Erica's Reviews > Grimm's Grimmest

Grimm's Grimmest by Jacob Grimm
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's review
Sep 11, 2008

really liked it
Read in October, 2008

I purchased this book to get an understanding of where some of our fairy tales came from and the lessons and morals that were told long before my time. The Grimm’s Grimmest is an exact translation of the original short stories published in German.

They are gruesome and living in the world we live in today I cannot imagine how these stories did not give little children nightmares. Were they really written for adolescent adults filled with such idiosyncrasies? Or were they, as you will understand when you read them, actually meant to scare little girls? Did they portray these stories as to have actually happened to dissuade young woman from wrongdoing?

These stories are graphic and hard to read. They feel more like a play by play rather than an actual story (and then she did this and then he did that and then she said this and then it was over...) Yet to that effect, I still find them very interesting and intriguing. I am trying hard to figure out the moral of some of the stories, as in the three surgeons. What is the point or purpose and who is supposed to learn the lesson? The maid at the inn, the 3 men who remove their limbs or the inn keeper who loses all his money in the end in order to keep the 3 surgeons from burning down his roof. This story's plan eludes me.

And as I read the book, I realize increasingly that these stories were created about evil woman. They all center on a woman or a little girl who has been evil or committed some sort of malevolence and ultimately meets a sorted and twisted fate because of this iniquity. I have yet to read a story that is meant to teach a man a lesson and it actually seems as though the men in the story who do wrong are not punished at all.

In the Juniper Tree and Ashenputtel, for reference, each father ignores the ill treatment their children receive from their stepmothers. They turn their heads; do nothing to protect their children; allow it to continue with their knowledge and in the end are nearly forgiven for such ignorance and permitted to continue through life as if nothing ever happened. The stepmothers (or in Ashentputtel; the Step sisters) meet whatever sorted and twisted fate the brothers had in store for them. These stories go to show how the world, in general, treated woman in those times.

Ultimately, I like the stories. I wouldn’t, however, read them to my son at bed time and will probably put this book away until he is 18.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Tonee These stories were originally written for adults. The Grimms tamed them down for small children.

Erica That's what I figured.

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