In the meantime, it is a treasured heirloom pressed into children's books, faded vintage illustrations, and a few modern retellings that circulate among the close-knit fairy tale community.
One thing that intrigues me is to see artists' portrayals of the two sisters.
Their descriptions are not given in the story, but, as is the way with fairy tales, names are integral to identity; so much so that I have yet to run across an illustration or original story depicting Snow White and Rose Red in such a way that does not reflect those names, either in dress, personality, or physical appearance.
Even more intriguing to see that, while one would think the descriptive names after red and white roses are straightforward indicators of looks-signifying-natures, there is no definitive agreement about which sister is the brunette and which the blonde.
If we treat Snow White as Snow-drop, the character from the Grimm's tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, we expect her to appear with porcelain skin and ebony-black hair. The brunette role thus filled, Rose Red becomes either a blond dressed in red garments or a red-head.
|artist unknown (please e-mail)|
|by achon089 on deviantART|
That is a dangerous question. Not because there is no meaning, nor even because the meaning is not an objective one, but because once we start to try to define, we weaken the fairy tale. After all, if truths could be explained straightfowardly, we wouldn't need fairy tales to communicate them.
How do you picture Snow White and Rose Red, and why?