“The Princess in the Wooden Body”: Israeli Oral Versions of “The Maiden in the Chest” (ATU 510B*) in Light of Incest Victims’ Blogs
Abstract

Based on the examination of thirteen oral versions of type ATU 510B*, recorded in the Israeli Folktale Archive (IFA), mostly told by women, this article reviews and analyzes the common characteristics shared among these versions and blogs of incest victims, appearing on an Israeli website of sexual abuse victims. The nature of the disguise (a wooden body or the like), and the opening as well as the closing scenes, in which the maiden confronts her lecherous father, are discussed in light of these blogs. The article challenges the idea that we are dealing with an active heroine who takes charge of her life and is able to start over with another man. Instead, the power we find in these tales is fueled by the narrators, who use their stories to voice and externalize female distress and oppression in a patriarchal society.


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