Date of Award
Dr. Amy Sonheim
Dr. Irene Trofimova
Dr. Kevin Brennan
When I was a child, I used to think that fairy tales always ended happily, and that winning a prince's affection was life's grand goal. I thought so because I was exposed to Disney versions: tales of a handsome prince rescuing an isolated stepchild from boring housework as in Cinderella (1950) and tales of a kiss literally saving at least two girls' lives as in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and in Sleeping Beauty (1959). While I recollect my father reading to my brother and me from an encyclopedia-sized collection of Aesop 's Fables, I do not recall him reading Brothers Grimms' and Charles Perrault's fairy tales to us, unfortunately (or fortunately, since their tales employ violence that would have deprived six-year-old me of sleep). Instead, my primary experience with fairy tales was that of most children's who grew up in the nineties: I watched the animated fairy tales of Walt Disney (1901-66). I can confidently inform you that the first Disney film in my possession was The Fox and the Hound (1981), and I watched it on our home's static-prone, fickle operating videocassette recorder with a friend, by myself, or with my cabbage patch dolls, each time in wonder and awe.
Admittedly, Disney's films had a tyrannous hold on my adolescent imagination. They became, and still are, a part of our formative American culture.... It makes sense, then, that fairy tales might also influence the formative culture of international societies, even those outside of the western hemisphere. Particularly, how might a Russian child be influenced by her country's familiar fairy tales? This question charged my research. I was convinced that delving into a comparative literary study on three different variants of a fairy tale would improve my understanding of Russian culture.
Greeson, Sarah, "Jeely Beely: Rolling into the Russian Fairy Tale" (2011). Honors Theses. 46.