Once Upon an Ecocritical Analysis: The Nature-Culture of German Fairy Tales and Its Implications
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This thesis analyzes the relationship between German fairy tales and Ecocriticism by examining the similarities and differences in depictions of nature in the tales published by the Brothers Grimm in 1857 and tales written by political activists during Germany's Weimar Republic. "Frau Holle" and "Die drei Schlangenblätter" by the Brothers Grimm present nature as a means to support their bourgeois utopian ideals. On the other hand, the Weimar writers Carl Ewald and Edwin Hörnle's tales "Ein Märchen von Gott und den Königen" and "Der kleine König und die Sonne" (respectively) employ the traditional form of the fairy tale to espouse free-thinking and criticize the weaknesses of the Grimms' utopian ideal. My ecocritical analysis is based on a synthesis of environmental sciences and sociocultural influences.