photograph by BaltazarartSnow White trivia:
- A historical figure? Eckhard Sander, a German scholar, wrote a book called Schneewittchen: Marchen oder Wahrheit? (Snow White: Is it a Fairytale?) where he pointed out a lot of similarities between the children’s story and the life of Margarete von Waldeck, countess and the lover of Philipp II of Spain.Because of her allegedly bad relationship with her stepmother, Margarete was forced to leave home at an early age and live in Brussels. She grew up in a mining town where children are forced to work in the copper mines. Working conditions in the mine and malnutrition affected the children’s health and growth, and as a result they are ridiculed as “dwarfs”. Margarete’s love affair with Philipp II is frowned upon by the latter’s relatives since no real political benefit will be gained if the two get married (remember that politics is more important than love in their time). To get rid of Margarete, she is believed to be poisoned.
- Cannibalism. The latest versions of Snow White say that the Queen orders a huntsman to bring the Princess’ heart in order to prove her death. However, in the earlier versions, the Queen didn’t just ask for the heart—she asks for the lungs and liver as well, to be served as dinner that night. Some sources say that this is so that the Queen can enhance her beauty when she eats Snow White’s entrails.
- Incest. It is said that the Brothers Grimm has two versions. The first one, also known as the “peasant version”, does not have a stepmother or a Prince; instead, the mother kills Snow White because she is jealous of her husband’s overwhelming affection for their daughter. The father finds out, kills the mother, and then tries to revive Snow White. This tale is said to involve a lot of incest and conflicts with Christian values at that time, so it is “sanitized”.
- Necrophilia? Contrary to Disney’s lighthearted happy-ending tale, a lot of earlier versions of Snow White say that the princess was not woken up by the handsome Prince’s magical kiss. The Prince stumbles upon the glass coffin of Snow White and, enchanted by her beauty, begs the dwarfs to give her to him. Now what does he want to do to a dead girl’s body? You answer that yourself. En route to his Kingdom, his horse jolts the coffin and shakes Snow White. This causes a poisoned chunk of the apple to be dislodged from her throat, bringing her back to consciousness.
- Perverse Dwarfs and Huntsman. Several analyses of the story say that most of the characters in the story are pervert. It is said that the dwarfs take in Snow White because of her beauty. The reason why they put Snow White in a glass coffin is so that they can stare at her. The huntsman hired by the Queen spares Snow White’s life because he likes her looks (in the sanitized version, her life is spared because the huntsman saw her putting an injured little bird back to its nest).
- Punishment for the Queen. There’s a varied array of punishments for the Queen in the old and newer versions of the tale. Some said she is killed by the dwarfs; some said she is thrown off a cliff. The most popular death sentence for this villain is dancing in a pair of heated iron shoes.