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Hansel and Gretel Females in Fairy Tales And they lived happily ever after This is the classic ending to the majority of fairy tales that children listen to growing up For those that heard these tales few can deny that their visions of the future and reality were not at least in part influenced by fairy tales Young boys dream of when they will slay their first dragon or monster while young girls envision the prince charming that will one day ride in and whisk them away Although much of this influence is quite innocent there are some stereotypes imbedded in fairy tales that have been passed through the generations Specifically there has been a tradition of portraying women in a negative fashion The Grimm Brothers version of Hansel and Gretel exemplifies some of these portrayals including the stereotypical role of the evil stepmother the role of the wicked witch how children are easily victimized and the role of passive female heroines Rare amongst fairy tales Hansel and Gretel also demonstrates the active role of female heroines but only under restricted conditions These stereotypes are seen throughout the story Evil Stepmother One of the stereotypes perpetuated by Hansel and Gretel is that of a controlling selfish jealous and evil stepmother When there is not enough food or money for the whole family to survive the stepmother in this story orders their father to take them to the depths of the forest and leave them When the father resists she mocks him and convinces him that by keeping the children all four would soon perish The dominating personality of the stepmother is clearly observable Despite the fathers initial cries of to desert our children like that Never never
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