Analysis: Rumpelstiltskin

As far as analysis of my collective stories goes, Rumpelstiltskin is the most interesting to think about.

The fairy tale, by the Brother’s Grimm, is about a small person who we later learn is named Rumpelstiltskin, who can spin straw into gold, which he does at the behest of a Farmer’s daughter, who is supposed to be doing the spinning of straw. This is caused by a boast of her father, whom a local King takes seriously and orders her to spin rooms of straw into gold otherwise she’ll be killed. Rumpelstiltskin does this, but for a price, or in this case a deal. He spins the straw into Gold for her ring the first time, then her necklace, and finally for her first born child when it’s born. She agrees to his demands, albeit reluctantly for the final request, and ultimately does not go through with it, asking instead to guess his name. She learns of it after following him to his campsite where he loudly and proudly proclaims “Rumpelstiltskin” and the following day, she names him. According to the Grimm tale, in anger, Rumpelstiltskin stomps his foot so hard into the ground that he’s swallowed up by the earth.

The interesting element of this story I find is that correlation between Gold and Life, with it being spun from a straw, a life giving force for animals and fertilizer for crops, is the very thing that keeps the Farmer’s Daughter alive, if she spins it, she lives, if she doesn’t, she dies. To further tie this together, after all the straw is spun into gold, the King who imprisoned her marries her, and she gives birth to a child, continuing the theme of life tied with Gold. However, there is a price to the life she receives, first it’s a ring, then a necklace, then the promise of her firstborn child. While she doesn’t have to pay the final price due to a different deal, there is a cost to her keeping her child. The price is to find the Imp’s name, which she does, but the moral I think is about the price to attain life, in this case life is personified in Gold and the Child, neither is in the story together, leading credence to one leading to the other. The story starts about preserving one life, but then shifts to preserving another life, showing that the struggle to live, whether its for mother or child, is ongoing.


3 thoughts on “Analysis: Rumpelstiltskin

  1. love the correlation between gold and life, never thought of the rumplestiltskin story in that way, definitely shines a new light and outlook on it. Can’t wait to see more

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very good analysis. You make an interesting connection and you back it up with a lot of details from the story. You’re on a very good track. I wonder if there are quotes from the story which would really make this hit home for your reader. I am curious about the connection between life and gold in particular. Why gold and not silver or diamonds? What is it about gold that makes us equate it with something as precious as life?


  3. I like how you connected the meaning of gold and life, and how you talked about there is always a price to pay when you make decisions in life. Why do you think that the author used gold instead of some other fine metal?


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