"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grimm Debate: "Iron John" vs. "Hansel and Gretel"

The Grimm Brothers gathered many stories that most of us know today.

We have such tales as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White that Disney has made popular.

Of the many Grimm tales, Iron John and Hansel and Gretel had possibilities to shed light indirectly on child abuse in the home. The only time to bring up the abuse was at the beginning of each of the stories.

This seems like a strange way to begin the whole "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" program.

Where was the humor?

While at the Utah Storytelling Guild Olympus Chapter Christmas party, I brought some of my books on Iron John so people could get a taste as to what direction I was heading. Luckily, everyone there knew the story of Hansel and Gretel.

Strengths for Iron John:
  • Interesting relationship between the boy-prince and the Wild Man, as the Wild Man is really like a second father
  • Heavily a "guy" story while the ending story, The Gardener's Wife, is heavily a "girl" story so it balances out the program
  • Boy-prince is an eight-year-old while the boy in the center story, Forsaken Brother, is one which I already planned for the boy to also be an eight-year-old

Strengths for Hansel and Gretel:
  • Familiar story with a "Rachel twist" could be welcomed by the audience
  • Chance for children to be heroes and show how siblings can help each other
  • Mother character is intriguing for she (and not a stepmother as shared in other versions) was the one who took the children to the woods to get lost
One of my friends, Julie Barnson, predicted that I may not choose either one of these stories to be the opening piece for "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" premiere.

We shall see.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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