To a great extent fairy tales are stories about first love, which end with the final union of the couple. They are thus automatically family stories dealing with the children’s successful or unsuccessful detachment from the parents’ law. Looked at from this point of view, the German fairy-tale novella and fairy-tale drama of the early nineteenth century, especially where they address young readers, favor antimodern and anti-emancipatory plots. In comparison with the splendid and successful love stories of the fairy-tale heroes of the eighteenth century, the love affairs of the nineteenth century end rather badly. At the worst the protagonists give up any wedding plans and return to their families (e.g., Hauff’s “Zwerg Nase”), which mirrors to a large extent the German conservative social history of the nineteenth century.
Ewers, Hans-Heino. "Male Adolescence in German Fairy-Tale Novellas of the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Biedermeier." Marvels & Tales 17.1 (2003). Web. <https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol17/iss1/4>.