Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel is a classic fairytale that has been passed down from generation to generation. Born of German origin, it was first written by the Grimm brothers in 1812 with its final edition being published in 1857. The Grimm version is set deep in the forest where Hansel and Gretel, children of a penniless woodcutter and his abusive wife, are threatened by a cannibalistic witch in a house made of candy.   The tale has been adapted by various authors, including Ian Wallace whose interpretation of the classic fairy tale is set in the remote North Atlantic coast of Canada and presents Hansel and Gretel as the children of an impoverished fisherman and his pestering wife. Although both versions of the fairytale share the same storyline, upon close examination, there are obvious differences in the setting, language, and intended audience.
The location of both versions of Hansel and Gretel takes place in a forest where the children are left by their parents to fend for themselves; however, the setting is different. In Grimm’s story, the tale is set in “a poor woodcutters home who lived just outside a great forest” (Grimm1). The illustrations of the forest are dark, dancing with eerie shadows and animals that howl in the night. These images present the live of peasants, open fires and satchels, and the painful reality of poverty (Heiner). On the other hand, in Wallace’s version, the children live “in a house by the sea on the edge of a large forest” (Wallace 1). Although the illustrations of the forest are also dark, Wallace’s creativity has allowed for “richly painted images of pine and maple trees, moose, picket fences, and fishing boats” (Roberts). These images give the reader the impression of a Canadian location.
The language of both versions is quite different. Grimm’s fairytale was written in the 1800s; therefore, the language reflects that century. For instance, the woman calls the woodcutter “husband” or “fool.” Dialogue, such as ‘”Then we shall all four...