Numerology, reading between the lines
Communication is what enables two people to share information and ideas. Within a society, each culture may assign different meanings to different words and symbols. Often a simple symbol, such as $, may have different underlying meanings to different cultures. Each culture arbitrarily assigns a sound, definition, and appearance to the given symbol. As mentioned, this process is entirely arbitrary, and a given definition may not be the only way to represent or interpret a given idea or item. Numerology, the study of numbers, delves into the deeper meanings of numbers and their hidden significance (Crystal). In the two tales, “Repunzel” and “Little Snow-White”, the author places emphasis on numbers and repetition of words or phrases to convey a deeper message or symbol. Specifically, both tales contain phrases or events occurring in pairs of two and groups of three.
One of the main differences between the two tales can be found in examining who is practicing and demonstrating evil. In the tale “Rapunzel”, we find the actual Witch as the character casting evil upon another. However; in the tale “Little Snow-White”, there is not a Witch, but rather a Queen. The Q
This difference between the two tales leads one to believe that witchcraft and magic are not confined to the stereotypes of black gowns and pointed hats. The authors of these two tales make use of numerology to depict a certain aura about the characters and their jealousies, desires, and ideals. In the eyes of the Witch, Rapunzel was everything the Witch was not and therefore she wanted Rapunzel all to herself. In the tale, "Rapunzel", the Witch confines young Rapunzel to the tower in the woods. However, when the child was too beautiful, the Queen asked the Huntsman to dispose of her. Another display of numerology in the two tales can be found in the use of the number three. A child who possessed the three colors would be her everything. Another example of repetition can be found in the tale, "Little Snow-White". Once confined in the tower amongst the woods, Rapunzel would braid her hair and let it down for the Witch and the King"tms son to climb. The symbolism of desire portrayed through the distinct use of repetition in words is an example of the play on numbers and their deeper meanings and symbols. Human existence is based on duality in that reproduction requires people of opposite sex. The braid is symbolic of the Rapunzel"tms beauty, voice, and personality. The wife"tms need for the radishes represents the wholeness she needs to be complete. Three is a complete cycle; the past, the present, and the future (Crystal). "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!" (Grimm 259).