09 Sep Read the two fables that inspired Madame d’Aulnoy’s ‘The White Cat’: Jean de la Fontaine’s ‘The Cat Metamorphosed into a Woma
???? Read the two fables that inspired Madame d'Aulnoy's "The White Cat":
- Jean de la Fontaine's "The Cat Metamorphosed into a Woman" (France, 1668), available here: https://readandripe.com/the-cat-metamorphosed-into-a-woman/
- Aesop's "The Cat and Venus" (Greece, 6th c. BCE) available here: http://mythfolklore.net/aesopica/vernonjones/147.htm
Consider the following questions to help you read carefully and critically:
- Both versions of the fable share the same basic plot: a cat is transformed into a woman so that she can marry a human man. What differences are there in the plots of the two stories? Do you think these differences are significant — that is, do they change what the story communicates to its audience overall? Why do you think Madame d'Aulnoy chose to write her own version of the cat-into-woman story? How might her story be intended to comment on these other stories? How does her catwoman compare to the ones in these stories?
- Each of the fables ends with a stated "moral." Do you think the moral fits the tale? Do you think the fable might have alternate or additional morals that it is teaching its readers? Is the moral of each version the same, or does it change at all from one version to the other? How do the morals of the fables relate to the moral of "The White Cat"?
- Who would you say is the "protagonist", "main character", or "hero/heroine" of each story (if any)? Is it the same for both? How would you describe this main character — what do we know about him/her? Why do you think Madame d'Aulnoy reimagined the protagonist(s) of her story, when compared to her sources?
???? Write a paragraph (100-300 words) responding to one of the prompts above, referencing "The White Cat" and at least one of the fable variants from this lesson; support your points with specific details from the texts.
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