Snow White - symbolism
The fairytale Snow White is known in many countries in Europe, the best-known version was collected and written by the Brothers Grimm. Snow White is a beautiful princess, with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony. Like in Hensel and Gretel, this fairytale tells a story how a child is victimized by an adult. The story of Snow White fits most characteristics of a typical fairytale and is similar to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Before fairytales were aimed for kids, they were intended for adult audiences and so contained adult topics like oedipal themes and strong sexual connotations. As these stories had to be adapted to entertain and teach children, these adult topics were hidden in symbols.
The symbols of the story start with Snow White herself. Many interpretations claim that her white skin represents her sexual innocence, while the red lips represent her sexual passion that her step-mother sees and which leads to her jealousy. Others say that the combination of the colours white, red and black is representing the life cycle. Black stands for death and the end of life, white means purification and red symbolizes the beginning of life, when everything starts anew.
Another symbol that is very important is the Number Three, which is included in many fairytales. Already at the beginning of Grimm’s version this number comes up: three drops of blood fell into the snow. Gardiot states that three is an important number, as it is the number most often linked with sexual desires in the unconscious.
The evil step-mother has a magic mirror with which she constantly checks her beauty and asks “who in the land is the fairest of all”. This mirror should represent one’s captured imagination, self-realization or one’s inner voice. Mirrors were fashioned to reproduce the same kind of reflection a lake or another still body of water produces on a clear day. Mirrors were created so people have a clear frontal view of...