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Marriage: a Double Edged Sword

In: English and Literature

Submitted By annabelchan
Words 1128
Pages 5
English 2033
27 May 2013
Marriage: A Double-Edged Sword
Family dynamics encompass relationships found among household members—one of the most important being that between spouses. Marriage specifically, is believed to be a union based on love, representing a powerful bond that seals two people together. Within many fairy tales, marriage is often emphasized as the ideal happy ending; making it almost inevitable for people to incorporate into their perception of the future. It is these stories that blind people from the truth—that in fact, marriage resembles a double edged sword. It can function not only as a weapon with the ability to wound but also as an aid to provide hope for the future. In both “Cinderella” and “Snow White”, marriage represents both the rise and fall of the protagonist, acting as the origin of disjunction within the family and the source of escape and closure. Within many fairy tales and specifically that of “Cinderella” and “Snow White”, marriage is first depicted as a cause for the fall of the protagonist. In both tales, the father chooses to be remarried upon the death of his first wife. With this marriage, dysfunctional family dynamics are created through the presence of an oedipal maternal relationship, an absent paternal figure, and a lack of sibling support. The character of the evil stepmother is portrayed as having a conflicting relationship with the protagonist—one that can be associated with the Oedipus complex. In this Greek myth, Laius, who is Oedipus’ father, receives a prophecy that predicts that Oedipus will murder his father in order to be with his own mother. Through jealousy and fear, Laius uses his authority to eliminate his own son in order to maintain his power (“Oedipus the King”). In the fairy tales of “Cinderella” and “Snow White”, we see this type of jealousy in a mother-daughter relationship instead. In both cases,...

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