The Deep Reason For the Characters in Some Stories

A character can simply be a person in a novel, play, or movie. However, there may be a deeper reason for characters in certain stories. The Grimm brothers translated the Grimm Tales to teach children that they can overcome any obstacle in life, if they only utilize their brain. Characters are strategically placed in the Grimm Tales stories as an embodiment of a specific human trait, such as evil, greed, or guidance. Ashputtel’s two stepsisters display greed and are a form of the stereotype of the evil stepmother.

The wolf who fools Little Red Cap epitomize evil and uses his tricks to benefit himself while hurting others. The seven dwarves who raise Snow White illustrate guidance and act as parent figures in the life of the young Snow White.

Ashputtel’s stepsisters display how greed can overtake a person and blind their life judgements. When Ashputtel’s father remarries, Ashputtel must live with two new stepsisters, whose “faces were as lovely as flowers,” but “their hearts were ugly as thorns”.

The stepsisters appear lovely to everyone who sees them, but on the inside, they are evil and greedy. The vile stepsisters ridicule Ashputtel and bully her constantly. They transform Ashputtel from a beautiful child into a dirty kitchen maid. One day, a prince holds a ball in the town where Ashputtel and her family live. Ashputtel, wearing a beautiful dress given to her by her deceased mother, attends the ball. Because of her newfound beauty and her dazzling dress, no one attending the party recognizes Ashputtel, even her own family.

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She dances with the prince for three days but refuses to tell the prince her identity.

On the third and final day, the prince captures Ashputtel’s shoe and declares that he will only marry the girl whose foot fits in the slipper. The first stepsister, excited at this statement, tries to fit her foot into the slipper. When her toe fails to fit, “Her mother handed her a knife and said: ‘Slice off your big toe. Once you’re Queen you won’t have to bother with walking’”. The prince learns of the situation and refuses to marry her, so the second stepsister tries on the slipper. When her heel does not fit, “Her mother passed her the knife and said, ‘Carve a slice off your heel.’” The stepsister obeys, but once again the prince discovers this and refuses to marry the stepsister. The stepsisters are so hungry for power and wealth that they are willing to do anything to become the prince’s bride. Finally, Ashputtel tries on the shoe, and when it fits, she marries the prince. The stepsisters attend Ashputtel’s wedding, “hoping to suck up to her and have a share in her good fortune”. Above all else, the stepsisters want to have money. Two birds fly into the wedding and blind the stepsisters. The materialism and greed of the evil stepsisters leads to their own destruction.

The wolf in Little Red Cap portrays the root of evil, the devil, who disguises good with evil and tempts Little Red Cap into following its wicked plan. Little Red Cap, an innocent little girl, first meets the wolf at the edge of the forest, on the way to her sick grandmother’s house. The wolf greets the girl, and “because she didn’t know what a wicked animal it was, she wasn’t afraid of it. Evil can appear in many forms. It can be friendly, polite, even loving. But the wolf cruelly devises a plan to eat Little Red Cap and her grandmother. The wolf coaxes Little Red Cap into telling it the location of her grandmother’s house, and the two walk together toward the house. On the way, the wolf casually suggests to Little Red Cap: “Look, Little Red Cap. Open your eyes and see! There are beautiful flowers all around us. And there’s wonderful birdsong that you don’t even listen to. You just plod straight ahead as though you were going to school—and yet the woods are so fun”.

Foolish Little Red Cap obeys the wolf and consequently becomes distracted by the flowers in the forest. Like in this instance, the schemes of the devil seem favorable and enjoyable at first, but in the end, they only hurt Little Red Cap. While Little Red Cap picks flowers and wanders further off the path, the wolf hastens to the grandmother’s house. When the wolf arrives, it “…lifted the latch and the door flew open and without even a word it leapt on the old woman’s bed and gobbled her up. Then it pulled her clothes and her night-cap over its wolfy fur, crawled into her bed and closed the curtains”. When Little Red Cap finally obtains as many flowers as she can hold, she runs to her grandmother’s house only to be eaten by the clever wolf. The wolf, by its evil ways, deceived Little Red Cap and she paid the price.

In the life of Snow White, the dwarves act as parents for Snow White and help to guide her through her life. On the run from her murderous stepmother, Snow White runs deeper and deeper into a forest. She runs until she finds a small house, belonging to the seven dwarves. The seven dwarves see Snow White, and when she explains her predicament, the dwarves tell her that if she takes care of their house, “you can stay here with us and you shall want nothing” (228). The dwarves are kind to the young, unfortunate child and give her a chance to live a safe life. Snow White tells the dwarves about her evil stepmother and her plans, and the dwarves, before they leave to work in the mines, try to warn Snow White: “Beware of your stepmother. She will soon find out you are here. Don’t let anyone into the house” (228). However, foolish Snow White does not heed their warning, and the stepmother, disguised as a peddler, tricks her into coming out. The dwarves save her, but the wily stepmother tricks Snow White two more times.

On the third day, the evil stepmother finally kills Snow White. When discussing her burial, the dwarves all agree, “‘We cannot put her in the cold, dark earth.’ So they had a coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides. They laid her in it and put her name on it in gold letters and that she was the daughter of a King. They placed the coffin up on the mountain and one of them always guarded it”. Like any good parent, the dwarves take care of Snow White even when she dies. Throughout the life of Snow White, the dwarves act as good parents and attempt to steer her in the right direction. Characters teach children relatable lessons and positive morals. In the case of characters which portray positive characteristics, the author’s purpose is for children to mirror their activities and become more like the characters. In the case of evil characters, the purpose is for children to recognize their negative connotations and to become less like them. The Grimm Tales teach children to overcome any problem by using their mind.

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The Deep Reason For the Characters in Some Stories. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

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