Who’s afraid of Cruella de Vil? New stories are humanising female villains of old

The female villain is common, in part, because of the Brothers Grimm.

As the Brothers collected and published fairy tales in the early 19th century, they progressively changed these stories to conform to appropriate morality for children. These alterations included silencing strong female characters and demonising powerful women — ensuring evil behaviour was clearly contrasted with good.

Children’s literature followed suit, with easily understandable divides between the good (and beautiful) and the evil (and ugly). L. Frank Baum’s one-eyed Wicked Witch of the West in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was designated the “bad witch” in sharp contrast to the good witch, and to Dorothy.

Source: Who’s afraid of Cruella de Vil? New stories are humanising female villains of old

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