【F&SF】格林童話:The white snake

這是我準備給 Fantasy & Science Fiction 課程的第一周格林童話作業。另外老師的推薦版本(並不強制此版本)是19世紀英文版的這個版本:Lucy Crane 翻譯,Walter Crane 插圖版。這是早已過版權因此可以線上全文閱讀或下載的書籍。
我會認為一開始的國王,既然說是以智慧聞名又什麼都知道,就不應該自己解不出皇后失落戒指的謎題。主角雖然說是「僕人」,但卻有宮中的 superintendence,又有國王聽取動物言語的能力。因此我認為他真正的身份其實是國王的孩子,是王子。

I will focus on the tale of “White snake”. This story is about a male’s maturity and marriagement.
In the first part, the wise king gave the servant the task of ring. It is unlikely that the king himself did not know where queen’s ring is, since “Nothing remained long unknown form him.” The purpose is to test the hero if he has the same ability as the king, a symbol of father. By fulfilling this, the hero proven his maturity and thus he can/should leave his original family for his next stage of life.
This boy should leave his original family after grown not only because this is part of the rhythm of human life, but also here a metaphor about the anxiety between the father and grown son. The hero get his father’s ability by tasting the snake, which can have lots of different metaphorical meaning but here may mean the male genital organ. The queen lost her ring, which is a circle and a symbol of female genital organ. So after the son grown up, he should leave to avoid competition between himself and his father.
The second part of this story has a pattern commonly seen in fairy tales about a hero winning a bride. The hero must complete several tasks to win the bride. If he failed, the result is break of the inheritance, a death of his bloodline. First, three fishes (another symbol of male genital organ) helped him to win the ring in a mussel (here again two metaphors of female), fulfilled the test of sexual function. Then the ants (a hardworking and thrifty animal) helped him to gather enough food, fulfilled the test of economic capacity. Finally, three ravens, the symbol of death, brought him the apple of life. Only by sharing their life and death, a couple can fill their heart with love and live happily together.



  • student1 → A few typoes, “form” should be “from” and some words need to be capitalized. The first two paragraphs might make more sense as one. But the argument is definitely laid out in an understandable form.
  • student2 → The organisation and structure of paragraphs and sentences is very good. However, there are words that are misused because, I guess, the writer is not a native speaker. Sometimes it’s better to go with simpler words, for example ‘marriage’ instead of ‘marriagement’, which doesn’t even exist. Similar problems can be found in grammar – some verbs are incorrect or missing; some words are misspelled. All in all, the language needs to be improved. I would suggest using irregular verb lists and careful proof reading.
  • student3 → 1. An aspect to improve – grammar. 2. An aspect to continue – the organization of the text into paragraphs. Intro + 2, 3, … paragraphs + conclusions
  • student4 → The first sentence in the second paragraph seemed incomplete. The king gave the servant the task of “finding the ring” may have made it more clear. Everything else read well, didn’t note any real problems.


  • student1 → The argument overall seems valid, and the conclusions of the two sections also seem valid. But I thought fish were usually considered a female symbol in Western cultures?
  • student2 → This is a very good analysis of an interesting idea. It was defined well and argued well, with plenty of relevant examples. I particularly liked the conclusion in the very last sentence.
  • student3 → The pattern of the tale is perfectly explained. And the symbolism is clearly highlighted and clarified. The argument is persuasive. There is nothing I could add to that. Thank you!
  • student4 → Some good content. When I read it I only noted that it was interesting that the fellow was accused of stealing the ring, but he did in fact steal a bite of the king’s white snake. You made some good points in the last paragraph making some connections I had not noticed my self.


  • student3 → Good luck!


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