Snowdrop vs. Little Snow White

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The two stories Snow Drop and Little Snow White gives a sneak peek into the lives of two girls both young and stunningly beautiful. Their stories are almost touching on each other thematically, as they are both confronted with certain aspects of the society. And while they continue to live through them they experience different outcomes though under almost similar circumstances. Therefore, in this paper, the discussion will attempt to drive down the idea that at times we may practically live under nearly identical conditions socially but then fate whether one believes on it or not determines our final place. But to get the idea of the role of destiny in these two stories then summary will be in order.

SnowDrop- Tanith Lee

This story brought a highly sophisticated woman, who was not just rich but loved a lonely but extravagant life. Cristena loved life and at some point loved her husband. Everything was done to her including house chores as her house was well equipped to handle all those, On the other hand, was Snow Drop a beautiful lass, athletically gifted who performed in theaters with her seven dwarfs. Cristena had been troubled by her or by something that appeared to her. She seemed like the unborn daughter of the former tenant to a house she now occupied. She felt like the girls somewhat was a threat to her. Therefore she opted to attend one of her shows while her husband was away. After the show, she lured Snow Drop to her house only to murder her and have the body buried in the compound. Something that was later discovered when the snow melted.

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Little Snow White-Grimm Brothers

Little Snow White takes us through the suffering she goes through, in the hands of her mother, a queen who was obsessed with her beauty. And as she grew up, the mother came to realize that her daughter was even more beautiful than she was, and that sparked a rage of jealousy. This drove her to get a huntsman to kill her daughter.  She did this to remain the most beautiful in the land. While Snow White lived with seven dwarfs, who had taken her mother realized that Huntsman had not killed her. She thus made more than three attempts to kill her, one which succeeded, though she later came to life and married a prince, as, for the mother, she danced herself to death on her daughter’s wedding day.

Power and Exploitation

In our everyday lives, there are people of influence who one way or the other tend to use their power to exploit others make demands that are not ethical while all the same categorically threatening to use their power in case of resistance. These girls both faced situations where people they were dealing with in one way or the other demanded a submissive stance in return for certain favors. These are often things that if a person does not perform, then he or she may suffer in a way. These two girls were in a way put through these situations.

Snow Drop was a beautiful girl that her beauty even bothered Cristena who in a way could see her through the paintings that were on the wall in her house. Her beauty was reflected in the fact she was performing in theatres. This world of art had proven that beauty mattered. Cristena loved to look beautiful and the fact that her husband added weight was a factor that to her was spiteful. This is how real beauty was perceived (Howson, n.m). Her beauty had landed her a role to perform with the seven dwarfs. It was this that made her life what it had become. One which smiled on the outside but was hiding pain and suffering on the inside. Snow Drop had revealed the fact that, the seven dwarfs never liked her. Even though, during performance, they smiled and choreographed in a manner that anyone would assume they were one perfect union. 

However digging deep into her life through her revelations to Cristena, it showed a systemic abuse that had been meted to her. They appeared as one happy family, but the dwarfs had exploited her and used her as their slave. She cooked washed and shopped for them. Even worse in the imagination of Cristena was in the fact that there was likelihood that she was also being used as a sex toy. Her revealing these abuses to would be her killer shows that she was doing all he did because of lack of options on her part. Because she did not like what they did to her, and she knew the dwarfs despised her. And yet she still performed with them that could only be possible if at all she had no choice and as it appears she did not have any.

On the other hand, there was the Little Snow White. Who the origin of her problems had been her beauty (Grimm, Brothers, et al., n.m). And all her troubles had come from the unlikeliest source, her biological mother. The fact that her mother wanted to kill her led her into the mountains where she sought refuge with seven dwarfs. The Seven Dwarfs agreed to give her shelter in their house, but then he had to cook, clean and perform all household chores. To which she agreed after all what choice did she have? They advised her on how to be secure while they were away so that she could not be harmed. With the facts of the two scenarios, we set to establish the related aspects in circumstantially similar stories.

Any attempt to draw a moral equivalence of these two stories would be very quickly washed off. The reasons here is that it’s true both were exploited by their versions of dwarf man, but there is a difference here. Snow Drop was hated by the dwarfs that exploited her, and as much as they went to work with her, they still made her do all these things for them and maybe they even sexually exploited her. She was not of much value to the dwarfs or any other person.  Even had Cristena noted that even if she were missing no one would be looking for her. On the other hand, we have Snow Little who as much she did all the chores, which seemed to be a small price to pay. This compared to the fact they were protecting her from the evil who was her mother (Bacchilega, 8). They similarly loved her; they saved her in multiple occasions and would not sell her body to the highest bidder even after she had died. The exploitation here seemed relative.

