Changing the Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
by Liz Jansen
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the back yard recently and discovered new denizens had taken positions around the gardens. Snow White and five of the seven dwarfs must have entered through the opening in the stone path that leads to the woods.
Snow White was standing by the pump, fetching water to use for cooking the next meal. Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Bashful (behind a spruce shrub), and Happy were hanging out close to the new garden shed they call home. Doc and Grumpy stayed behind in the mines, unearthing diamonds and other gems.
No one knows why they were on the move or how long they were searching for the right place. Perhaps they were tired of fending off the Evil Queen, showing up in her disguises, bullying and threatening sweet-natured and gentle Snow White.
Their presence delights me! These famous characters activate my inner child and spark creativity for the adult writer. On top of that, they’re just plain fun to have around.
For the time being, I’m ignoring any Jungian analysis into the meaning of the story and its characters. What they have reminded me of, however, is the role of myths in our lives. Passed down through the generations, stories shape who we are. Usually, we’re unaware of their role in developing our world-view, making decisions, and forming judgments. We accept these stories as fact without questioning their origin or relevance.
Not all stories keep us bound in dysfunctional patterns of behavior. Many are very meaningful, while others, useful at one time, many have lost their relevance.
It’s healthy to question why we do the things we do. Blindly accepting stories, no matter how well-intentioned they are, can keep us from questioning nonsense presented as fact, being open to new ideas, and ultimately, stepping into our power.
I can write hundreds of different endings to the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Most important of all is being the author of my life rather than living it from a script someone else has written.
Some analysts would say the dwarfs unearthing treasures represent us going inward and discovering our gifts and strengths. It’s something to consider. For now, the most precious gift these little characters have brought is the reminder to be Me.
What’s the most unexpected or unusual gift you’ve received recently? Tell us in the comments.