Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happily Ever After?

What are some common things between all fairy tales in the world? Every tale has a prince and a princess that are in love with each other. Every tale describes the trials and tribulations the characters go through to be together.
There is one common thing that all fairy tales do not do, however: they never describe the lives of the heroes after the wedding. Once the Prince Charming and the Beautiful Princess - whatever their names - overcome the hindrances that stand in the way of their togetherness, it is assumed that all their troubles are over, and the story ends with them living "happily ever after."

Yet, it is the "happily ever after" period that always interested me. What happened to Cinderella after she became the wife of the Prince? Was Belle happy at the castle with the Beast? Whatever happened to Snow White after her Hero took her away from the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs?

Personally, I always had doubts about the happiness of the last couple. Perhaps, it was the Disney depiction of Snow White's character that made me unsure about the possibility of that woman's marital bliss. Maybe it was her voice. Somehow, I always pictured the Prince waking up one morning, getting dressed and ready to go about his day - when he would hear the high-pitched, unnatural voice of his beloved: "Uh-uh-uh! You have not brushed your teeth!" This is the moment when, in my mind, the prince would smile that gentle smile, walk back into the palace and hack his beloved Princess into pieces with a butcher cleaver. Or, perhaps, to be true to the story, he would use the poison apple - the last gift of his Mother-in-Law.

Another couple whose happiness seemed unlikely to me was the Sleeping Beauty and her prince. Beauty's curse could only be broken by true Love's first kiss - true Love of the Prince, that is. I imagine the Princess waking up after one hundred years of slumber to the man she is to marry. He is in love with her... but she does not know him. She has never seen him before; to her, he is a total stranger... HIS true love is there, but what about HERS? What if, altogether, the Prince that is to wake her up from the curse is not the same one that SHE is to fall in love with? If so, then the blessing of the Fairies turned out to be a curse in its own way, and a more potent than the original one, its side effect being a lifetime of misery.


  1. I had commented that true love has a way of helping people who may normally not be "best suited" connect, however after our discussion I see that it is not so much as a statement on love or its power to transform, but what a person would do if set into a situation where they would be "stuck" with someone who draws them down, or a person whom would be no where near a good connection, as I see it, only Belle from beauty and the Beast would fair well, she was willing to accept him ( the Beast ) for what he was, I am going to forward this to some of our friends and get their opinion

  2. Troubling reflection. What if you wrote a story or poem about one of these 'ever after's?

    If I wrote a poem in this line of thought, I think I would call it
    "Happily Ever Before" since it seems in most cases in life couples are most happy before the 'after'.



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