A Few Hidden Messages

Anne E. Beall Author Interview

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, is an in-depth analysis of fairytales and how women are portrayed and treated in comparison to men. Why was this an important book for you to write? 

It’s an important topic because fairy tales are among some of the first stories we learn as children, and these stories are told and re-told in many books and movies. Even modern novels sometimes put forward versions of these fairy tales where the female heroine finally gets her “prince”—the high-status man who has wealth and status. Because these tales are so ubiquitous, it’s important to unpack them and really understand what they’re saying.  They have quite a few hidden messages.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

One thing that I wanted to get across was that male characters are largely powerful, active, good people. In contrast, female characters tend to be weak, passive, and powerless. And when female characters are powerful, they are often evil. This idea of a powerful woman generally being evil concerns me because it may set us up to be wary of women who have ascended to powerful positions in our society. 

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from reading your book?

I want people to really question whether the fairy tale life is desirable. I found that female royalty has very little power and are the most unhappy. Queens cry more than any other character, and princesses are terribly treated—imprisoned, kidnapped, etc. Marrying the prince or king has some tremendous disadvantages in fairy tale land, but that is put forward as the ultimate goal.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is called Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life. It’s an analysis of fairy tales and folktales from around the world and I learned in my research that male and female characters are treated differently when they break rules in stories. Men are often rewarded or unpunished, whereas women are punished very severely. In fact, one-third of them are executed! I draw parallels with modern life where I found that men and women are treated differently when they break rules. For example, men and women in the legal, financial, and medical fields are given very different punishments for the same behaviors. I hope to have that published later this year or early next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Did Cinderella live happily ever after? One might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on June 25, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you so much for featuring my book!

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