While trying to decipher different meanings of Red, in one of my previous blogs I wrote about the Red colour in the Little Red Riding Hood.
One of the best-known and emblematic Red objects in any Fairy Tale is the Red Apple that the Queen gives to Snow White. The story goes that the Queen, the stepmother of Snow White, jealous of her stepdaughter’s beauty, decides to get rid of her after her “Talking Mirror” reveals Snow White’s location. Snow White has escaped into the forest where she settles into a cottage with seven dwarves. The wicked Queen finds out that her step-daughter is alive, then dresses up as an old woman, visits Snow White and offers her a poisoned apple. Snow White does not trust the stranger, however the Queen has her way of doing evil. The Red apple is only half-poisoned. So Snow White tries the healthy part first. She likes it and eats the whole apple, falling into a death-like sleep. A closer look into the story reveals that the apple is bi-chromatic. Only the poisoned half is red. The good part is white in the Disney film and green in the Brothers’ Grimm story. All ends well when Prince charming passes by the forest, kisses Snow White and saves her from eternal sleep.
Which leaves red the most expressive color of all times for danger, anger, and attention. Luckily, on so many other occasions it stands for love, beauty and passion.
Not many know that the story of Snow White may be true or nearly so. It has been suggested that it was based on the life of Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal, who was born in Lohr am Main, Germany, in the early 18th century. After the death of her mother, her father, a superior magistrate, representing Prince Elector of Mainz in Lohr, married for the second time. His new wife disliked her stepdaughter and gave her an apple, poisoned with belladonna, a deadly plant. Maria Sophia died and unfortunately had no prince to save her. Interestingly, the “Talking Mirror” may also be real. Produced at the Lohr Mirror Manufacture (ornamented in red colours), they were known all over Europe for “speaking the truth”.