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The Little Brother and the Little Sister - Class 12 Heritage of words

The Little Brother and the Little Sister   Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm 


‘The Little Brother and the Little Sister’ an English translation of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, deals with the same story of Hansel and Gretel. The writer sincerely included all the essential points of the original story to make it complete and harmonious. However, one finds the dialogues between the character and other being eliminated.  The minute details of the original story are simply summarized and the conversation between one character and the other is narrated. The stepmother is described as a ‘woman’ and shown to have wicked nature in the original is modified to some extent and described as the mother. Her vocatives “you lazybones”, “wicked children”, “You fool” etc. meant for Hansel and Gretel are eliminated. Such expressions make her appear no better than a witch. Removal of these expressions helps in modifying her into a less witch and more unloving mother. In addition to it, the physical attributes of the witch are ignored in this adaption. In the original, one finds remarkable similarity between the stepmother and the witch in their way of talking with and beating the children. In the adoption, one finds the difference. Moreover, the last part of the original story includes the rich details such as ecstasy of the children over the death of the witch, return journey, crossing the stream with the help of the duck, father’s joy over the reunion etc. Such details and jubilant feelings are not included in the adoption.
Glossary: [ecstasy: feeling of extreme happiness, jubilant: feeling or showing great happiness]

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