Snow White contains a cautionary message about strangers, as discussed in this blog post, however, it also speaks a lot about being kind to strangers. It carries the message that being kind to strangers is a very good thing. It does so through two situations that happen in the story. The first is where the seven dwarves take in Snow White. The second is where the Prince stops on his journey to take the time to save Snow White and awaken her from unconsciousness. People often do helpful things for people they know, but there’s an added level of selflessness when you help out a stranger.
In the first situation, the dwarves come home to find Snow White asleep in one of their beds. After hearing her story of how she was left in the woods, they allow her to stay with them. They could have said no to her staying, or could have at least found a different place for her to stay, but instead, they take it upon themselves to take her into their home like a family member. And when she is rendered unconscious by the poison apple, they build her her own comfortable bed and watch over her. They go above and beyond in trying to help her out, even though they have just met her.
In the second situation in the story, there is a Prince who is just passing on his way through the woods when he happens upon the dwarves’ cabin. Upon learning about Snow White’s predicament that she is in, he is able to help save her by dislodging a poisoned apple piece that had been in her throat. He didn’t have any real obligation to help out, he just tried of his own accord, and was successful in saving her. His selfless actions result in Snow White marrying him and him becoming King while she became Queen, in place of the evil stepmother. The moral of this part of the story is that you will ultimately be rewarded for helping others out.
When reading this story to your children, it’s important to point out the importance of doing things, however small, to help others, even if they don’t know them. Of course, being children, there is only so much they can do, but have them try thinking of ways they can (safely!) help out others, even if it’s just getting an adult’s help when they are unsure of a situation.