Whoever the brothers Grimm heard these stories from… Well, they really didn’t know how to wrap up a story. A lot of them are really abrupt and I was just sitting there like

Speaking of which, not all of these tales end with a ‘and they lived happily ever after’. In fact, a lot of them die. Or they’re like ‘and they were happy, and then they died’, which is technically like ‘they lived happily ever after’, but the afterthought of ‘then they died’ kind of ruins the ending

Hansel did not marry his sister

There’s a small and a big difference between the tales Hansel and Grettel and Hans and Grettel. The small one is the two letters at the end of the first names. The big one is that Hans and Grettel are married and Hansel and Grettel are siblings (who knows Hans and Grettel might have been too, but it wasn’t mentioned). Keep this in mind so that you won’t be disturbed at the non-existent incest in Hans and His Wife Grettel like me. Though expecting incest wasn’t too big of a stretch because…

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Yeah that happened. And no it did not end with the princess running away from home and living happily ever after. This was definitely my least favourite story, even though there were stories that were more boring.

So these are some of the lessons I learned! It was definitely an interesting read and if you’re interested in some original fairytales I’d definitely recommend it (plus this edition is super pretty), but if you want to keep your childhood intact – skip it

Have you read this collection or another fairytale collection that consists of original versions? What did you think? Do you remember what your favourite and least favourite stories were? I can’t blame you if you don’t, there are so many! Anyway, let me know in the comments!

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21 thoughts on “What I Learned From Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm

  1. This reminded me of Grimm Tales for Young and Old, by Phillip Pullman. I borrowed it from the library but I never really finished it, and I didn’t enjoy it much either. And I think I remember one that had ravens in it, I think it was about these three brothers and their sister. I may borrow it again if I come across it and also happen to be in the mood for it. :]

    • Ooh this book has one about seven brothers and their sisters; the brothers turn into ravens. A lot of these tales have a lot of different versions though. You definitely need to be in the mood for it haha – thus why it took me months to finish it, but in the end I found it intriguing to read the original versions and read tales that I wasn’t familiar with :)

  2. My mother loved The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales (which I can hardly call fairy tales, to be frank) , so I grew up very much aware of “the original stories”. I do think they are brutal and grim (haha!) but somewhat great to shake me up and put me back into reality. After reading one of those stories I was usually thinking, “What the heck did I just read? I’d better go wash the dishes and distract myself.” That’s the good part.
    The bad part is that I just love such WTF-ery in TV shows! American Horror Story, Bates Motel, Hannibal – they give me the same feeling as The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales. Awesome! Unfortunately, the moment I stay home alone, I curse myself for such taste in shows ahaha

    • Haha I agree; you can’t really call them fairytales! Love the pun :P That was exactly my reaction after reading them haha. Oh boy I can imagine! But as long as you enjoy watching them right? :P

  3. THEY’RE ALL SO DARK. If you’ve read it, the A Tale Dark and Grimm series shows this sooo well. Honestly, fairy tales were weird as heck.

    • THEY ARE. I knew they were, but it still surprised me HOW dark they were haha. Ooh I haven’t read that! I’ll check it out. They were. There was one tale that featured a living needle??

  4. Oh, ik vind dit zo’n leuk artikeltje! Sowieso je hele blog is een fijne. En die knuffeltjes zijn zo schattig! Ik vond de kleine zeemeermin altijd zo’n mooi sprookje.

  5. I got the Philip Pullman version awhile back but never made it through the whole thing. Some are just so bizarre. I love fairy tale re-tellings, so it’s cool to compare with the originals.

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