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Hansel and Gretel (fairy tale)
Hanselgretelbook
Author Published by Brothers Grimm
Country Germany
Language German
Genre Fairy tale
Publisher Unknown
Publication date 1812

Hansel and Gretel is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812.

Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery.

Plot Edit

Hansel and Gretel are young children whose father is a woodcutter. When a great famine settles over the land, the woodcutter's abusive second wife decides to take the children into the woods and abandon them there so that she and her husband will not starve to death, because the children eat too much. The woodcutter opposes the plan but finally and reluctantly submits to his wife's scheme. They are unaware that in the children's bedroom, Hansel and Gretel have overheard them. They are very sad so after the parents have gone to bed, Hansel sneaks out of the house and gathers as many white pebbles as he can, then returns to his room, reassuring Gretel that God will not forsake them.

The next day, the family walks deep into the woods and Hansel lays a trail of white pebbles. After their parents leave them, the children wait for the moon to rise before following the pebbles back home. They return home safely, much to their stepmother's horror. Once again provisions become scarce and the stepmother angrily orders her husband to take the children farther into the woods and leave them there to die. Hansel and Gretel attempt to leave the house to gather more pebbles, but find the doors locked and escape impossible. The following morning, the family treks into the woods. Hansel takes a slice of bread and leaves a trail of bread crumbs to follow home. However, after they are once again abandoned, the children find that birds have eaten the crumbs and they are lost in the woods. After days of wandering, they follow a beautiful white bird to a clearing in the woods, where they discover a large cottage built of gingerbread and cakes with window panes of clear sugar. Hungry and tired, the children begin to eat the rooftop of the candy house, when the door opens. An old woman emerges and lures them inside with the promise of soft beds and delicious food. Unaware that their hostess is a witch who waylays children to cook and eat them, the children enter the house.

The following morning the witch locks Hansel in an iron cage in the garden, and forces Gretel into becoming a slave. The witch feeds Hansel regularly to fatten him up, but he cleverly offers a bone he found in the cage (presumably a bone from the witch's previous captive) and the witch feels it, thinking it is his finger. Due to her blindness, she is fooled into thinking Hansel is still too thin to eat. After weeks of this, the witch grows impatient and decides to eat Hansel even if he is not fat.

The witch prepares the oven for Hansel, but decides she is hungry enough to eat Gretel too. She coaxes Gretel to open the oven and prods her to lean over in front of it to see if the fire is hot enough. Sensing the witch's intent, Gretel pretends that she does not understand what she is being told to do. Infuriated, the witch demonstrates and Gretel instantly shoves her into the oven and slams and bolts the door shut, leaving "The ungodly witch to be burned to ashes", with the witch screaming in pain until she dies. Gretel frees Hansel from the cage and the pair discover a vase full of treasure and precious stones. Putting the jewels into their clothing, the children set off for home.

A swan ferries them across an expanse of water and at home they find only their father; his wife died from unknown causes. Their father had spent all his days lamenting the loss of his children and is delighted to see them safe and sound. With the witch's wealth that they found, they all live happily ever after.

Differences (Simsala vs. Book) Edit

  • Stepmother and the father in the book made a deal to abandon children, while in series the stepmother herself abandoned them in the woods.
  • In their conversation Hansel and Gretel overheard them and made a plan, while in the series they just did that accidentally.
  • Instead of finding the gingerbread house immediately, they spent days wondering in the book by following beautiful white bird.
  • In the series stepmother left the father because he didn't find job while in the series she died of unknown causes.

External links Edit