Children's Lit Book Reviews

Friday, February 12, 2010

Charles Perrault

There was once a fierce man named Bluebeard. He had been married many times, but no one knew what had happen to his many wives. Therefore, he was avoided by many of the local girls. When Bluebeard visited one of his neighbors and asked to marry one of her two daughters, the girls were terrified, and each tried to pass him on to the other. Somehow, he was able to persuade the younger daughter to marry him and, after the wedding, she went to live with him.Very shortly thereafter, Bluebeard announced that he had to leave the country for a while, and he gave over all the keys of the chateau to his new wife, including the key to one small room that he forbade her to enter. He then left the county, leaving the house in her hands. Immediately, she was overcome with the desire to see what was in the forbidden room, decided to satisfy her curiosity by taking a peek into the room.The wife immediately discovered the room's secret. There were the dead bodies of her husband's former wives hung from hooks on the walls. She then locked the door, but blood had somehow gotten onto the key and it would not wash off. Bluebeard returned and had figured out what his wife had done. In a rage he threatened to kill her immediately, but she begged him to give her fifteen minutes so she could say her last prayer. He agreed, and she ran up into the highest tower with her sister, Anne, and they locked themselves in. While Bluebeard, sword in hand, tried to break down the door, the sisters waited for their two brothers to arrive. At the last moment, as Bluebeard was about to deliver the fatal blow, the brothers broke into the castle. As Bluebird attempted to flee, they killed him. He left no heirs except his wife, and she inherited all his great fortune.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: This is such a great fairy tale, and I think the story teaches good morals and values. The moral of the story, to me, is that you should always obey what you are asked to do because when you don't there is always a consequence for your misbehavior. At first blush, one might think the moral of the story is that she should not have disobeyed her husband. But it is deeper than that. In this case, the young wife finds out what Bluebeard had done that he should not have done, and she is able to overcome his evil designs. he suffers the consequences of his actions. In this way, the story also teaches that there is good and evil and that good can overcome evil.
What problems/conflicts could this fairy tale potentially cause?: One main problem with this fairy tale is death. That might stop a lot of parents from sharing this story with their children because some might think it is violent.
My reaction: I enjoyed reading this fairy tale. I did find this quite violent, but I do think the moral of the story is a good one. Therefore, I recommend this book to a mature children readers.
posted by Jon Dale at 12:39 AM


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