Representation of Bad in "Vasilisa the stunning"


Russian folklore is rich with various myths, legends and folk stories that detail the life span of varied mythical characters. In many of such stories, there is considerable use of magic, witchcraft and the use of extraordinary power. However, the most frequent attribute of Russian folklore is the utilization of women in storytelling. Historical scholars define Russia's literature as one which is rich with folk tales involving mystical excursion. However, the majority of these tales have a heroine rather than a hero by the end. Vasilisa the Brave has its environment at the same time when magic and the utilization of extraordinary electricity was at its optimum.

A storyline is told of a young lady called Vasilisa who's dispatched by her cruel step-mother to collect some light from a witch called Baba Yaga. However, the primary substance of the errand is to have Vasilisa be harmed and perhaps die along the way of collecting the light. However, it is her humility and generosity that will save you Vasilisa from being devoured by the witch Baba Yaga. The condition distributed by the witch is the fact Vasilisa completes a few responsibilities including basic household tasks for Baba Yaga. After efficiently completing the task, Baba Yaga hands Vasilisa a lantern created from a skull, which in the end can burn the stepmother and the stepsisters to ashes.


The history of Vasilisa is loaded with symbolism. The copy writer uses various representations of the local culture to relate with the actual happenings in modern culture. The type of Baba Yaga in addition has been applied to various platforms to bring out not only an evil but also a robust character. "Vasilisa the Beautiful" characterizes Baba Yaga as a dangerous person who wields massive vitality of magic. However, her activities towards Vasilisa color someone who despite being associated with bad does not seem to support wicked deeds contrary to the innocent in the modern culture. From the normal folklore background, Baba Yaga comes out as the villain who'll go to any lengths to damage the protagonist. It is without doubt that Baba Yaga's personality is intended to attack a balance in terms of interpretation and supplying the story the intended happy finishing.

Representation of Evil in "Vasilisa the stunning"

"Vasilisa the stunning" sometimes appears to be more of a Russian Cinderella history thus appealing to the Western readers. Even though the storyline has been written in so many varieties by writers who've different variants of what happens in the storyplot, the basic facts in the story are mostly similar. The storyline revolves around a young lady Vasilisa. Following the death of her mom, Vasilisa is left with no-one to manage her. However before her death, Vasilisa's mother leaves her a doll that is supposed to help Vasilisa whenever she needs help. The problem by the mother is the fact whenever she needs help, Vasilisa should feed the doll and the doll reciprocates by helping her in her problems. The greatest condition that Vasilisa is given by her mom is to never let anyone know of the doll's life (Zheleznova, 1966). Vasilisa's stepmother is referred to as a cruel woman who discriminates against Vasilisa making her do almost all of the tasks in the household while her daughters lazy throughout the house doing nothing at all. Further cruel treatment directed towards Vasilisa is whereby she actually is given only a merger part of all dishes. However, Vasilisa does not eat her dishes but rather saves the entire dishes for the doll which helps her complete her tasks.

The doll in the storyline is a characterization of how Russians and the society in general view super-natural beings. The doll in this case is offered as a mundane subject that has astonishing capabilities while keeping in mind that it can be found anywhere. The writer will try to portray Vasilisa's marriage to the doll as mutually exclusive. It's the treatment to the doll that dictates whether the doll offers any help to Vasilisa. By feeding the doll, Vasilisa is rewarded insurance firms her chores done by the doll. It is important to note that Vasilisa does not have direct ability in her romance with her doll.

Hartman (1993) is of the view so it is only by using the doll that Vasilisa can improve her living condition characterized by cruelty. Vasilisa could follow her mother's instructions who directed that she feeds the doll any moment that she needs the dolls' assistance. Furthermore, Vasilisa is not supposed to tell anyone regarding the doll's existence. The application of these in the modern-day society is the need to follow instructions. The author depicts Vasilisa as an obedient female who always heeds instructions from elders as it is depicted throughout the storyplot. It really is this compliance that helps Vasilisa time and time again during difficult situations. When you are obedient, Vasilisa can evade the wrath of her stepmother and later from Baba Yaga. Towards the end, it's the willingness to listen to advice that eventually views Vasilisa get wedded to the tsar.

When her daddy is away on business, Vasilisa's cruel stepmother plots to eliminate Vasilisa and as well as her daughters send Vasilisa although forest to Baba Yaga for some light. Upon arrival Vasilisa is required by the witch Baba Yaga to do menial household tasks and also serve her dishes. Vasilisa does all the work without questioning and even moves further to enlist the assistance of her doll when Baba Yaga requires her to do some almost impossible tasks. After doing all her activity, Baba Yaga asks Vasilisa why she is so humble and why she does things without questioning. In her response, Vasilisa asks Baba Yaga about three horsemen who she experienced previously seen coming into and departing the witch's homestead. Baba Yaga responds by expressing that the three horsemen are her "my sunny day. . . my red sunshine. . . and my dark night-and all three of them are my faithful servants"(197).

In a crucial evaluation of fairy stories known as Shadow and Bad In Fairy Stories, the author areas that Baba Yaga's reference to owning the night and day is a literary representation of the pagan culture not only in Russia but the world in general. Franz is of the view that Russian paganisms express itself particularly in the Russian world that often has hard-line views on different issues in the society. For reasons uknown, Russia has over the years been seen as 'female' with the research of 'rodina' this means motherland being the best example to aid this reference. In relation to "Vasilisa the stunning", the writer is seen at hand more capacity to women based on the fact that from the storyplot, women appear to make decisions and are also the main element characters in the story.

