This essay reads Günter Grass's modern tales The Flounder (1977) and The Rat (1986) as critiques of twentieth-century conditions. The Flounder reverses the Grimms' "The Fisherman and His Wife," letting not female greed but patriarchal capitalism prove destructive. In contrast, The Rat turns the Märchenwald into a forest suffering from acid rain. Grass builds on the inherent violence of "Brier Rose" and "The Maiden without Hands." Fairy tales ultimately serve to contrast fantastic wishes with stark realities while also drawing attention to the neo-romantic aspects of environmental discourse.
Thesz, Nicole. "Nature Romanticism and the Grimms' Tales: An Ecocritical Approach to Günter Grass's The Flounder and The Rat." Marvels & Tales 25.1 (2011). Web. <http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol25/iss1/6>.