Nov 09 2011

Web Wednesday: MyThemes – Rumpelstiltskin

Published by at 3:02 pm under Eng170W

Deceit Outcome Trade Greed
Miller lies to the King Daughter trapped in room Manikin spins for Necklace King not satisfied
Daughter trapped in room Manikin spins for Ring King still unsatisfied
Daughter trapped in room Manikin spins for King’s Baby
Daughter marries King Daughter gives birth
Daughter lies to Manikin Daughter will not give up baby
Manikin will give up for his name
Daughter searches for name Manikin wants baby
Daughter finds name
Manikin gives up

A: Deceit
B: Outcome
C: Trade
D: Greed


In Rumpelstiltskin, the relationship between “growth” and “structure” is apparent through Lévi-Strauss’s reading because organizes the structure of the story in a specific way. Synchronic-diachronic structure of duplicating and triplicating the same sequence multiple times to show how the story progresses. Such as in the MyTheme above, Rumpelstiltskin comes back thrice to offer his services, and accepts something from the miller’s daughter each time, but in the last progression, the price is much higher. Then further into the reading, the story’s growth is apparent because after the triplicating structure, the story duplicates once again. Rumpelstiltskin makes an appearance to claim his belonging, and yet offers another deal. The story begins to grow in a way that Lévi-Strauss states “The function of repetition is to render the structure of the myth apparent.” By repeating what the reader already knows, the story starts to show the intention and function it was meant to give. Most stories in mythology have an apparent moral of the story and Rumpelstiltskin is no different; in this story, it sounds as if it were a good story to tell people, but garners very dark connotations. It tells the reader that it is fine to lie and cheat, because there are no severe consequences that will affect you. Opposed to the one who does all the work, but is left in the dust and torn to pieces through greed and deceit. Rumpelstiltskin is a story upon morality and the disgusting traits of human nature.

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Web Wednesday: MyThemes – Rumpelstiltskin”

  1.   Kevin L. Fergusonon 11 Nov 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Your categories make this fairy tale sound pretty sinister–basically it’s about deceit, trading, and greed? Sounds like a story for Wall Street . . .

  2.   APMimzon 16 Nov 2011 at 6:13 am

    Technically, the story is grim and sinister. In most ‘fairy-tales’ the story is never quite as ‘good’ as it pretends to be. I do believe Rumpelstiltskin is a great story for Wall-Street, it probably fits quite wonderfully.

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