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Snow White's poison apples

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Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:53 pm
Starhunter says...



Hi!
Okay, so I have a question:
Do you think the poison apple in Snow White is an important part of the story, or is the essence of the step-mother trying to kill Snow White more important, regardless of how she does it?

You see, I'm re-writing/blending "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Snow White and Rose Red." I've got pretty much everything figured out, but I just can't see a way to plug in a poison apple. It just doesn't fit. I feel like if I did put it in, it would seem really, really forced. But then, I want to be at least partly true to the fairy tale, you know?

So what do you think?
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Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:22 pm
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Carlito says...



When I think of Snow White, one of the first images that comes to mind is a shiny, red apple. I think the idea that the step-mother wants Snow White dead is the more important concept, but the apple is a really central image to the story as well.

It really depends on the story you're trying to tell. I think in some cases, it could seem cliched and forced and like you're trying to exactly replicate the stories, but I think in other cases, it would have to be in there. So it's hard to tell having not read the story. But if you think it's going to feel forced, then I would think of something else to do. The important thing is going to be making it make sense in your story. Assume that most of your readers are going to be familiar with one if not both of the original stories and may be confused if there is no poison apple. You have to make your readers believe that whatever the step-mother does, makes more sense than a poison apple.

Your story can still stay true to the fairy tale in other ways. It doesn't have to have every element of both stories or it may be too copy-caty. Just use your creative license and do what feels right for your story, because it's your story after all!

Let me know if you have any questions or if something didn't make sense!

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Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:28 pm
Leahweird says...



I'm dealing with the same situation in a story I'm writing. When you think about it, the apple kind of comes out of nowhere. I've decided I'm going to combine all three of the ways the stepmother tries to kill her into something unique (Not everyone remembers that the was also a poisened comb and a corset that was supposed to stop her from breathing).




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Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:26 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



If you go back to the original symbolism of the tale, the apple held a very important significance.

The whole (original) story has a different middle than the Disney version. The evil queen actually didn't give the apple first— she gave it after two items had failed. The first was stay laces (ie- corset laces) that made her look beautiful, but were tied too tight and nearly killed her. The first? A poisoned comb that was run through her hair once.

The apple was the only item that actually didn't make Snow White look prettier. But the poison was already associated with a red apple. The apple in the original tale was two coloured: one side was white, the other red.

Symbolism can be taken multiple ways, but I take the apple as something beautiful that is corrupted. There's also the whole "apple of Eve" thing, where it shows naivety and temptation of a too-innocent girl (Snow White was freakishly young in the original tale. Like, not even teenager. Maybe not even pre-teen).

Spoilered for more mature (16+) content. Original fairy tales were dark.

Spoiler! :
Also know that in the original tale, the queen was only killed after Snow White was married. In an area where marriage meant... you should be able to fill in the blank. A loss of innocence. The prince had wanted to marry her while she was still in the coffin, too... o_O And it was only on the way of carrying her to his place the poisoned apple went out of her throat and she came back to life (and decided to go along with the marriage).

The apple could've meant tasting temptation (in an era before living together, do the math...) from a stranger. So. You could read into a lot of events in the original tale a lot, including the fact the queen, disguised as a farmer's wife, ate the white side of the apple first. There's also how it wasn't until after the dwarves let her go to the prince that she came back to life. From men who couldn't satisfy her to one that could. Plus, the whole fruit imagery. Almost always lustful, especially when the rest of the story has lustful undertones.

At the wedding feast was the exact time of death for the evil queen. She died by dancing in red hot, iron shoes.


Didn't read version: There is a lot of bible and cautionary tale info in with the ending, including the usual "don't talk to strangers" Aesop and a lot of attraction undertones. The apple is a very good symbol for all of that.

If you tell us a little more of your plot, then we could help you out with coming up with another symbol.
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:00 pm
Starhunter says...



Corset stays? I read it was a ribbon... but same concept.

