domingo, 9 de marzo de 2014

MORE TSQ-IV: THE CLEVER PRINCESS IS BACK


"Where I come from, there lives a princess who was looking for a suitor who could match her knowledge. She wanted to marry a boy who was able to carry an intelligent conversation. One day, news spread that she was looking for a compatible prince. Hundreds of men came to our palace, but they all failed to meet her expectations. All of them disappointed her until a boy wearing a new pair of boots and carrying a knapsack came to the palace.


Well, this boy was different from the other men. He had wooed her with his extraordinary intelligence.
They were both pleased with each other. "


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Strong Female Characters:

 another fascinating female character: a princess who is so clever that “she has read all the newspapers in the whole world, and has forgotten them again.” This princess decides to get married, but explicitly states that her prince will be someone intelligent and articulate, a man “who knew how to give an answer when he was spoken to--not one who looked only as if he were a great personage, for that is so tiresome.” She ends up choosing a suitor who had no intention of marrying her, but merely entered the castle in order to hear the princess’ wisdom. She chooses a husband who admires her brain, someone who, unlike the actual suitors, did not seek to win her but merely to hear her and enjoy her intellect.


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The prince and princess who took pity on her were completely out of touch with reality. They thought they were doing Gerda a favor by outfitting her with a golden coach complete with a coachman and footmen and outriders, all wearing golden crowns. The minute she left the palace grounds in this lavish get-up, robbers attacked the entourage, stabbed the servants, and looted the gold."

"The Snow Queen 4th Story:

Crow is a clumsy helper
Crow is an unreliable narrator- not that common in romantic literature.
Makes fun of people who like to gossip as well as the bourgeois.
Prince and princess help Gerda a bit but she still has to struggle on her own.
Intelligent princess"

 a prince and princess (who seems to have a side story of their own), 

a fabulously wealthy girlfriend with a royal title

The Prince and Princess are apparently the nicest monarchs in human historyThey give her the things she asks for, in a supremely grand and impractical way; the carriage is made of pure gold and lined on the inside with sugar plums and gingerbread, and the coachman and footmen are outfitted with gold crowns.  So, basically flashy ostentatious gold everywhere.  Sounds like the whole getup would be awfully tempting for highwaymen and robbers...   


"a princess of surpassing cleverness and beauty":

The Princess

The princess is a supplementary character who only appears in one of the chapters of the Snow Queen story - but she is nonetheless an admirable and inspirational female character, whose story hints at a much longer and grander untold narrative.

According to the Raven:
"In this kingdom in which we are now sitting, lives a Princess, who is so immoderately clever; but then she has read all the newspapers that are in the world, read and forgotten them again, so clever is she. Lately she was sitting on her throne, when she began to sing, and the theme of her song was "Why should I not marry?" "Well there is something in that, she said, and so she determined to get married; but she must have a husband who knew how to answer when spoken to, not one who could only stand there and look grand, for that is too stupid."

What a fantastic introduction to a character! And what a refreshing change from the fairytale standard of princesses being first and foremost beautiful! The Princess decides on her own that she wants to get married, and she then goes on to specify what kind of a husband she is looking for - one who is intelligent, unabashed by royalty, unafraid of her power and one who "feels at home' with her.

The Raven then goes on to describe the meeting of the princess and her husband-to-be:
"He was gay (merry) and well behaved, but had not come at all to pay court to the Princess, but only to hear how clever she was. He had every reason to be satisfied with her, and she no less so with him."

Again, what a refreshing subversion of the princess trope! The princess' chosen husband is bright-eyed and merry; a poorly dressed "little person" - a wanderer with creaking boots and a knapsack on his back. No dragonslayer he - but one who can match the princess' intellect, rather than impress her with feats of arms.


As well as being clever, the Princess is later shown to be generous and sympathetic, willing to help Gerda into her new golden carriage herself without formality. Though her part is small in the overall story, and she and the Prince go away to "live in foreign places", one feels sure that such a great character must be the heroine of her own legend.

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