The reason behind the relativity of them being exploited was in the fact that one was offered refuge and given shelter. The other was forced to work and then perform other duties. Snow Drop gave everything of hers, including her dignity, Littler Snow White paid a small price for the protection that was offered when her mother wanted to kill her. Therefore even though they all suffered some sought of exploitation in the hands of dwarfs, one was loved cherished and protected and the other was exploited and abused by the dwarfs. Showing the girls trod the same paths but suffered different fates under the circumstances that both lived. This was not the only scenario where there were almost similar versions of situations, but different outcomes.

Murder by poison

This is a common occurrence in our society’s right from the ancient times to date. Poison still kills people. Most of the times this happens when someone you trust decides to breach that trust and take on the motive of killing you due to perhaps the differences that you may have. This was a scenario that both of these girls passed through.

Cristena had struck Snow Drop when she least expected it. She had gained her trust and had passionate sexual moments with her. That’s when she spiked her food.  Nothing to this moment ever suggested that in a way or the other she was in danger.  There is no place in the story where Cristena had been presented as a bile full woman yet when it was the time she struck once and struck hard. That had become the fate of the beautiful girl, she was killed, and no one was looking for her.

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Little Snow White had suffered the same white. Her mother, who had pursued her, had each time managed to convince her to open the door by changing her form into a peasant woman or something else to gain her trust and had each time managed to deceive her.  Each of those moments the dwarfs had managed to revive Little Snow White (Grimm Brothers and Wilhelm, n.m). Till that day when she was given apple that was laced with poison and the dwarfs could not do anything but mourn her. Just like Snow Drop she had died at the hands of someone she had trusted.

There were though certain aspects of similarities when they had both died. They both appeared to be sleeping. Their beauties had not been in a way affected by their deaths. Snow Drop still had red lips and white skin, whole, on the other hand, Little Snow-white captured the prince through her beauty, that even though she was dead, the entire Prince wanted was to stare at her. Similarly, in their deaths, both had foods stuck in their mouth. When the snow washed off, and Snow Drop appeared she had been preserved by the cold just as she had been buried. She seemed to be sleeping, and the apple in her mouth had been as well kept (Chapelle et al., 139). Even with the similarities, there were still outcomes. Little Snow White came back to life when the apple stuck in her mouth came off, a privilege, Snow Drop did not get. With her, she was dead and even buried before Cristena’s husband, and his friends discovered her body in the garden.

Power and privilege

Power and privilege is a common factor in the society. Because in one way or the other the powerful usually hope to get away with anything and everything they do because of their social class and power. They abuse their powers but hope to twist arms and influence the kind of ultimate outcomes that they get. That was the scenario in these two scenes.

One was a woman who was very rich and had everything being done for her, and the other was queen and a compelling figure. Both had hoped that their indiscretions would go unnoticed. The truth is they almost did. But even in checking the possible outcomes in the two stories they appear not to be the same. And this can be attributed partly to the social status of both the victims of the murder (Howson, n.m).

Snow Drop was an ordinary girl who no one was going to be even looking for at the end of the day. The dwarfs that she worked with did not like her and as such was unlikely to go searching for her. And the truth is even after her death, nowhere is there an instance where there was a search for her. Even with her death, everything seemed normal with her body buried in the garden. And even though the husband and their friends found the body, the likely outcome here is that  Cristena will come up with an explanation as to why she did what she did, and the husband will help cover it up. Because those are the ways of the rich and the powerful in the society, they get away with almost everything. This cannot be said to be the fate of Little Snow White killer.

Her mother had killed little Snow White. A powerful figure herself was obsessed by her beauty. Such that when her daughter was pronounced as the fairest of them all, she did all she could till she had killed her. However when the daughter was revived, the daughter managed to marry an equally powerful person. And now unlike Snow Drop, Little Snow White was in a position of power herself (Grimm, Wilhelm, and Jacob Grimm, Pg. 170). Even though there is no clear path to being punished one cannot help but speculate on her fate due to the set tendency that had prevailed earlier when she had attempted to kill her. The social ills that most of the time go unpunished especially when the person or the victim of such practices come from a lower social class. And therefore when the mother dances herself to death, one can’t help but notice one colossal factor that Little Snow White had herself become very powerful. Thus one may be tempted to link the fact that the victim had become powerful and that the reason why she had been punished.

Aspects of sexuality

This is a profoundly controversial even as it comes today in the society that we live in. Where certain sexual proclivities are not in it accepted by some groups of people, and that is a symbol that is shown deep in both the stories.