In light with all the current female personas in the storyline, Vasilisa's fate rests with the major personas that are; her mom, the doll, Baba Yaga and her stepmother. Baba Yaga claims to own day and night. This example replicates most countries and the amount of specialist exerted to the normal individuals. Franz also notes that we now have several skulls in Baba Yaga's hut which is interpreted as the witch's power over life and fatality. This can be compared to the electric power of life and fatality that the state of hawaii has over ordinary citizens.

In Indo-European folklore, light is often used to symbolize knowledge. Most European fairy tales identify the quest for knowledge as intensifying growth that is beneficial in the culture. From the history, Vasilisa was delivered by her stepmother to get some light for Baba Yaga. The representation of light in the modern contemporary society is knowledge. However, "Vasilisa the stunning" introduces a fairly unique feature of Russian story. Rather than the quest for knowledge being displayed as a beneficial process, the Russian version shows that the quest for knowledge is an unhealthy process and so should be averted unless there are convincing reasons as to the reasons the procedure must be carried out.

It is important to notice that by being sent to accumulate some light from Baba Yaga, Vasilisa's stepmother needs that she will not endure her activity. However, Vasilisa's habit and conduct allows her to succeed in her quest. In addition to this, Vasilisa can recognize her subordinate role in the modern culture particularly based on how she treats Baba Yaga. Thus from a wider point of view, the author attempts to highlight the rewards that come with good behavior and humility in the world. Confronted with a near-impossible activity, Vasilisa is able to tame even Baba Yaga who's a witch. Baba Yaga even runs further to state that she will not comprehend how Vasilisa is willing to take orders without questioning.

As mentioned by Compora (2010), the metaphor of figuring out Baba Yaga with the state of hawaii is persisted further in the story. From the story, it is permissible for Vasilisa to inquire about some of the things that happen at Baba Yaga's hut. However, Baba Yaga says Vasilisa that don't assume all question has an appropriate answer. Baba Yaga will go further to inform Vasilisa that too much knowledge will lead to old age. Before answering the question about the three horsemen, Baba Yaga asks Vasilisa how she was able to complete all the responsibilities given to her. Vasilisa says that the key reason why she efficiently completed various responsibilities was because she acquired her mother's blessing. From your account, Baba Yaga is seen as both the villain and the protagonist. This assumption is dependant on the actual fact that she rewards Vasilisa for her good tendencies and exhibiting good morals. Alternatively, Baba Yaga is referred to as terrible when she is angry.

All the key personas have certain characteristics that define their personality. Vasilisa is portrayed as humble, obedient and hardworking. Vasilisa's stepmother and stepsisters are portrayed as cruel, selfish and bad. Baba Yaga on the other side attacks out as considerate and non-manipulative. The portrayal of Vasilisa as selfless implies that she always considers other's view in her decisions. This reflects in society the importance of selflessness. Perhaps to show just how much generosity is in the world, Vasilisa's stepmother and stepsisters attempt to use Baba Yaga's power to destroy Vasilisa. This is evident from the storyplot whereby Vasilisa is sent to fetch some light from Baba Yaga even although stepmother and stepsister realized that she was likely to be harmed in the process of collecting the light. However, it's the stepmother and stepsisters who purchase their bad deeds with their lives.

According to Schielzo (1983), "Vasilisa the Beautiful" further characterizes the use of stepmothers in mythology. Since forever, there's always a negative connotation that accompanies the term stepmother. Stepmothers have been found in misconceptions to contradict the positive characteristics of mothers. Hence, it is unsurprising that throughout the folklore background, stepmothers always appear to carry specific personal features. The most frequent feature that is associated with stepmothers is jealousy. In the case of Vasilisa, she is mistreated by her stepmother due to the fact the stepmother believed that she was prettier than her own children. Precisely the same scenario of an jealous stepmother is replicated in various stories throughout history. Baba Yaga gives Vasilisa a skull with fiery eye indicating that was the light that the stepmother and the stepdaughters experienced wanted for. Vasilisa innocently calls for the skull with her back to her stepfamily that is immediately burnt to ashes by the fiery eyes. The fatality of Vasilisa's stepmother and stepsisters mark the assumption in early on mythology and account writing that evil never wins. Vasilisa retains her humble aspect which gives the storyplot one of the rarest features of Russian literature which is a happy ending.


"Vasilisa the stunning" is a manifestation of how various phenomena inspired early folklore. Most mythical analogies include the use of your supernatural being, witchcraft and magic. Also a common characteristic in such analogies is the use of an bad stepmother. This request relates to so a lot of things in the world and is intended to reflect the problem on the floor. From the beginning of the storyplot, the writer is very specific regarding the direction of the story. Perhaps it is the use of magic that gets the greatest effect on the storyplot. Critics dispute that despite it not being realistic to apply powerful in modern literature, the second option was extremely relevant in early literature especially Greek Myths and Legends. More importantly, the major styles analyzed in the storyline suggest a systemic software of literature to influence patterns and promote good conduct. This is noticeable from the storyplot where the evil stepmother and the stepsisters are burnt to ashes by the skull. The death of the stepsisters and the stepmother is recognized as payback regarding the way the same people cured Vasilisa.


Compora, D. P. (2010). Folk and Fairy Stories. Journal of Folklore Research Reviews

Hartman, D. K. , & Hartman, J. A. (1993). Reading across text messages: Increasing the role of the audience. The reading educator, 202-211.

Louise, M. F. (1974). Darkness and Bad in Fairy Stories. Boston: Shambhala Publications

Mayer, M. (1994). Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Daring. Morrow Junior Catalogs.

Sanders, R. Folk & Fairy Stories. (1978)UK: Methuen & Co. Ltd.

Scielzo, C. (1983). AN Research OF BBA-YAG IN FOLKLORE AND FAIRY TALES. The American journal of psychoanalysis, 43(2).

Zheleznova, I. L. (Ed. ). (1966). Vasilisa the Beautiful: Russian fairy tales. Progress Publishers.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)