The German Influences On American Pop Culture: The Grimm Brothers Grimm

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The German Influence The Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, wrote a collection of over 60 German fairy tales in 1812 and called it Kinder- und Hausmärchen. These tales are known all over the world for their gruesome and dark plots that are not normally associated with children's tales. With this in mind, many countries have come up with adapted versions of these common fairy tales in which they have revised these tales to fit a social norm for children's stories. Many common adaptations of Grimms tales are those written in the American culture. The ways in which we can see how the Grimm brothers have influenced American pop culture is through comparing and contrasting the tales from both cultures and showing other ways that America has been…show more content…
The story of Cinderella is not just simply about a girl marrying a prince; Cinderella was a way for the Grimm brothers to advocate for the purity of German blood (Sultanov, 2012). The prince wanting the fairest maiden of them all would entail that he received the purest and most traditional girl in the land. The readers’ interpretations of folk and fairy tales are natural because of the profound if not divine nature of the tales, and in this sense, the Grimms envisioned themselves as moral cultivators of a particular cultural heritage and their collection as an educational primer of ethics, values, and customs that would grow on readers who would grow by reading these living relics of the past and also by retelling them (“Vibrant Body of Grimms’ Tales”…show more content…
German fairytales, developed by the Grimm brothers, were more about teaching children lessons and having morals but done so in a way that depicts violence. In American fairy tales, the stories always end in a happy ending. Haas refers to Bettelheim when he states that Disney’s Americanized and romanticized fairy-tale movies, for example, have been severely criticized for trivializing and betraying the original themes, thus enfeebling an important cultural possession (Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment 210). This shows how Disney is an example of how American culture has taken something from another culture and transformed it into their own with their own morals. Because the grotesque realism of folk culture produced a boundless world of carnival humor that stood in a contestatory relationship to the official ecclesiastical and feudal order (Tatar, 1992). This in part could serve as a reason as to why America decided to change the tales into something more appropriate and suitable for children. Most of the time churches influence what is taught to children and having gruesome fairy tales floating around is not something that the church would want the children to hear. So turning them into tales with happy endings allows for children to learn valuable lessons while still allowing for them to use their

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