Thursday, March 29, 2012


“Bluebeard” is a tale in which a man marries a woman; when he goes away on business, he gives her a key to the house, but tells her not to go into one room. She decides to go in and in there she sees the dead bodies of the women Bluebeard had previously married. When she drops the key from shock, it becomes stained with blood which cannot be removed. Then Bluebeard sees this blood, knows she went into the room and decides that he must now kill her. I think that it is pretty obvious that Bluebeard is the villain in the story. Not just from wanting to kill her, but also because he killed all of his previous wives. 
While this version of the story is Charles Perrault’s version of “Bluebeard”, and one of the best known versions, my favorite version of this tale is the Grimm’s, “Fitcher’s Bird”. The main reason this is my favorite story is because there are two women who are killed, but are simply put back to together, and are alive again. “She set to work gathering all their body parts and put them in their proper places: heads, torsos, arms, legs. When everything was in place, the pieces began to move and joined themselves together” (Tartar 149). This made it my favorite tale just because this is the most absurd way to bring someone back to life in a tale. It does not even say that through magic that they are brought back to life, but rather, they just “joined themselves together”. 


Tatar, Maria. The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999.   Print

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rags to Riches

In all the different versions of Cinderella, she becomes rich and happy through either magic or marriage. In the Grimms’ version, she is given dazzling outfits by a magic tree and attends a party. In the end, Cinderella marries the prince after her foot fits into the slipper she lost. Meanwhile her stepsisters are punished, not only from having cut off part of their foot, but by having their eyes pecked out by birds. 

In the versions in which Cinderella marries a prince, she shows how one can just marry to get into the upper class, even though this is not meant to be the lesson in the story. This not only happens in fairy or folk tales, but also in reality. There are those women who marry for love but also happen to marry someone wealthier than themselves. Then, there are women who marry, not out of love, but just for the money aka “gold diggers”. They usually marry older rich gentlemen and then divorce them to get half of their money. Lastly, there some women who get pregnant in order to get more money. The only “magic” which may be involved in a woman marrying  someone richer than themselves is the magic of love. 


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Storytelling with Sign Language

      Today Professor Rust from McDaniel’s ASL program came to our class to teach us about storytelling in sign language. He talked about how with sign language, one does not hear a the story, but rather sees it. He showed the class various videos which demonstrated how in deaf storytelling, one uses their hands, facial expressions and body movement to create an image for the viewer. Some stories could be signed in such a fashion that anyone who does not know sign language could tell what the story was about. One example Professor Rust used was a story about how a man got pulled over for speeding and did not get a ticket because he was deaf, however his hearing friend tried to pull the same trick but the officer knew sign language. 
Unfortunately this lecture was not that informative to me simply because I am currently involved in the ASL program and have had to create stories using body, hand and facial movements. I did still learn a few things though, such as how there are still fairy and folk tales in deaf culture. I also learned different types of storytelling in deaf culture such as ABC stories. In that format, one must tell a story using the letters of the alphabet as different symbols to create a tale. Hopefully I will get to use this form of storytelling in my ASL class. 


Rust, Mark. “Fairy Tales and Story Telling in ASL.” Westminster. 8 Mar. 2012. Lecture

Monday, March 5, 2012

Midterm blog - Sammi

For this midterm blog, each classmate had to read the blog of the person to their left and write a brief reflection about. This meant that I had to read Sammi’s blog and I was certainly shocked with what I read. It was unlike everyone else's blogs, she wrote her blog from the third person perspective. Another aspect of her blog which was different from other blogs was how she made it seem like she was in a story. She often talks about how she is in a town, castle or forest rather than just jumping in to what ever she was supposed to write about. One of my favorite things about her blog is how she refers to Dr. Esa as King Esa.
Aside from the creativity that is clearly put into her blogs, they are also really well written. Each entry answers all the questions Dr. Esa wants us to answer, but by providing it in a story format, she goes above and beyond the requirements for the class. I would not really change anything about her except to possibly add a picture or two to future posts. Even so, where she does not add a picture, she makes up for with creative writing. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Video vs. The Tale

      The music video, “Sonne” by Rammstein is another version of the fairy tale Snow White, however there are many differences between the two. In “Sonne”, there is no evil step mother trying to kill Snow White, but rather, it is Snow White who is destroying herself. She does not fall under the spell of the the step mother’s comb, corset or apple, but she falls asleep through her own actions of overdosing on powdered gold. Another difference is the portrayal of Snow White; in the video she almost takes the appearance of the queen by being cruel, controlling and vindictive, while in the story Snow White can be viewed as one who takes care of the dwarves home. The main difference that I noticed between the tales and the video was the image of the apple. In the fairy tale, it is the apple which she eats and becomes trapped in her throat, making her seem dead. At first she was weary about taking the apple from her disguised step mother, but in the music video, she has a whole bushel of apples set aside for her. Even as she first steps through the door, there is an apple at her spot on the table. Lastly, as she in encased in the glass coffin, she is not freed by a prince, but rather, she is freed by an apple falling from a tree, breaking the glass case ending with her catching the apple. In the video, it seems she has embraced this “forbidden fruit” while in the story it is the apple which causes her downfall. 


The music video may have been vastly different from the fairy tale but it did have some similarities. One odd similarity I noticed was how in both versions, the dwarves truly cared for Snow White. In the fairy tale, they encase her in a glass coffin and mourn her when they cannot save her from the apple stuck in her throat. Then, in the video the dwarves also encase her in a glass coffin when she overdoses and they stand around her coffin mourning her death. Other similarities are things like the appearance of Snow White, meaning in both versions they have the black hair, white skin, and red lips, and in both versions, she is preserved  by a glass coffin. 


Celebration of Africa

      Last Monday there was an event called the Celebration of Africa. I loved attending this event with my classmate for multiple reasons. One reason is because I was able to taste different types of african food. Even though I did not particularly like the food, it was still fun to taste the different types of food. Another reason I enjoyed this event is because I was able to learn various things about Africa, specifically both their modern and traditional forms of dancing. Most of the other things they showed during the presentation, I had already known, such as the misconceptions of Africa and how it is not a barren wasteland as some think it is. 
After doing the different dances and talking about facts about Africa, they had a game where the table who answered the fastest, correctly would get a point. Even though my table had difficulty seeing the screen, we were able to come in second place thanks to one girl who knew all the different flags of the countries in Africa. The celebration ended with an enjoyable fashion show, where people presented modern fashion styles in Africa. I am glad I went to the show and I would definitely suggest that others go see it if there is another showing.