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“Do You Hold a Wild Creature Once It is Healed, and Ready to Fly Home?” A Feminist Investigation of Fairy Tales and Sexual Assault in Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest

Hall, Claire Elizabeth (2013) “Do You Hold a Wild Creature Once It is Healed, and Ready to Fly Home?” A Feminist Investigation of Fairy Tales and Sexual Assault in Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

New Zealand author Juliet Marillier’s 1999 debut novel Daughter of the Forest elaborates on the framework of the Brothers Grimm short stories “The Six Swans,” “The Seven Ravens,” and “The Twelve Brothers,” which appear in the Grimms’ collection Kinder- und Hausmärchen, first published in 1821. These three short stories fit into the Aarne-Thompson categorization system in Tale Type 451, often called “Brothers Turned into Birds” or “Sister Seeks Her Brothers.” In using the scaffolding of the old stories, Marillier gives vivid life to the tale by changing a few aspects, such as introducing additional important characters, and more importantly by subtly asserting a feminist slant through several ideas by discussing feminine silence, women treated as property, use of first-person voice and narration, reversal of marriage roles, the role of the female body, and, most importantly, sexual assault and its role within the tale. By exploring the intricacies of Tale Type 451 in Chapter 1, the reader gains a working knowledge of how the tale functions. Chapter 2 focuses on the differences between Marillier’s version of the Type 451 tale compared to the Grimms’ tales. Chapter 3 explores the feminist additions and interpretations that Marillier incorporates into Tale Type 451, and it investigates the implications of how Marillier has re-written the tale. Her use of the main character’s voice narrating the entire story, the addition of a graphic rape scene, the explicit use of the female body, and her interpretation of roles marriage all assert Marillier’s voice as a contemporary fantasy fiction writer whose approach incorporates feminist ideals.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Claire Elizabeth Hall
Date Deposited: 30 May 2013 18:15
Last Modified: 30 May 2013 18:15
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/118

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