The semiotic and religious themes found in Snow White

Something I never considered was the semiotics and religious themes in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, specifically the allusions between Snow White and Mary, mother of Jesus. Michael Duricy wrote a paper on it, which opens as follows:

Sensitivity to ways God speaks via human experience is a major characteristic of Western Christianity in our times. There is precedent for this. David Tracy opines] that any “classic” tale that communicates profoundly and powerfully to a broad audience reveals important human truth, essentially, a word from God. Examining modern classics may uncover truths in harmony with religious faith.

For Tracy, the defining characteristics of a classic are widespread popularity, consensus about a profound message, and agreement that its effect is powerful. Designated a “classic film” by the one-hundredth U.S. Congress on July 16, 1987, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is recognized as an inspired, authentic classic. Such work may well contain important human truths and hidden words from God.

Duricy looks at the methodology for examining classics for religious images, how audiences perceive the film, critical praise of Marian imagery, and the intended message.

I bet Roland Barthes would have a field day with this kind of critical analysis.

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