Editing classic tales - part 1) Snow White
Thank you for your submission. Here, at the “Tradition Writing Review Company”, we welcome new literary works which reflect our modern era of the middle ages. We read your article with great interest and found no technical errors in it. We do, however have some observations to make on it's contents.
Regarding the title of the piece, “Snow White”, we were a little confused by this unusual title. The character's parents obviously did not follow the traditional, socially accepted, naming protocols when naming their daughter, (although we did hear of another oddly named girl called “Rose Red.”) It seems unfair to the infant to label them with such an odd name from birth. The bizarre thing about this name is that it is self-evident, that is to say that all snow is white! What alternative would we expect to find in nature,... “snow Green” perhaps? “Snow Purple?” or even maybe... “Snow White with a hint of mint?” We expect that the girl would have opted to change her ridiculous name by deed poll by now, but she obviously enjoys the attention this fluffy name affords her.
On to the account then, of a young girl with no claim to the royal throne, who shacks up with a bunch of short miners (that's miners – not “Minors” - otherwise, we really would be talking sordid!)
These labourers who, for some strange reason, have rented a cottage in the woods, able to accommodate 7 people plus guests (the rent must be ridiculous but then, with seven incomes, we assume they can afford it). We are never informed who their employer is. There are no safety regulations or supervisors for their work. We would advise them to contact their local Dwarven Union Representative.
As for their names, well we really do despair at the lack of fashion sense of some parents! It is reckless (and bordering on child cruelty) to name one's child “Sneezy” or even worse, “Dopey!” Talk about bring attention the the poor man's defect of constant sneezing. Has he seen a doctor about this condition? We are sure he could afford one, on His wages. Perhaps he has an allergy of some kind. But no-one bothers to enquire about his health, not even so- called “Loving” Snow White or his Dwarven workmates. Poor dopey suffers even more, having his poor intellectual capacity highlighted every time someone calls his name. No wonder He can't speak, the poor little man is traumatized by all the name calling and derogatory remarks about His stupidity! It is a wonder he hasn't sought help from a counsellor.
This brings us back to the new housekeeper, Snow White. She is portrayed as a lovely, gentle, honest person who is a victim of a cruel Queen who is jealous of her. But, who says that Snow White is more beautiful than the Queen? A mirror! Most mirrors that we know are flatterers and liars. How often we have dressed ourselves up to attend some function and gazed in the mirror (after a few glasses of wine) and seen a reflection of handsomeness or beauty, only to catch a glimpse of ourselves later, in daylight, only to realize that we look more like the Beast than Beauty! Surely beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Is your magic mirror registered with the “Magic Objects Bureau”? It should be, or you could face a 100 silver pieces fine.
Snow white is hardly a nice character. She breaks in to a strangers house and uses the bed, probably smearing the pillow with her “Lips as red as a rose.” When she is caught, she offers to do the housework in exchange for bed and breakfast and protection. It seems to me that the poor dwarves are being short-changed here, everyone knows that the going rate for protection from wicked Queens is about 500 silver pieces, yet Snow only offers a bit of housework, which they could get from any common maid for about 3 copper pieces a day, plus 2 slices of stale bread and 5 flagons of beer.
Snow White does not object to using the abusive names given to the dwarves, but happily recites them in her daily greetings, thereby causing further misery and making poor Dopey feel even more inhibited (We are surprised he doesn't go deaf as well as mute!)
Snow White never gives a thought to her parents and never bothers to contact them. They must be worried sick about her. But she doesn't care, she is busy living it up in a holiday cottage with seven strange men with dippy names!
And finally, the poor misunderstood Queen arrives on the scene. As Queen she has a perfect right to make laws and punish people, particularly usurpers to her throne. After all, when the Prince comes along and kills the Queen, does Snow White object? No, she quite happily seizes the throne with her “Prince Charming” (another ridiculous, but inoffensive name given to Him by yet more reckless parents). And what is the Queen's method for dealing with traitors and usurpers? Does she have them beheaded, or hanged? No, she sends Snow White to sleep, even allowing the possibility of being woken by a kiss from the prince. Hardly a vicious punishment for her crimes!
The “Happy” ending portrayed is nothing of the kind. The poor rightful Monarch is thrown off a cliff by a man who has no business interfering in another state Monarch's business. Snow White greedily seizes power and abandons the poor dwarves, who risked life and limb for her and probably allowed her to put all her annoying female toiletries in their bathroom, replacing their own aftershaves and such. We do not consider this a “Happy ending”, and we do not believe our readers will either.
In summary, we will not be publishing your manuscript because we find it unrealistic, abusive to children, Sexist, Queenist and Dwarfist, and it encourages name calling.
We do thank you for your interest though, and we encourage you to submit more papers for publication.