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Grimm World Part 1
Hansel and Gretel
I love reading and writing. I love reaching people and sparking imagination and contemplation. I don’t claim any special insight or wisdom, just a sincere desire to contribute to the arena of ideas. This essay may accomplish some part of what was intended. The real work is beginning to take shape in the form of a book. Be patient with me as I try and tease out what I can given the limitations of this format. I hope that I am able to translate the concepts from my somewhat erratic mind into a rational written format for you to enjoy. Here goes nothing.
Hansel and Gretel is a fairy tale that many of us grew up with. I have attached a link to a free PDF of the book where it is found. I strongly encourage that you read the original story. It will provide the fullest context for this essay. For those of you who are unlikely to read it, I will share some context, which will hopefully be sufficient.
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There are parallels between the story and the world we live in that I will be drawing from. A woodsman and his wife live in the forest with his children. The wife is the children’s stepmother. This will be relevant. There is also a witch in the forest who will be key to our analogous perspective. Finally, there are two children, Hansel and Gretel. They will each represent a type of personal reaction to conflict and societal pressure. Settings are also very important and the family’s home, the forest, and the witch’s home all have their part to play.
Let us begin with the father, the woodsman. The father represents societal structure. The stepmother represents radical activism and “progressive” thinking. Some would label this as “woke” in the parlance of our time. The children are those of us who are merely trying to live our lives in relative harmony and peace. We typically adhere to more traditional values and ideals. And we cannot forget the witch. The witch is representative of globalist and technocratic ambitions. The self-appointed elite who desire a utopia for themselves at the cost of anyone or anything.
The family’s home can be seen as the status quo. The forest, for our purposes, will be the unknown. It is the chaos of uncertainty that we all face in life by design or by fate. Lastly, the witch’s home is the totalitarian state. The inevitable outcome of the realization of utopian ideals.
Our story begins with the family living together in relative peace and comfort. Life is not perfect but it is manageable. Hardship in the form of scarcity is introduced, and the stress of it presents a challenge to the family. The father is worried about how he will provide. This is where I say that the role of the stepmother becomes relevant. I am a stepfather and I love my children very much. I try to be the best father I can. This is not meant to be a literal deconstruction of step-parenthood. There is something to be said for the biological connection between parent and child though, especially that of a mother. The stepmother is one step removed from the children. She sees them as a remnant of her husband’s former love and when times get tough, she is quick to choose her own agenda as more important than the children’s well-being.
The stepmother suggests that they take the children out into the forest and abandon them. What sense does it make for them to all starve? This grieves the father deeply and he resists. The woke culture or progressive culture has displayed a deep resentment for the progeny of tradition in our society. The everyday people who do their best to just survive and pass along stories and traditions are seen as impediments to progress and the zero-sum mindset of the Left rejects coexistence(no matter what their bumper stickers say).
The children overhear the arguments between their father and their stepmother about taking them into the forest. Think of how the culture wars have been playing out before our eyes in media, in the schools, and in our lives. We see a constant stream of news that tells us that there are not enough resources. The subsequent anxiety provokes different responses from people. The “stepmothers” of the world see the children as unworthy of their status and screech tirelessly about their privilege and the injustice of their station. The children, in the eyes of the stepmother are useless eaters and imperialists. Her disdain could not have originated with the scarcity to be so callous. It was simmering in her heart. The scarcity merely presented the justification she needed to rid herself of the competition.
We now turn our focus to Hansel and Gretel. There are different ways that people deal with stressors. Hansel and Gretel both understand that they will be led out into the chaos and uncertainty of the forest. The culture wars are upon us. What started as gentle nudging and predictive programming has evolved into a full on assault on our traditions, families, and cultures. Sly innuendo has become blatant propaganda for various causes. We now have people claiming men can menstruate, get pregnant, and should be allowed to host reading hours to toddlers in drag. Like Hansel and Gretel, we were not given a choice. It was the forest for us.
Hansel chooses to be proactive. He devises a plan to find his way back home. He selects a pocketful of shiny white stones to leave along the trail. Gretel reacts with helplessness and painfully accepts that she will be led away from the comfort of her home into the forest. She is in a state of quiet acceptance. Hansel wisely chooses stones to mark his way. He holds onto something solid and enduring to maintain a connection to his roots. He is not so easily led astray, unlike his poor sister.
The family embarks on their journey into the forest and the children are left by a fire and told that their parents will soon return. Not only do the parents lie about why they are in the forest, they trick the children into believing that it is only for a short spell. The parents tie a branch to a tree to imitate the sound of the father chopping firewood to fool the children into thinking that they are close by. Not only are we lied to about the intentions of the changes being made to society, but we are also led to believe that they are temporary and necessary.
The children wait until the moonlight reflects off the stones and Hansel’s plan works. The children find their way home. When the stepmother finds them at the door, she is furious and gaslights them about how they were really at fault for getting lost. Need I elaborate on the parallels between how governments have responded to the many ways we “conspiracy theorists” have turned out to be right time and again? Victim-shaming and gaslighting have become commonplace from the ruling class, carried out by cronies in the mainstream media.
Some time passes and the land is once again stricken by scarcity. There is almost always a period of rest between cycles of massive social upheaval. They vary in length but it is generally enough for most people to become somewhat lulled into a false sense of security. The stepmother’s plans have not changed though. She waits for her opportunity and as soon as it presents itself, she is back at the father’s ear, calling for even more drastic measures. This time, she argues, we will have to take them further out so that they will never be able to find their way back. This is the ever-present push to shift the Overton Window. The father is even more heartbroken. He argues that it would be better to share their last meal as a family than to survive by abandoning their children. Again, the relentless stepmother grinds down the father’s will until he relents.
