Since its own title, Grimm takes advantage of the narrative, figurative and cultural heritage of classical fairy-tales in order to construct its storylines. In its manifest usage of fairy tale characters, however, this TV series twists many of the tropes usually associated with these characters, as when the Big Bad Wolf, for instance, is transformed into a gentle and friendly creature who helps Nick catching the real murder of a red-riding-hood-like girl. The aim of this contribution is to analyse Grimm’s fairy-tale characters as “free-floating signifiers” (Bennett 1983) and to investigate how they can be seen as medium of cultural anxieties and changes (Mayer 2014). Exploring the transformations occurred to these folkloric figures in the 21st century (Zipes 2010, Greenhill and Rudy 2014) and bearing in mind how the TV series arranges the Wesen community, we suggest considering them as mediators of moral and socio-cultural issues (prejudice and unfairness, feminist turns, social inclusion/exclusion, etc.). We conceive them as serial figures (Denson 2014, Mayer 2014, Denson and Mayer 2017), namely characters that, inscribed in the popular-cultural imagination, proliferate in different media and text thanks to their identity’s structure: where some traits change, ensuring character’s settlement in various narratives, there are others that remain constant and resilient in order to guarantee character’s consistency and recognizability. Because of their particular identity’s composition and their proliferation in many texts and media, fairy-tale characters are able to incarnate different themes and socio-cultural issues and to change “cultural currency” according to necessities. Moreover, acting and being perceived as familiar, soothing figures by the audience, they can facilitate the representation of controversial themes. We propose to detect and problematise some ideological and cultural concerns emerging in Grimm through a comparison between new occurrences of well-known fairy-tale characters, like for example Sleeping Beauty, the Wolf, the Wicked Witch, and their traditional image, so as to reflect upon how these characters mediate cultural changes.

Who's still afraid of the wolf? Fairy-Tale Characters as Medium of Cultural Changes / Sara Casoli. - STAMPA. - (2023), pp. 171-187.

Who's still afraid of the wolf? Fairy-Tale Characters as Medium of Cultural Changes

Sara Casoli
2023

Abstract

Since its own title, Grimm takes advantage of the narrative, figurative and cultural heritage of classical fairy-tales in order to construct its storylines. In its manifest usage of fairy tale characters, however, this TV series twists many of the tropes usually associated with these characters, as when the Big Bad Wolf, for instance, is transformed into a gentle and friendly creature who helps Nick catching the real murder of a red-riding-hood-like girl. The aim of this contribution is to analyse Grimm’s fairy-tale characters as “free-floating signifiers” (Bennett 1983) and to investigate how they can be seen as medium of cultural anxieties and changes (Mayer 2014). Exploring the transformations occurred to these folkloric figures in the 21st century (Zipes 2010, Greenhill and Rudy 2014) and bearing in mind how the TV series arranges the Wesen community, we suggest considering them as mediators of moral and socio-cultural issues (prejudice and unfairness, feminist turns, social inclusion/exclusion, etc.). We conceive them as serial figures (Denson 2014, Mayer 2014, Denson and Mayer 2017), namely characters that, inscribed in the popular-cultural imagination, proliferate in different media and text thanks to their identity’s structure: where some traits change, ensuring character’s settlement in various narratives, there are others that remain constant and resilient in order to guarantee character’s consistency and recognizability. Because of their particular identity’s composition and their proliferation in many texts and media, fairy-tale characters are able to incarnate different themes and socio-cultural issues and to change “cultural currency” according to necessities. Moreover, acting and being perceived as familiar, soothing figures by the audience, they can facilitate the representation of controversial themes. We propose to detect and problematise some ideological and cultural concerns emerging in Grimm through a comparison between new occurrences of well-known fairy-tale characters, like for example Sleeping Beauty, the Wolf, the Wicked Witch, and their traditional image, so as to reflect upon how these characters mediate cultural changes.
2023
9781476682662
Grimm realities. essays on identity and justice in the television series
171
187
Sara Casoli
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1311762
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