Hansel and Gretel

- Jack Zipes


            According to Jack Zipes, the story of 'Hansel and Gretel' is a political story. Common people are the characters. It is about the struggle between the poor and the rich. The woodcutter's family is poor. He can't feed his children. Taking the suggestion of his wife, he leaves his children in the forest. But they cleverly kill the witch in the forest and return home carrying a lot of jewels. The story shows that, the witch is the symbol of a rich person. They collect a lot of valuables and make the houses of food. And that the poor people suffer very much. They can't feed themselves.

            According to this text, at the end of the 18 century, there were wars that caused famine and poverty. As a result, the feudal system became weak. The witch in the story is the symbol of the whole feudal class, but she is killed by the poor children. Her death expresses people's hatred towards the feudal system. The children are innocent. They know that their enemies weren't the parents. But it was the social forces. That is why; they didn't forget to love their parents. They didn't want to hate their parents, when they return home. The existence of step mother is also common in the society, because many women die young, during their child birth and fathers are forced to remarry. The children did not know that the step mother was dead.

            The story also shows the change from the feudalism to early capitalism. It shows that feudal ideology has biasness and cruelty. Mainly, the poor are much suffered in feudal ideology but the story shows that, the poor people can change their condition. If they act cleverly and that Jack Zipes says that the poor people have to struggle hopefully. They must attack the rich people if things are going to get better for their well-being.

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