Molly Whuppie (Jacobs, Molly Whuppie) reminds us that judging someone powerful or capable on the basis of physical strength can be misleading because power also exists in intangible form. The giant might have been physically quite powerful but still lost to Molly who made use of her intelligence and courage. Thus, women are as capable if not more than men and should be given the opportunity to realize their potential. Molly’s character is a representative of general women whose positive qualities and potential often go unnoticed. Molly proved women can think clearly even under difficult situations when she correctly predicted the giant’s intentions by the fact that he gave gold chains to his daughters but straw ropes to Molly and her sisters.
Similarly, when the King challenged Molly to bring various items from the giant’s house, Molly always accepted the challenges no matter how impossible they seemed. She wanted to prove that women can also on challenges no matter how difficult they may appear because they have confidence in themselves. They do not let hurdles discourage them. When they set their eyes upon something, they give in their all to achieve the goals. Women’ determination can be judged by the fact that each time the giant warned Molly against returning, Molly always claimed she would return to Spain. The only time she agreed to not to return was when she knew she had achieved all of her objectives. Thus, women do not leave things unfinished. They know what they want to achieve and they do not rest until they have accomplished their goals.
Another quality of women we see in Molly’s character is that women have a great capacity to sacrifice and put others’ needs above them. Molly always protected her sisters’ interests above hers and she only requested a reward for herself from the king after she had gotten her sisters married and settled. Molly got caught by the giant but still refused to give up. This tells us numerous things about women. First of all, women can be creative and brilliant when it comes to devising strategies. Second, women do not give up. Third, women have the potential to make best use of even the most hopeless situations. Molly had confidence in herself and instead of giving up, she carefully thought of a solution.
Like Molly Whuppie, Kate Crackernuts (Jacobs, Kate Crackernuts) also gives us a glimpse into the positive qualities of women. First of all, we see through Anne that women have kind heart and get along with everyone. Wherever Anne would go, she would treat people kindly and quickly get friendly with them. Anne demonstrates that women have great people skills because they give respect to others and are a force of unity in the society. Anne’s sister Kate demonstrates that women want to be independent and seek their own destiny. Kate took Anne with her and left the king’s castle because she wanted to seek their own destinies as well as find a solution to the curse spell on Anne. When Kate came to know from the king that no one who stays with the ailing prince survives beyond the night, the danger didn’t deter Kate from taking on the challenge. This shows that women do not hesitate to take risks in order to accomplish their goal and are not deterred by the difficulty of the challenge.
Both sisters were not afraid to go outside home which means women have the capacity to succeed in the outside world if they put their mind into it and are given opportunities. The author may also be attempting to convince the readers that women have to help each other to advance their progress in the society and earn equal rights because there is a power in the numbers. We also see that like Molly, Kate also put others’ needs before her and sought solutions for the prince and her sister, Anne ahead of her. This shows women have great capacity to sacrifice their own interests for the sake of others. Kate also demonstrated clever problem-solving skills. Each time when she wanted to obtain the magic wand, she carefully observed the situation and then devised a strategy to obtain the wand. Kate proved that women are intellectually not inferior to men.
In both stories, we find numerous similar themes. The first theme is that women’ place is not only in the home. They are equally capable of succeeding in the outside world as men. Women are also intellectually not inferior to men and are often quite skilled at thinking logically through stressful situations. Women also have a great capacity to put others’ need above their own and strive for the common good. Women are also quite courageous and do not give up easily. They know the secret of perseverance which is why they would take any challenge no matter how difficult it may be.
Another lesson we learn from the stories is that women need incentives and when we provide them incentives, they would even achieve the impossible. Both Molly and Kate asked for incentives from the kings in case they achieve the mission assigned to them. It also shows that women are goal-oriented and know what they want. Molly and Kate were willing to take any risk to achieve their objectives because their goals were very dear to them. Through Molly’s example, the author argues that women can be even more successful than men if given equal opportunity. Molly again and again accepted the giant’s challenges and triumphed over him every time.
Surprisingly, the author also included a contradictory message in both stories. It is possible that we feel this contradiction because our thinking style has evolved over time and this might not have the case in author’s time. In both stories, the happy ending results from Molly, Kate and their respective siblings getting married to princes. It might not have been the author’s intention but modern readers may get the intention that the key to ultimate success for women is still getting married to men of wealth and status. It is not to say that marriage means women cannot work in the real world anymore but the endings of the story make it seem that marriage to princes was the ultimate reward for the main characters.
Overall, the author has tried to reject the notion that women cannot succeed in a men world. The author has also tried to convince the readers that women are as capable as men if not more. In addition, the author tries to convince the female readers that they should maintain unity among them because together they can achieve a lot more than as individuals. The author has also emphasized various qualities for which women are known such as more harmonious relationship with others, self-sacrifice for the sake of others, perseverance, and determination.
Jacobs, Joseph. Kate Crackernuts. 2 February 2012 <http://www.authorama.com/english-fairy-tales-40.html>.
—. Molly Whuppie. 2 February 2012 <http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/eft/eft23.htm>.