Reading Hair as a Symbol to Understand Changing Gender Roles in “Rapunzel” and Rapunzel’s Revenge

  • Suchismita Duttagupta University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Keywords: Fairy tales, adaptation, gender roles, hair symbolism, social conformity

Abstract

Fairy tales have always been captivating for young readers. Since most of the fairy tales have their source in oral folktales, they highlight traditional gender roles and create stereotypes. As Maria Nikolajeva (2003) states, fairy tales reflect its own time and society. Evolution in readership has led to a change in these reflections. “Rapunzel” is one of the most iconic fairy tale characters and she is known for her long golden hair. Hair carries symbolic implications and is often associated with femininity, and exhibits how societal control influences how she/he wears their hair. By the transformation of her hair in the adaptations, the authors depict a change in the traditional gender roles. Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale will be read as a counter-narrative to Grimm‟s “Rapunzel” to investigate the changes in the fairy tale genre and enable a reading of the changing hair symbolism in order to understand the change in gender roles and identity.

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Published
2018-07-01