Monday, March 25, 2013

Culture 101 (part 8) - Snow White

Snow White

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

- C. S. Lewis (reference: goodreads)
When I was a child, my father took me to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) at the local drive-in.  And he enjoyed it more than I did, though I liked it, too, even to this day. Disney knew how to reach the kid and kid within the grownups.

And in recent times, fairy tales have made a come-back on television as well as the movies;  Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998).  Grimm (2011 - ).  Once Upon a Time (2011 - ).   Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).  Mirror Mirror (2012).  Only to name a few.

Fairy tales reflect a piece of our soul - the dreams, the fears, the hopes, the drama of being human.  And Snow White deals with death - from the jealous queen sending the huntsman to slay an innocent princess to the maid tasting death with a bite of the poisoned apple.

In 1933, the Betty Boop cartoons did a spoof of Snow-White, which magnified the dark side of this fairy tale.  In the clip below of this short, Cab Calloway sings St. James Infirmary Blues in the background of nightmarish images.

This short reflected the culture after the horrors of World War One and during the hopelessness of the Great Depression.  Death and futility were prevalent.  And these experiences are common to every member of the human family.

Solomon wrote about futility in this lament:

As no one has power over the wind to contain it,
so no one has power over the time of their death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
Ecclesiastes 8:8  (NIV)
Stuff fairy tales are made of.

Yet, there is another side in the Gospels.  Death is sleep.  It's only temporary.  As this week is Holy Week, culminating in Easter, many Christians celebrate this victory of life over death.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:20 (NIV)

The Disney version of Snow White reveals death as a sleep.  Someday, her Prince would come and wake her from her sleep.  And with the Prince, Snow White would live happily every after.

Fairy tale?  Not!  Death and resurrection are part of the Easter story.  Death no longer has its sting.  [reference:  1 Corinthians 15:55]

And the Prince - the Prince of Peace - will come and wake the dead, as He has promised:

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
John 5:24, 25 (NIV)

When that happens, the bodies of those who sleep in Christ will wake up and live happily ever after in His everlasting kingdom.

And Fairy Tales - such as Snow White - are part of our culture as they reveal a greater truth about who we are and our destiny.


Previous posts on Easter:

Earth Shaking Easter - a wake up call (2010)

Easter - The Sign of the Prophet Jonah (2011)


Previous posts in the Culture 101 series:

Culture 101 (part 1) - Reagan's Challenge (2012)

Culture 101 (part 2) - Easter Eucatastrophe (2012)

Culture 101 (part 3) - Paul Revere's Ride (2012)

Culture 101 (part 4) - Gold Diggers and the Great Depression (2012)

Culture 101 (part 5) - Blue Bloods and 9/11 (2012)

Culture 101 (part 6) - Gilligan's Island and Breast Cancer Awareness (2012)

Culture 101 (part 7) - Band of Brothers  (2013)


Photo from wikipedia:  Snow White

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