Fairy Tales

How to Read Literature Like a Professor: Chapter 8

All About Me

Jemma Steytler
Lake Norman High School
10th grade
English II honors

Please take notes!

Chapter 8: Hanseldee and Greteldum

  • In chapter eight, the author, Thomas Foster, talked about how all literature grows out of other literature.
  • Recent resources.
  • Literary Canon.
  • Children's literature for parallels, analogies, plot structures and references.
  • Students should learn this because it will help become better readers and also help them become stronger writers.


  • When using old literature as a reference, like Homer or the Illiad, people might not get the message.
  • Using a reference like Shakespeare might turn off some readers who feel you're trying too hard.
  • All stories come from other stories, so when referencing another story make sure readers will understand that concept or idea.
  • Students should know this because it can also help their readers relate to the story and understand the message they are trying to send.
  • In the novel Snow by Tracy Lynn, she references the original "Snow White".
  • "Gazing out at the wintry landscape she would add, 'with skin as fair as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as shadow'." (Lynn 7)
  • Lynn references the original "Snow White" to bring some of the original version into her story and also to help readers relate to the re-told version.

Using a Literary Canon!

  • A literary canon is canonical resources.
  • A literary canon can be something or someone.
  • What gets studied in college courses?
  • Try not to use something that is too diverse.
  • One problem with the diversification of the canon is that modern writers can't assume a common body of knowledge on the part of their readers.
  • Students should know this because it can help them find useful references that are meaningful to the text.
  • In the novel Snow by Tracy Lynn, The play Hamlet by Shakespeare is shown in the text.
  • In "Hamlet" we see how Hamlets father is murdered by his brother, Claudius, and how Claudius takes over as the new king and marries Hamlets mother.
  • Just like in the novel Snow, Hamlet has had a parent taken away from him and a person he hates has replaced them.

Fairy Tales!

  • Can use children's literature for parallels, analogies, plot structures, and references.
  • Hansel and Gretel.
  • The story has a lot of appeal to people and almost everyone knows the story.
  • By stopping the story where the drama normally kicks in, the author forces us to see how our responses- anxiety, trepidation, excitement- are conditioned by our previous encounters with the original fairy tale.
  • You do not need the story because you have already internalized it so completely.
  • Thats one thing writers can do with readerly knowledge of source texts, in this case fairy tales.
  • You can turn a fairy tale into something more modern that people can relate to.
  • Depending on what you want to accomplish, you may choose some prior tale and emphasize what you see as corresponding elements in the two tales.
  • Instead of trying to recreate the fairy tale, rather try to make use of details or patterns
  • Add portions of some prior story to add depth and texture to your story to bring out a theme, to lend irony to a statement, to play with the readers deeply ingrained knowledge of fairy tales.
  • Students should know this because it can help them when building a plot structure for a story and also when trying to understand a text.
  • In the novel, Snow by Tracy Lynn, The duchess Jessica's childhood starts with a tragedy; her mothers death. Her father gets married to another woman, who overtime becomes wildly jealous of Jessica. Jessica escapes to London to become a part of a makeshift family of outcasts.
  • Lynn recreated the fairy tale of "Snow White" into a more modern story.
  • Lynn used the original story of "Snow White" to create a plot structure for a new story.

Summary of the chapter!

  • Using references in texts.
  • Literary Canon.
  • Using children's literature.

Works Cited!

  • "Carousel." Theatre in the Park. Theatre in the Park, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.
  • "William Shakespeare Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.
  • "Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
  • Lynn, Tracy. Snow. New York, NY: Simon Pulse, 2003. Print.
  • Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature like a Professor: For Kids. N.p.: Harper, 2003. Print.
  • Maguire, Gregory. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. New York, NY: Regan, 1999. Print.


  • Students will receive an excerpt from one of the texts I have chosen.
  • Students can work in partners to analyze the excerpt to see which concepts were used from Chapter 8 in the text.
  • Students will stop after a couple minutes of analyzing the text.
  • After students have finished analyzing, they will pass the excerpt to the next group and anything they missed the new group will add onto the excerpt.
  • What concepts did you see in the text?
  • Can you make any comparisons to other texts?

Any Questions?