sábado, 4 de agosto de 2012

Children's and Household Tales - Irmãos Grimm

O curso Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World é mais puxado do que eu imaginava. Depois de uma semana de muita leitura e análise segue meu primeiro essay e as avaliações. A nota máxima é 6 e minha geral foi 4.


An explicit theme that can be taken into consideration regarding the tales of the Brothers Grimm in Children's and Household Tales, are the contrast between the social classes and their interactions. At first there is the mistaken appearance that the high-class is superior to the low-class, but always showing that hard and unwanted work rests upon the lower class. The interactions are classical and are seen in both directions. In Rumpelstiltskin and Cinderella tales we see the interaction following the direction from the low-class to the high-class. Otherwise in The Goose Girl, Snow White and King Thrushbeard tales, we have the opposite, where royals are placed in the environment of a more humble life.

The eternal desire of the poor becoming rich is as old as human speech, and as current as the latest technology. The hardships of life caused by the need for hard and daily work - not saying that the rich don’t do it as well - lead to the need for sweetening and a pseudo psychological comfort that the tales of the Brothers Grimm provide, as in Rumpelstiltskin and Cinderella, where ordinary young women become majesty.

One of the noblest characteristic of human being is humility, not in the sense of few resources, but in the absence of selfishness. Much better is when humility arises naturally within the person, but failing that, to be compelled to humility is a great solution. This last scenario is clearly seen in King Thrushbeard tale.

This union between classes, even unique and few, show in a sublime way that human equality should be a priority in people's lives, so that the world may become a better place. All conflicts that mankind has witnessed, witnesses at this very moment and will yet witness, lays in the lack of humility, where selfishness is the poison that slowly kills the planet's inhabitants.


Student 1 Definitive statements should be supported by your thesis or be qualified as your opinion. For example, you state that the "The interactions are classical" and "One of the noblest characteristic of human being is humility", these are opinions stated as facts. Some of the word choices and sentence structures are awkward or incorrect. This sentence is missing a subject "Much better is when humility arises naturally within the person..."

Student 2 The use of italics to cite the stories in your examples is nice and helps with ease of reading. The sentence structure is varied and flows in a good narrative style. The parallelism between verb and subject needs to be matched. For example, "An explicit theme...are the contrast" or, "This union...show in a sublime". 

Student 3 Grammar and sentence structure/phrasing needs some work, especially in the final paragraph. Some of the sentences are difficult to follow. The student makes some good use of strong adjectives to push the arguments.

Student 4 First of all, English is not my first language. As such, to me, the form seems to be good, but not excepcional. The main problem is the exposition and argument. I become lost between the class confrontation and the union of classes.


Student 1 Your observation of the disparity of social classes in these tales and how they are represented was insightful. 

Student 2 All the examples you cite do a good job reinforcing your thesis. However, it is confusing that your thesis seems to morph halfway through the essay. You state your thesis involving the contrast of the classes, but end speaking to the union of the classes. Also, you hedge your argument when you state "not saying that the rich don’t do it as well" which only weakens your thesis.

Student 3 The ideas and themes raised in this response are good, however the arguments strays from what was initially laid out to be a discussion regarding interaction between social classes. The essay ends with a seemingly different thesis from the discussion of class interaction: that lack of humility will lead to a civilization's downfall.

Student 4 I don't believe the essay shows a deep understanding of the work, and the patter it reveals is simplistic. There is not a class fight in most of the tales (even if we forget the animal tales). The tales talk about social improvement or getting back at the right position.

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