Snow White's apple: femininity, fine art and other readings

Bonner, Sarah (2015) Snow White's apple: femininity, fine art and other readings. In: Eating otherwise: an interdisciplinary symposium on food and culture, 28 February - 1 March 2015, Lancaster University, UK. (Unpublished)

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The poisoned apple in the tale of Snow White is one of the most well known symbols of maligned femininity in the history of the fairy tale genre. In this singular trope there are connotations of fertility, of innocence and of nature particular to the intended victim, and conversely the destructive jealousy and spite enacted by the stepmother. The apple has two halves, as manifest in many a fairy tale reiteration, in Snow White the nurturing connotations are subsumed by the damaging application intended for this fruit. Food is a central theme of many fairy tales and features in many tales concerned with the innocent persecuted heroine. Provision of food by a mother is a fundamental nurturing act, yet in the fairy tale domain nurture is inverted by greed, jealousy and neglect. In the tales addressed in this paper, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood, the nurturing act is turned into the destructive act, against both the victim and the perpetrator – the victim is sentenced to death and the perpetrator is stripped of her perceived feminine nature. Food is both the stuff of life and that of death in the traditional fairy tale. This paper examines the relationship of food and gender as iterated in fairy tales. In particular, it explores how the traditional fairy tale treatment of food is being challenged according to contemporary social conditions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Pre June 2020 Academic Departments and Services > Academic Departments > Institute of Arts (IOA) > Graphics and Photography
Depositing User: Sarah Bonner
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2020 10:40


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