Conclusion

In conclusion, the treatment of words connected to Animal Brides and other female figures in this corpus show how excluded and overlooked they are when placed in the realm of the familiar – a world defined and dictated by human men – until they are connected to it through marriage. Whether it be through witches, fairy godmothers, or even shapeshifting brides, women in fairy tales and folktales are closely tied to the wild and the unknown. Even the female figures who seem to conform to societies governed by their male counterparts are eventually drawn to their cursed, nature aligned husbands. Through the many fairy tales I gathered, I have not only confirmed a connection between women and nature, but also ties them to the unknown and the dangerous. The curses that the Animal Bridegrooms strive to break are synonymous to the wild and true forms of the Animal Brides, which make them powerful and feared. Perhaps, this is why the bridegrooms, mortal and cursed, seek to control and subdue both nature and their brides by dragging them back to their definition and world of the familiar. Just as Leavy states, “women will almost invariably kiss frog princes, whereas a noteworthy number of men cannot kiss the frog princess” (233).

What Next?

I confess that my efforts to trace consistent patterns across the stories of my corpus is still in its early stages due to my limited experience in working with the AntConc, Voyant, and StoryMap tools and the difficulty of accessing a variety of Animal Bride/Bridegroom fairy tales with the time I had been given. While I have a good number of fairy tales and folklore that includes the archetypes, I believe that I would have gotten more results and enough data to expand my analysis. I also believe that there are certain limitations that came with the tools since certain patterns could not be easily traced since the phrasing and word choices of every story differs from the other when not written by the same hand or translator. Moving forward, I hope to look more into different fairy tale collections and to overcome the obstacles and errors I had experienced in this project by finding other tools. 

Though establishing a connection between women and nature and also highlighting their divide from society was the goal for this project, I am interested in comparing and contrasting the different versions of certain fairy tales and folktales depending on the origin and time when it was written. I am also considering branching out from my focus on the divide between the world of humans and nature to the fairy tales and folktales that stand as exceptions to their archetypes such as The Tale of Tamamizu and the Prince Lindworm. I look forward to expanding my knowledge and learning more through my future research.

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