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Fairy Tale Interpertation Our Lady’s Child

             One of the stories that demonstrates some of the thinking on religion of the past peoples of Germany is Our Lady’s Child. One can of course question how seriously people took the stories of religion in the past, for today there are still strange stories of religious events no one believes could actually happen. At the same time one must realize that the religious folktales of the past where one of the few things the people had, for many people could not read, and their priests often relied on such stories to teach lessons.

            Our Lady’s Child is the story of a child adopted by the Virgin Mary, who is then taken up to heaven. This girl is raised in wondrous conditions as she lives up in heaven but she is obstinate and overly curious so that she opens the door that was forbidden to her, in which she sees The Trinity sitting in glory and fire. It is strange to think that the presence of those that Christianity today understands as loving should trouble the child, as the Virgin Mary Said would occur, and the depiction of them as sitting is flames is very different from today’s depiction in such religious fictions of a loving god. The fact that The Trinity is depicted in such a way perhaps more then anything shows the difference in thought of the peoples of the past verse those of the peoples of today.

            The Virgin Mary of course discovers the girl’s disobedient act as the girls figure has changed to gold. The girl however denies her wrong doing in gazing on The Trinity, and so is punished. She is sent to earth where she is forced to live in misery, until a king finds her and falls in love with her. However as she continues to refuse to confess she is continually punished for lying. This continues until she finally is put up on the stake to be burnt as a witch, only then as the flames rise up around her does she confess, and so is forgiven.

            One can’t help but notice the thinking here, that some people must be burned to be saved, if they won’t confess. This was of course the reason that people went so far to torture and burn witches and other criminals, to force them to confess. Of course if they where not guilty they could not confess but one could not truly know their innocence. It is of course this strange logic that lead to many of the problems of the past.