Genie's Reviews > Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky
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's review
Oct 20, 2011

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bookshelves: to-read, traditional

Rumpelstiltskin is a German folktale, fitting into the category of traditional literature as its characters are very simple, yet has a strong plot. It is also has the setting of a castle as well as a forest, associating the castle with the place of our dreams and the forest associated with where the wild and dangerous things are encountered.

There is definitely a contrast between the hero and the rival, as the hero is a young maiden and the rival is a tiny man. There is a goal of spinning straw into gold and then the goal of finding out the name of the tiny man. There is also a helper who is the young maiden's maidservant, who eventually figures out the name to help the queen keep her firstborn son.

I'm wondering if Germans were alchemists, as this book is about alchemy: turning things into gold. It'd be interesting to find out if it's true, because then this tale would be giving a glimpse into its culture.

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