The psychology of Snow White: What does she hope for? “Someday my prince will come.” By this Snow White means that she lives her own being as incomplete, pending the arrival of one who will “complete” her. That is, she lives her own being as “not-with” (even though she is in some sense “with” the seven men, Bill, Kevin, Clem, Hubert, Henry, Edward and Dan). But the “not-with” is experienced as stronger, more real, at this particular instant in time, than the “being-with.” The incompleteness is an ache capable of subduing all other data presented by consciousness. I don’t go along with those theories of historical necessity, which suggest that her actions are dictated by “forces” outside of the individual. That doesn’t sound reasonable, in this case. Irruption of the magical in the life of Snow White: Snow White knows a singing bone. The singing bone has told her various stories which have left her troubled and confused: of a bear transformed into a king’s son, of an immense treasure at the bottom of a brook, of a crystal casket in which there is a cap that makes the wearer invisible. This must not continue. The behavior of the bone is unacceptable. The bone must be persuaded to confine itself to events and effects susceptible of confirmation by the instrumentarium of the physical sciences. Someone must reason with the bone.
From Donald Barthelme’s novel Snow White.