Grimms' Fairy Tales
Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The princess had to put up with that. Moreover, the chambermaid spoke rudely to her and ordered her to take off her royal garments and to put on the maid's shabby clothes. Finally, she had to swear under open skies that she would never tell a soul at the royal court what the chambermaid had done. If the princess had not given her word, she would have been killed on the spot. (The Goose Girl.297-298)
Those servants with their ambitions! They're always getting in the way of royalty's desires.
So the rich brother had the turnip loaded on his wagon and driven to his home. Once there he did not know on whom to vent his anger and frustration. Finally, some evil thoughts came to him, and he decided to kill his brother. He hired murderers and showed them a place where they were to ambush his brother. (The Turnip.460)
Rich people can be really bratty in these tales, sure. But does that mean they deserve all the nasty things that happen to them (servants rising up, peasants trying to marry their daughters, etc.)?
There once was a village where all the farmers were rich except one who was poor, and he was called Little Farmer. He did not even have a cow, much less the money to buy one. (Little Farmer.227)
Bam! Social inequality right at the tale's start! Better yet, the poor guy triumphs over his rich neighbors, so we do get to watch the inequality evaporate.