As ‘commercial storytellers’, we’re always up for a magical tale with hidden meaning…so what can we learn from Hansel and Gretel…
Hansel and Gretel are two very resourceful and clever little kids. They manage to thwart their stepmother’s plans to get rid of them, and they escape the clutches of the wicked witch.
We admire some of the lesson hidden in this fanciful tale…most of all how a clever plan to use breadcrumbs to navigate home went south. Our outtake – there are some things you cannot control and the universe may have other plans! Here are a few more learnings from the Brothers’ Grimm…
Take care of one another – One of the things that stand out in this story is the bond between brother and sister. Gretel is distraught when she hears of her stepmother’s plans, yet Hansel is very comforting and reassures his sister that everything will be okay.
- Plan ahead – Hansel makes a plan when he discovers what is in store for them. Rather than wait to figure out how to get out of the bad situation, he comes up with a solution before they even journey towards woods.
- Sometimes parents make mistakes – Considering the context of the story, this is probably a bit of an understatement, but the truth is parents do occasionally make mistakes. Hansel and Gretel’s father did not want to leave them alone in the woods. He was very remorseful and miserable over what he had done, yet, his wife convinced him it was the best thing to do.
- People can do the wrong thing for the right reason – In this case, the question was a matter of survival. Perhaps the stepmother would have been wise to ask Hansel if he had any ideas about how to bring extra income into the house rather than send him and Gretel out in the woods and hope for their demise.
- Occasionally the best plans will go awry – The second time going out to the woods Hansel used what he had to mark the trail back home. Unfortunately it was bread and the birds ate it all.
If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not good – Finding a gingerbread house in the middle of the woods is such a treat; especially when you’re near starving! But, of course it was just a trap! Sometimes things will look good and enticing but the bottom line is that they may not be good for you.
- Don’t trust strangers, even when they are nice – Strangers who prey upon children are not going to come across as mean or evil at first. Hansel and Gretel were, of course, taken in because they believed they were unwanted at home, and they had no other choice than to go with the wicked witch who first appeared to be a nice person.
- Learn to think fast – Gretel was the younger of the two and grew by a quantum leap in a few days. In the beginning of the story she was so fearful about being left in the woods, but later in the story she handles a major situation and kills the wicked witch by thinking fast. Being able to think quickly on your feet can save you in a tough spot.
- Never give up hope – From the moment they find out they are going to be left in the woods, Hansel (and later Gretel) never give up the hope that they will find their way home. Even when faced with one difficult or near impossible situation after another, they both stayed focused on the goal of getting home.
- Somebody’s always watching over you – In the original version, Gretel prays at each juncture that they will receive divine help and that help is always forthcoming and finally sees them all the way back to their misguided, but loving father.
Wishing you a joyful Christmas and holiday season. May you love a lot, laugh out loud and eat too much gingerbread.
“Do not trust strangers, even if they treat you well.” Children should know that they should not trust any strangers. In the story, the witch lures them with food, and they follow her.What is the main point of the Hansel and Gretel? ›
The story of Hansel and Gretel is more than just two children falling prey to a wicked witch. The story examines themes such as family life and marriage, the children's coming of age into adulthood, and greed.What is the reflection of the story of Hansel and Gretel? ›
Never give up hope – From the moment they find out they are going to be left in the woods, Hansel (and later Gretel) never give up the hope that they will find their way home. Even when faced with one difficult or near impossible situation after another, they both stayed focused on the goal of getting home.What was the solution in Hansel and Gretel? ›
Gretel feigns ignorance and persuades the witch to show her how to climb into the oven. We know how it ends—with the wicked witch burning to death and the children reunited with their father. Gretel's solution was not analytical but fundamental. She regained her freedom through a heroic deed.What is the conclusion of Hansel and Gretel? ›
The original written version of "Hansel and Gretel" ends with Gretel pushing the witch into the oven which kills her. Gretel frees Hansel, and the two children steal the witch's treasure and return to their cottage.Why should children read Hansel and Gretel? ›
Repeated exposure to “Hansel and Gretel” and other wonderful fairy stories will firmly establish in the mind of children the knowledge of suffering, courage, fortitude and salvation—all crucial, inescapable components of human existence.What is an interesting fact about Hansel and Gretel? ›
Fun Fact #1
The Grimm Brothers didn't actually call this story Hansel and Gretel. Their original title was Roland and May-Bird and the story that they called Hansel and Gretel had a different plot, where Hansel was turned into a deer and Gretel eventually married the prince who saved them.
“Hansel and Gretel” gives light to issues of child abandonment, the lack of parental love, hunger and poverty, temptation, and the ability that children indeed have to overcome terrible situations.How would you describe Gretel in Hansel and Gretel? ›
She loves animals and the forest in winter. Gretel is also serious and wary. She is protective of her younger brother and often makes decisions for the two of them. Gretel's character trajectory fundamentally alters when two men rape her in the forest.What are some quotes from the true story of Hansel and Gretel? ›
You can't expect God to come down and do our living for us. We have to do that ourselves. Do not struggle when the hook of a word pulls you into the air of truth and you cannot breathe. There is much to love, and that love is what we are left with.
The witch plans to eat the children, but Gretel tricks her, burns her to death in the oven, and then frees Hansel. The children then arrive home to their father with precious stones, making them rich. Their mother has died.Was the witch evil in Hansel and Gretel? ›
She is portrayed as an evil and cannibalistic witch who resides in a home made out of gingerbread and other assorted sweets, which she uses to lure the two protagonists into her home with the intention of eating them.What are the social issues in Hansel and Gretel? ›
“Hansel and Gretel” gives light to issues of child abandonment, the lack of parental love, hunger and poverty, temptation, and the ability that children indeed have to overcome terrible situations.What is the moral lesson of Beauty and the Beast? ›
The moral of the story “Beauty and the Beast” is that we should value the character within, like kindness, over other superficial qualities, like appearance. When Beauty realises the inner beauty of the Beast, the Beast's outer appearance means nothing to her.What is the moral lesson of the story Sleeping Beauty? ›
Perrault actually provides a moral for Sleeping Beauty at the end of his story. He mentions that people should wait for love rather than rush into it or be in a hurry to find it. Since it took the princess over a century to find her true love, the moral of the story seems clearer after reading that.Is Hansel and Gretel good for kids? ›
Parents need to know that Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a very violent, bloody, action/horror/fantasy movie about what might have happened if the children from the famous fairy tale continued to kill witches and grew up to make a living at it. Despite its origins, this definitely isn't a fairy tale for children.