Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing

First Advisor

Dr. Nicole Markotić


Education, Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Grimm, Jacob, Grimm, Wilhelm




"A Narrative Blind Eye: Visual Disability Representation within the Brothers Grimm Folk Tales" explores the disability representations within Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's nineteenth-century Children's and Household Tales. The Grimm tales contain numerous characters (dwarfs, giants, one-eyed daughters, etc.). Often the disabled Grimm characters are villains or disabled on account of the tale's villain, connecting blindness metaphorically to evil or punishment. The Grimms feature disability as a narrative device, suggesting that disability embodies deviance and/or non-ideal Otherness. Specifically turning to, and building upon, the arguments within Narrative Prosthesis by David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder, Enforcing Normalcy by Lennard J. Davis, Roland Barthes's structural and semiological analysis of narratives and Jack Zipes' scholarship of the Grimm tales, I examine how disability operates within literature at a metaphorical level. My thesis advocates the literary dissection and understanding of narrative structuralism and devices within folk tales in order to challenge existing visual disability ideologies.