Hansel and Gretel know what is coming. Gretel cries and laments her fate, while Hansel plans. The problem this time around is that Hansel trades his stones for breadcrumbs. I see this as a warning not to trade a transcendent belief in objective Truth for moral relativism. One thing that has happened over the course of time is that our faith has been eroded, and what was once as solid and sure as stone, has been exchanged for the soft soap of politically correct ideology and theology.
The parents lead the children into the forest once more and leave them to their fate. Once again, the children wait for the moonlight and try and find their way home. This time is different though, because the crumbs have all been eaten by the birds along the way. Now the children are truly lost. I have watched this happen in real time in my life in our country. The Overton Window has been shifted so far that we have lost all sense of direction. What were commonly held beliefs about liberty and God-given rights have been softened into the idea that rights are something that are given to us by governments. Infringements on our rights that would not have been tolerated just several years ago are now readily accepted and even applauded.
The children become exhausted and hungry. They start to feel hopeless and are vulnerable and alone. They do not feel a sense of meaning or belonging. They are overcome by anxiety and fear. They are desperate. They hear a bird singing and follow its melodic tune into a clearing where stands a house made of bread, covered in cakes, with windows made of sugar. Up until now, it has been easy to see the stepmother as the villain of the story. She certainly is villainous, but she is not The Villain. That title is reserved for the witch. The house is hers and it is a promise that she never intends to keep. It is the promise of utopia.
The witch presents herself as a kindly old woman and invites the children in. She appropriately identifies Hansel as someone who will resist her, a free-thinker, and targets him first. She recognizes that Gretel will be compliant and resigned to her fate. Once again, the children are at the mercy of a more powerful adversary. There is a distinct power differential. Once again, we can see the parallels between common people and those in power. The witch, our metaphor for the Davos crowd and their ilk, locks Hansel up in the stable to fatten him for the kill.
It pays to mention that the witch cannot see. The people in the Davos crowd, the ruling elite, are incapable of understanding the perspective of the people they want to control. What’s more, they do not see a reason to, apart from the ability to produce more effective propaganda. I think they call that a crisis of trust. They do not see people as unique and beautiful personalities with inherent rights, we are simply machinery to be used in their idiotic pursuit of apotheosis.
Though Gretel did not resist, she is treated even more poorly than Hansel. Yes, she has the illusion of more freedom, but she is fed scraps and reminded of her brother’s fate. I learned at a young age to stand up for myself. I lost more fights than I won as a kid, but I went down swinging. A bully may pick on you one day. If you stand your ground and fight, he will likely move on to someone else. If you cower and placate, he will keep at it. The witch, the Davos crowd, the Machiavellian types, are bullies. You give them an inch, they will take a mile and then some. We have seen this recently all over the world.
The witch tries to fatten Hansel up for the kill but he outwits her and she grows impatient. Hansel has been willing to stand his ground and has been clever. He’s been proactive and the children have endured thus far. They’ve come a long way from home, been hungry and abused, but they are still alive. Hansel’s spirit and vigor has gotten them this far. Gretel’s response was weak and she was ready to give up at every turn, but Hansel was able to do what needed to be done to remember their roots, and retain hope in the face of tyranny and betrayal.
What happens next is of great importance. Gretel’s eyes are finally opened and the consequences of her inaction sink in. At the moment of truth, Gretel joins the fight. The finality of the witch’s decision to kill her brother jolts her awake and she devises a plan to trick the witch into sticking her head into the oven she has prepared for them. Gretel pushes the witch in and slams the door. Hannah Arendt identifies the fact that totalitarians eventually are consumed by their own machinations. Their plans always end up folding in on themselves and they turn on each other, until there is no one left to point the finger at. Suicide by autophagy.
Even though Hansel carried them through the majority of the story, it is Gretel who finally frees them from their peril. Those of us who have been fighting tyranny in its many forms have been fighting for ourselves, but we should also be fighting for the compliant, the trusting, and the naïve. Hansel only ever tries to comfort his sister. He doesn’t condemn her for her fear. He doesn’t call her a coward or a sheep. He shows compassion and acts on her behalf when she is unwilling or unable. Gretel sees this and knows she is loved and valued. She loves her brother in return and that love is enough to finally break the spell fear has cast on her. In the end, she saves him. Might we not learn from Hansel? Should we not be kind and extend grace to those who are lost? Should we not fight on their behalf and forgive them their inaction?
The truth is that there are many more Gretels than Hansels in the world. We need them if we are to effectively resist the stepmothers and witches of the world. We cannot undo all that has been done to us and to our traditions. Much has been lost and much has been given away. We can innovate and adapt though. We can resist and overcome. We can come out the other side of the forest and be reunited with our home, much wiser and stronger for it.
Right now you may feel like Hansel in the witch’s stable, waiting for the end, resisting how you can. Don’t give up. It’s a scary feeling. It can be an alienating and lonely road. You may start to lose hope but hang on. Speak up, resist, know that your sister needs you still. There are many out there who are like Gretel. They know something is wrong and they sense the direction things are heading, but they haven’t found their voices or understood that the outcome is not inevitable. They will. They will be the ones to turn the tide, the silent majority will find their voices and they will remember how we fought for them. They will remember how we were willing to stand up and their legs will gain the strength needed to rise again from their knees.