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Alena Gašparovičová

Happily Ever After?

in Reviews/Views

by Alena Gašparovičová

And they lived happily ever after is undoubtedly a well-known phrase that can be found at the end of many a romantic fairy tale. It rounds up the story and suggests that after a period full of struggle, the protagonist(s) are finally getting to a period of peace, prosperity and marital bliss. 

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The conception that marriage is a state of ideal bliss that is perpetuated in romantic fairy tales is not without issues. The phrase and they lived happily ever after suggests that with marriage, all the problems that the protagonists have faced in the course of the story will come to an end, and no new problems will arise up until they die. The aim of this paper is to discuss the theme of marriage in Naomi Novik’s novel Spinning Silver, focusing on the main female protagonist, Miryem, to show how the author demonstrates that marriage does not necessarily mean that one will live happily ever after. 

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Once Upon a Modern Time: Fairy Tales as a Way to Address Modern Issues

in Reviews

by Alena Gašparovičová

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Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman in a desperate situation and in need of a prince to rescue her. However, she is the protagonist of a different story. Despite the name of the famous fairy-tale character Cinderella in the title of the book, Laura Lane’s and Ellen Haun’s Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling: And Other Feminist Fairy Tales offers adaptations of a range of well-known traditional fairy tales. The authors use the familiarity of the fairy-tale settings and characters and mould them into a new form. Aimed at a more mature audience, these stories not only present self-sufficient female characters who do not need any man to save them, they also address issues like class, ethnicity and gender identity that resonate through today’s society. All of that is packaged in the form of a fairy-tale rewriting in a humorous and parodic manner. This article offers a review of the collection as well as an analysis of how selected stories in the book challenge the traditional fairy tale stereotypes and address the issues of modern society. Keep Reading

Tracing the Figure of Snow-White in the Works of Neil Gaiman

in Views


By Alena Gašparovičová

Fairy tales are an important part of our cultural heritage. Although these stories were originally primarily aimed at the adult audience, in time they came to be considered children’s literature. Since the genre of folk tales is popular across all kinds of audiences, it has been subject to rewritings by numbers of authors. The idea of adapting fairy tales to make them more appealing to a modern audience is not a new one. Already well-known fairy tale collectors like Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm or the French collector Charles Perrault adapted fairy tales in their collections to make them more appealing to the intended audience. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that contemporary authors would do the same and rewrite fairy tales to make them more appealing for modern audiences.  Keep Reading

“Mr. Fox”: A Tale of Lifesaving Curiosity

in Current Issue/Views

by Alena Gašparovičová

An illustration of Bluebeard and his wife by Gustave Doré.

Fairy tales are an innate part of human culture. Originally, many of the well-known “fairy tales were written explicitly for adults” (Zipes 16), and it was only “from 1830 to 1900, during the rise of the middle classes, that the fairy tale came into its own for children” (Zipes 20) which is when the genre came to be associated with children rather than adults. Fairy tales serve not only as entertainment for children, but also as a way to influence them during their upbringing. As the feminist scholar Marcia Lieberman explains in her article “‘Some Day My Prince Will Come’: Female Acculturation through the Fairy Tale”, children learn the “behavioral patterns and associational patterns, value systems, and how to predict the consequences of specific acts or circumstances” (384) through fairy tales. This influence which fairy tales have on children, has become a much-debated issue with the rise of feminism, especially the effect fairy tales have on young girls.

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