Snow Drops moments with Cristena in the closet while dressing revealed some of the hidden passion that apparently Cristena had. It’s a fact that she had lately not been particularly attracted to her husband. And even while they made love when he came back from one of those long boring trips, it had more become a routine duty where she, as a woman had to in a way please her husband rather than make love to her and enjoy it. Her struggle to connect with her in the late days had become an apparent issue that had bothered her. That was not the case with Snow Drop, where there encounter made her realize that she had not had such an intense passion before (Felmlee, 228). The intriguing part of this was in the fact that she went ahead and killed her. That was quite the opposite with Little Snow White.

The passion and the obsession that the prince had with her was one he had never had with anyone before. He was willing to pay a fortune to keep her dead body. She appeared to be sleeping, and her beauty in her death was such captivating that prince could apparently not live without her. And so the force of these deep emotions is that it was majorly the reason why she was revived. The fact remains that even the dwarfs loved her, but had given up hope because they had tried to restore her but failed. The prince’s servants, on the other hand, managed to revive her and thus the love the prince had for her was a factor that played tremendously in her revival. These two fates clash by virtue that while on the one hand the passion and feelings led to the saving of Little Snow White, the emotions, and love that Cristena had experienced towards Snow Drop was not enough to save her; she killed her.  

The two girls Snow White and Snowdrop

Looking at the two characters in this story there are the exact constructs of what their mothers would have desired them to be. Everyone dreams of a daughter who is beautiful, charming and everything admirable. These are the social constructs of beauty, and not everyone gets to have such a daughter. The difference here is that these were the ideal characteristics that both their mothers sought to have in their daughters.

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Snow Drop in the story is shown as an ideal unborn daughter of a woman who was an artist and therefore shared her desires of a child through her paintings. She never had a baby, and she had died in the house that Cristena and her husband was later to occupy. These photos lined the wall, and when Cristena saw a similar girl as she had seen in paintings on the television, she went out to find and see her.

This same imagination was driven right by the Queen who was Little Snow Whites mother. She wanted a daughter as beautiful as Little Snow White, and she got. Therefore one can say that they had been rewarded by both their succinct imaginations of what socially was appreciated as beauty (Howson, n.m). The difference here is that while one got to see her mother, the other did not. But even with this doesn’t raise the similarity that these two young girls suffer almost similar fates at the hands of these two women. With the outcome being that one was successful in her quest to murder the other one failed. Here the two stories as stated before illuminate the moral bankruptcy that at time plague the society. That the corruption and power at times took such a lousy toll in lives that even mothers would kill their daughters. And that the fact that these two people were killed by people who had earned their trusts spoke volumes about trust in the society.


The two stories borrowed a lot from each other. But even with similarities there deeply entrenched differences in the overall outcomes of very many instances. While the two characters almost shared the same fate, the plot showed them to exist in near similar world but under different circumstances.  However, the apparent thing in the stories they both suffered at the hands of morally corrupt people who enjoyed the status of the social class that they were in and misused the powers that they have. And while one is punished because of the shift in power, the other is unlikely to be punished. Therefore the fairy tale which is the Little Snow White and the near fiction brought by Snow Drop equivocally merge in a way to tell the story of a society that is consumed by misuse of power and corruption. And these two aspects affect the lives of the two girls in one way or the other. In the end, they both had different outcomes.

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  1. “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Presented By Disney Movies.” Disney Movies. N.p., 2017. Web. 21 Nov. 2017.
  2. Bacchilega, Cristina. “Cracking the Mirror Three Re-Visions of” Snow White”.” boundary 2 15 (1988): 1-25.
  3.  Chapelle, Niamh, and Jenny Williams. “Little Snowdrop and the Magic Mirror: Two Approaches to Creating a ‘Suitable’Translation in 19th-Century England.” Voices in Translation: Bridging Cultural Divides (2007): 134-147. 
  4. Felmlee, Diane, David Orzechowicz, and Carmen Fortes. “Fairy tales: Attraction and stereotypes in same-gender relationships.” Sex roles 62.3-4 (2010): 226-240.
  5. Grimm, Brothers, et al. Snow White and Other Classic Princess Stories. HarperCollins Canada, 2014.
  6. Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm K. Grimm. Snow white. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1991. 
  7. Grimm, Wilhelm, andJacob Grimm. “Chapter 53.” The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 1st ed., vol. 1, Princeton University Press, 2016, p. 170.
  8. Howson, Elizabeth Walker. “A Content Analysis on the Meaning of Disenchantment in Fairy Tales.” (2007). 
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