The Evil Step-Mother

Meet The Step-Mother and the Son/Bird, two of the most important characters from the Grimm Brothers’ dark and sinister tale, The Juniper Tree. Here is a symbolic universe where we find the apple of sin, the tree of fertility and the bird of renewal.

At the heart of these symbols dominates a terrible and evil character, the Step-Mother, while the bird is the hope of a new and better world. These two wildly unique and disturbingly different characters share a troublesome story-line, filled with deceit, manipulation, hope, fear and, most of all, jealousy. The Juniper Tree sets in place an atmosphere of darkness, while all the while bringing with it a sparkle of hope.

Navigating through her marriage and fighting for her daughter’s recognition, The Step-Mother falls into a rabbit hole of darkness, jealousy, vendettas and, eventually, madness. She is driven by impulsiveness and her desire to be the center of her husband’s life. She gradually loses her grip on reality and becomes obsessed with the visions she has of her step-son. Through madness and seduction, the Step-Mother ultimately gets what she wants, but at which cost? She makes a deal with the devil, and will most definitely have to pay.

Never take an apple from a stranger, they say. Well, in this case, don’t ever take one from a family member either. Blood, gnarled roots, leaves, feathers and, of course, the famous apple. The ultimate symbol of temptation and the fall into madness. How to capture these elements without going overboard? Here is my interpretation…

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