domingo, 23 de julio de 2017


Yet, sleep functions very differently in other tales. In Sale of Bed or Three Nights tales, the heroine must go on a journey to find her estranged spouse or fiancé. In many versions, she often then finds him engaged to another woman, where she finds a way to come to him at night but he is in a drugged sleep. Sleep is a source of temptation and an obstacle to be overcome in these instances.


Well, the Prince disappears and the heroine is left to search for him. Yet the heroine is aided in her task by males and females alike-the four winds of the cardinal directions, which are represented as males, and three old kind hags. The crones are the ones that give her the amazing trinkets she needs to eventually win back her Prince from his new betrothed.
The Prince's new fiancée has a nose three ells long. The word has the same root as "elbow" and is meant to be the length of a man's forearm. A synonym of ell is cubit (from the Latin word for "elbow"). The measurements of ell/cubit differ from country to country but could have been about 50 cm.
As is so often the case, the villains are females. Though the whole country is supposedly inhabited by trolls, the only trolls we meet are the long-nosed fiancée and her mother.
Then, the task that wins back the Prince is washing the suet (wax, or blood, in other versions) from his shirt. People say this is an example of women only gaining salvation by housework. Yet there is also the implication that the secret to success is the difference between human and troll. Either way, I don't see a problem with women adding a little imagination to a chore which they were destined to do over and over again.

 In other variants, an additional element is often added. Having betrayed the beasts,  the beauties must now embark on a quest to save them. This is the pivotal difference between the story’s heroines and the figures who love the monsters before cursing them. The first lover to betray the beast does so spitefully, in a fit of jealous rage. The second does so mistakenly, and goes to the ends of the earth, sometimes literally, to rectify said mistake. Bettelheim claims that “[in] each of these stories—as in so many others—the rescuer demonstrates his love for his future bride in some form. We are left in the dark about the feelings of the heroines, however” (277). This seems blatantly wrong, regardless of which figure one casts as the rescuer and which as the rescued: if the beast did not love the beauty, he would not send her home, and if the beauty did not love him, she would not return.

 “East O’ the Sun, West O’ the Moon,” as always, closely follows the pattern; here, the girl is convinced to look upon her lover’s face by a concerned mother. In order to return to him, she sets out for a land that lies east of the sun and west of the moon, unwilling to be thwarted by mere impossibilities.
 She travels to the hut of one old crone, who directs her to another old woman, who sends her to another, who sends her to the winds of the cardinal directions. She rides on the back of each wind to the next, until finally the North Wind is able to take her all of the way to the land she seeks. Here, she offers gifts, collected from the old crones, to the white bear’s troll bride. In exchange, she is given three nights in his bedroom, though he sleeps through the first two, having been drugged by the trolls. On the third night he wakes to see her return, which will make his freedom possible in the morning.

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