Cinderells Story Essay Example
Cinderells Story Essay Example

Cinderells Story Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (893 words)
  • Published: November 6, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The concept of the Cinderella story is not exclusive to the animated tale most people are familiar with. Throughout history and across cultures, various versions of the Cinderella story have captivated both children and adults. The release of Walt Disney Animation Studios' animated film in 1950 solidified the Cinderella story in the minds of many Americans. However, every race and culture has their own Cinderella-like story that serves as a timeless tale of transformation.

The most well-known transformation in the Cinderella story is that of a mistreated girl who finds a better life. While Disney's Cinderella is often seen as the definitive version, it is important to recognize that there are other important transformations in this tale. One such transformation is the punishment and humbling of haughty individuals who behave arrogantly or superiorly. This negative quality can be found in ever


y Cinderella-type story around the world.

For instance, Charles Perpetual, a French government employee in the 17th century who promoted the arts, compiled a collection of fairy tales from folklore which included Cinderella. In this French version, Perpetual described Cinderella's noble father marrying "the proudest and haughtiest woman imaginable."

Moreover, this particular Cinderella from France had to deal with two step-sisters who were just as unpleasant as their mother. These step-sisters constantly teased and mocked Cinderella. The step-mother was equally cruel, assigning Cinderella the most menial tasks in the household. Despite all of this, our French Cinderella remained kind and patient. Interestingly, in the 19th century, hundreds of miles away in Germany, two brothers named Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected a variety of folklore, including a story similar to Cinderella. In this version, called Grime'

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Splutter, the beautiful and kind-hearted protagonist also faced a harsh step-mother and spiteful step-sisters. These step-sisters insulted her and took away her nice clothes, making her dress in rags. Another version of this tale involves Goshawks, an Native American Cinderella-type character who experiences similar mistreatment at the hands of haughty and even physically abusive individuals before finding her happy ending. This shows that in the Cinderella story, just as universal as the theme of inner beauty and humility is the presence of antagonistic characters who exhibit heartlessness. The main reason behind this terrible behavior is often jealousy, although not always in every Cinderella-type story.The portrayal of the antagonist's jealousy in most Cinderella stories is easily recognizable due to its garish characteristics. In Perusal's version of Cinderella, this jealousy is quickly displayed. As soon as she marries Cinderella's father, the stepmother begins tormenting Cinderella because her good qualities make her own daughters appear more unpleasant. The stepsisters join in by teasing and mocking Cinderella. However, jealousy is not always the sole factor behind their arrogant and malevolent actions. The depiction of the stepsisters as cold-hearted siblings who pick on Cinderella because she is smaller and weaker does not necessarily stem from jealousy. Instead, it reflects the unfortunate human tendency to visualize what others should be like instead of accepting them as they are. Society generally expects young girls to be beautiful, healthy, and full of vitality. Since Cinderella is small and often ill, she does not meet her older sister's expectations, leading to relentless taunting and harm inflicted upon her. Despite slight variations in motives, every Cinderella story includes examples of haughtiness and cruelty. Each character

displaying arrogance and callousness faces some form of punishment for their actions.

This pivotal transformation is evident in varying degrees across different Cinderella stories. In Perusal's Cinderella, the step-sisters humbly begged Cinderella for forgiveness upon realizing she was the beautiful princess from the ball and the love of the prince's life (628). Cinderella not only forgave them but also ensured a prosperous future for them. In Grime's version, the punishment was more severe, as both step-sisters became blind on Cinderella's wedding day due to their eyes being pecked out by doves (633).

In Chickasaw's story, the lesson is more subtle, even implied. After becoming the bride of the Invisible One, there is no further mention of the sisters (640). For the older sisters, who failed in their attempts to become the wife of the Invisible One, knowing that their supposedly inferior sister was victorious must have been distressing. Being ignored became their punishment, a fate worse than any bully could imagine. Failure and lack of acknowledgement served as their humble transformation.

In all three examples, whether explicit or implicit, punishment and humility play a central role in the transformation of these characters. It is clear that regardless of the severity or manner of punishment, humbling oneself is an integral aspect in Cinderella stories.

All versions of the Cinderella story share the same underlying transformations, although the specific reasons for these transformations may not be explicitly stated. Both types of transformations offer valuable lessons. The moral embodied by Cinderella herself is evident: patience, kindness, and inner strength are rewarded. However, it is equally important to consider the lessons taught by characters lacking Cinderella's positive qualities: haughty behavior,

spitefulness, and viciousness lead to punishment and humility. The transformations of these haughty characters are just as crucial to the Cinderella narrative as the tragic heroes in ancient Greek tales according to Aristotle. By observing the flaws in these characters and their subsequent transformation into humility, we can learn what behaviors to avoid in our own lives.

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