Okay... more of the story...
Back in the day, the land was wild and dangerous. Using a sword that grants great power to its bearer, a warrior conquered it and made it into the kingdom of Valley. His twin brother, who helped him, was a magician of sorts and created a scrying pool (aka the Mirror) to help him keep control. But the king started getting out of hand, really destructive with the sword and so on, and so his brother tried to stop him. He ended up getting killed for his pains, but in this the king kinda woke up, saw what he'd done, and was sorry. He hid the sword and set about making peace, but the wild Faerie creatures he'd persecuted stayed hidden where they were.
Okay, so a few hundred years later...
Gwyneira (Snow White) and Rhosyn (Rose Red) are princesses. Their mother dies, their father remarries, yadda yadda yadda. He marries a noblewoman named Aderyn, who is very ambitious and manipulative. She poisons the king (slowly) and starts garnering supporters in the army. When he dies, Aderyn takes over, but to her frustration, she is regent until Gwyneira comes of age (ie she can't legally rule the country.) So, since the girls are grieving, one day she suggests they go out to the forest to spend some time away from the castle, and that's where there whole huntsman scene goes down.

The girls flee into the forest and end up living with the 7 dwarves. Meanwhile, the "huntsman," who used to be a friend of theirs, is punished for messing up by being turned into a bear. Over the next few months, things happen, and the girls start gaining an army of Faerie and humans who are tired of living under Aderyn's militaristic rule. The girls realize they must find the sword before Aderyn in order to save the kingdom. Everything culminates in a final battle, in which Gwyneira and Rhosyn find the sword, and are able to defeat the Queen's army.

This is the point at which Gwyn would eat a poison apple, but I really can't see a feasible way of doing that. I was thinking of using the comb at an earlier part of the story, but obviously, it's not permanently effective. I was also thinking that the Queen would take the sword or something and kill Gwyn with it. I'm not sure if she'll be dead for good, or have a stasis spell placed on here (you know, the sleeping bit).
The problem with the sleeping bit is Gwyn doesn't have anybody to wake her up... I know in the original fairy tale, she didn't know the prince, but if I do that, he's basically a deus ex machina. The bear/guy I was saving for Rhosyn.

Does that help?
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:52 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Indeed it does.

I'm thinking what might work is a red rose with poisoned pollen. The pollen stays "active" for awhile, then when the flower dies/is killed, or when her air passages are cleared out (or just the poison is washed off her nose), she wakes up.

Similar idea (red, sign of love/lust, gift [possibly?]) but more likely to be found in the forest.
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:57 pm
Leahweird says...



That sounds like such a good story! Anyways, it sounds to me like you need to add another character to be Gwyns prince. Maybe combine the elements? Have him be related to apples in some way, and then the Queen gets her hands on one?




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Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:07 pm
Kyllorac says...



There's also a rather mundane case of poisoning. She's hungry (or not) before the final battle. A supporter of the Queen (who she might find physically attractive) gives her a poisoned apple.

Also, as Rose Red was rather proactive in her tale, why not have Rose be the one, or find the way, to wake Snow up? With the prince's help, of course.
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Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:05 pm
Starhunter says...



I'm not sure if the pollen idea would work.... would someone need to lick her nose? :)
I was thinking of making there be a Faerie prince (not a fairy prince) which would tie in with the idea of the Faerie hiding in the forest, and I think I could also use that to broaden the magic ideas and use it to bring across the apples.

I was thinking, originally, of not having the sword, but instead this "magical garden" kind of idea, with apples that granted power or something, and in the end, they're fighting over and in front of the garden. After they win the battle, for one reason or another Gwyn would eat an apple, not knowing the Queen had gotten there first and poisoned them (sorta out of spite).
But I thought this whole idea was kinda close to what's in "The Magician's Nephew" and also.... I'd have to find a way to make the apples significant in some way to the girls, so Gwyn would eat one after the battle.
I was also thinking of having Rose break the spell... I just wasn't sure how to do that yet. Any ideas?
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Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:48 pm
Leahweird says...



Magicians Nephew is just part of a long tradition of fantasy liturature. Apples show up in other fairtales/myths. The one that springs to mind in the tree of golden apples that was looked after by the daughters of Atlas, who were the only people other that their father that could get past the gaurdian serpant/dragon.

I highly approve of the prince being some sort of fey. I was going to suggest that but it seems like you had that aspect in hand.

I also highly approve of the final battle in the garden idea. Perhaps that is were the scrying pool is located as well? But I have another idea that uses the sword. Perhaps it IS the apple. Maybe it was hidden inside of an apple tree and only Gwyn could pull it out (like a sword in the stone thing). She could be injured in the final battle, but she is saved because the sword is not effective against her bloodline, or something.