Donald Barthelme's Snow White in A New Aspect

Habibe Shamsi


 Abstract: In the populated ‘far away, long ago’ land of fairy tales, hands and pens seems to be working far stronger than witches flying upon their broomsticks. It is an unfortunate outcome that all those powerful witches became the permanent nightmares of many adults long after childhood because of being some puppets to articulate the shalts and shalt-nots of the reigning culture. As time goes on and in different cultures, one single story undergoes radical changes which make it appropriate to the taste of the target societies or, to be honest, to the taste of the puppeteers of those societies. Under the impression of these changes, Snow White, before and after, is presented in this study to claim a point along the gender paradigms of time. Barthelme’s version in 1967 has been known as the postmodern version of Snow White and has been considered in many aspects in view of postmodernism. However, the present study aims to read the story in respect to its appeal of gender issues of its time. Accordingly, the precepts of gender identity, feminine, masculine, and androgynous are assayed under the definitions of Judith Butler to revert the paradigm of change from Grimm’s version to Barthelme.


Gender; 1960s; femininity; masculinity; androgynous; fairytale.

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