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The Rose
Grimm Märchen

The Rose - Fairy Tale by the Brothers Grimm

Reading time for children: 3 min

There was once a poor woman who had two children. The youngest had to go every day into the forest to fetch wood. Once when she had gone a long way to seek it, a little child, who was quite strong, came and helped her industriously to pick up the wood and carry it home, and then before a moment had passed the strange child disappeared.

The child told her mother this, but at first she would not believe it. At length she brought a rose home, and told her mother that the beautiful child had given her this rose, and had told her that when it was in full bloom, he would return.

The mother put the rose in water. One morning her child could not get out of bed, the mother went to the bed and found her dead, but she lay looking very happy. On the same morning, the rose was in full bloom.

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Backgrounds to fairy tale „The rose“

„The Rose“ is a lesser-known fairy tale from the collection of German folklore compiled by the Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. They were prominent linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Brothers Grimm are best known for their collection of fairy tales, which was first published in 1812 under the title „Children’s and Household Tales“ (Kinder- und Hausmärchen). They gathered these tales from various sources, including oral traditions, manuscripts, and other printed materials.

The Brothers Grimm were interested in preserving the cultural heritage of Germany and wanted to capture the essence of traditional folk stories. They initially aimed to document these stories for academic purposes but later expanded their work to appeal to a broader audience, particularly children.

Their collection of fairy tales has become one of the most famous and influential works of literature in the world. The stories have been translated into multiple languages and adapted into numerous films, plays, and other forms of media. Some of the most popular tales include „Cinderella,“ „Snow White,“ „Rapunzel,“ „Hansel and Gretel,“ and „Little Red Riding Hood.“

„The Rose,“ while not as famous as some of the other Grimm fairy tales, offers a poignant exploration of themes such as trust, belief, the cycle of life and death, and the connection between humans and nature. It showcases the Brothers Grimm’s talent for capturing the essence of traditional folk stories and their ability to convey deep, meaningful messages through simple narratives.

Interpretations to fairy tale „The rose“

There are various interpretations of „The Rose“ fairy tale. Some of the key interpretations include:

The Cycle of Life and Death: The story can be seen as a metaphor for the cycle of life and death, with the rose representing the fleeting nature of life. As the rose blooms, the child passes away, symbolizing the transient beauty of life and the inevitability of death.

The Power of Belief: The mother’s initial skepticism of her daughter’s encounter with the mysterious child can be interpreted as a commentary on the importance of trust and belief. The mother eventually believes her daughter when she sees the rose, emphasizing the need for faith in the inexplicable and intangible aspects of life.

The Kindness of Strangers: The mysterious child who helps the youngest daughter gather wood demonstrates the value of kindness and compassion. This aspect of the story encourages readers to be open to receiving help from unexpected sources and to be generous in offering assistance to others.

The Comfort of the Unknown: The youngest daughter’s peaceful death, coinciding with the blooming of the rose, suggests that there may be a comforting aspect to the unknown. This interpretation encourages readers to embrace the mysteries of life and death, finding solace in the idea that there may be more to existence than what can be seen and understood.

The Connection Between Nature and Human Life: The blooming of the rose is symbolic of the interconnectedness between nature and human life. This connection emphasizes the idea that life is a part of a larger natural cycle and that humans are not separate from the natural world.

Summary of the plot

„The Rose“ is a fairy tale by Brothers Grimm, which tells the story of a poor woman with two children. The youngest child is tasked with fetching wood from the forest daily. One day, while searching for wood, a mysterious, strong little child appears and helps her gather and carry the wood home. After their work is done, the strange child vanishes as quickly as he appeared.

The youngest child excitedly shares the encounter with her skeptical mother. To prove her story, the child brings home a rose given to her by the mysterious child, who promised to return when the rose is in full bloom. The mother, intrigued, places the rose in water to watch it bloom.

One morning, the youngest child is unable to wake up. The mother discovers her lifeless but peaceful-looking body in bed. That same morning, the rose reaches its full bloom, signifying the return of the mysterious child as promised. The story explores themes of trust, belief, and the mysteries of life and death.

Informations for scientific analysis

Fairy tale statistics
NumberKHM 203
TranslationsDE, EN
Readability Index by Björnsson26.6
Flesch-Reading-Ease Index85.1
Flesch–Kincaid Grade-Level6.3
Gunning Fog Index8.9
Coleman–Liau Index7.2
SMOG Index7.3
Automated Readability Index6.8
Character Count801
Letter Count614
Sentence Count8
Word Count157
Average Words per Sentence19,63
Words with more than 6 letters11
Percentage of long words7%
Number of Syllables189
Average Syllables per Word1,20
Words with three Syllables4
Percentage Words with three Syllables2.5%
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