I have always enjoyed this fairytale, about a young woman with exceptionally long hair who is kept prisoner in a tall tower by a sorceress. The Grim Bothers and Zelinky’s version is very different from each other. Zelinsky retells the story in another way. He brings the story alive and I was able to experience in a whole new way. One thing for readers to remember is that many fairytales were originally for adults, so that is the why they may not always seem quite age appropriate. Zelinky’s version relates that Rapunzel reveals that she has had a visitor in the tower when she asks the sorceress to help her with her dress for, “it is growing so tight around my waist, it does not want to fit me anymore.” The sorceress discovering that Rapunzel is pregnant could be done in a more considerate way. In my opinion, it is inappropriate message to put in a story, especially for children. Grim Brothers describe the story in a more adequate way. The Grimm Brothers state that Rapunzel tells the step-mother without thinking, that why does she take so long climbing on the hair when the King’s son only takes but a moment. The step-mother quickly reveals that Rapunzel is seeing some one. They do not relate the story stating she is pregnant, they mention almost at the end that Rapunzel had twins.
Both stories relate that a men and a woman had no children. The Grimm Brothers difference comes to mind that the couple is not able to conceive a child and in my interpretation is that maybe the witch puts a spell on the rampion in order for the women to get pregnant. In this version of the story it never states on when she got pregnant. So the witch maybe has a plan all along to get a child for herself because maybe she also can not have children. In the version of Zelinsky the couple is going to have a child but she starts cravings for rapunzel. Although her cravings are natural and understandable, the woman’s behavior is selfish and spoiled. She is not willing to satisfy her urges through other things. She is endangering her health and the health of the unborn child with her behavior. Once again the woman is selfish and demanding behavior. She cares more about getting what she can not have than she does about the well being of her child. The husband fearful for his wife and unborn child, is willing to do anything for them. He becomes a thief to satisfy his wife’s demands. Unfortunately the woman is not satisfied with her husband’s efforts. This creates more problems for her long suffering husband as she demands more rampion. The man will do anything to please the women of his life. Sometimes men do not think with rationale on how this will effect them in the long run. In this tale the debt of the husband will be paid however as punishment for the woman’s selfish behavior. The husband at this point feels little choice and wants to protect himself and his wife from the witch and gives up the baby.
The man’s ability to trade the child with rampion can also be to some point explained since he has not met the child living. He has not created a personal bond with the baby yet. As in all tales the heroin is beautiful. When Rapunzel reached the age of twelve years old is commonly the age of puberty and many parents begin to fear for their daughters’ well being and safety. The witch knows that her adopted daughter is no longer a child, but a young woman preparing to enter the adult world. She decides to take her to a high tower. Rapunzel will not be able to contact with anybody .
The approach that I got through the Grimm Brothers version was that of the Reader-Response. As many people read this story they can make their own judgements on what really happened with the witch and the couple. As I was reading the story I had a lot of interpretations on how the couple were able to conceive a child or was she already pregnant like in Zelinky’s version. I am able to use my imagination but often wonder what the writers want for the readers to think how it happened. As the Grimm Brothers were circulating the story of Rapunzel did they leave out this part of the story. The approach for Zelinky’s was formalist and gives you all the information for you to piece together to form a story, just the opposite of the Grimm Brothers. The one thing that puzzles me with the version of Zelinky is that there is a cat in most of his pictures from the time that the step-mother has her until the very end of the story where the prince and Rapunzel get together. It is still a mystery to me on why the cat is in those pictures.