The fairy tale "The
(from the Brothers Grimm) is obviously a pre-patriarchal version of the Adam-and-Eve myth.
In many respects the two tales are
Both involve a pair of lovers, a snake, the Tree of Life, the Apple of Life, and a
What’s more, in both tales the
snake and the eating of the apple lead to the outcome of the story.
however, the similarities end.
For starters, in “The White Snake” the woman doesn’t hog the apple all
to herself; she shares it with the man.
And it’s this sharing
“apple of love” that triggers the White-Snake woman's love for the man in the first place, and is
partly responsible for the tale’s happy ending: “They cut the Apple of Life in
two and ate it together; and then her heart became full of love for him, and
they lived in undisturbed happiness to a great age.”
As we all know,
for eating that same apple
Adam and Eve were consigned to the opposite fate: living in sorrow forever outside
the Garden of Bliss.
main difference between the two tales has to do with the snake. In the Christian Bible, the snake deals never with Adam, but only with Eve. As a matter of fact, throughout
the Christian story Adam is a passive, do-nothing kind of dude.
Not so with the hero in “The White
Snake.” In this story, the snake teaches
the man how to talk to animals, and it’s this skill that lets him play
a large part in helping the story waltz to a happy ending.
In short, the Goddess version of the story shows
men and women being strong, active and equal.
It's about men and women working together -- with animals -- to ensure elegant
In contrast, the Christian
story is the opposite
: passive males are burned by demonic women who
listen to “dumb” animals. The outcome? Pure misery.