So, I've finally finished Bound! I'm so pumped and excited to move on to the next book which is Briar Rose. However, before I can start that one I need to make at least one more post on Bound.
So, Xing Xing goes down to the cave festival at the park. Mainly she is there just for the experience. She isn't looking to find a husband like Wei Ping is. Night has fallen and the ci sharing is about to start when Wei Ping and Stepmother spot a beautiful Xing Xing in the crowd which startles Xing Xing making her run off back to the cave. In the process she loses one of her mothers golden shoes...OH NO! When Wei Ping and Stepmother get home they find Xing Xing in her tattered rags and don't even suspect that she left the cave. So, now the shoe is lost and it travels from man to man who bids the highest until the price of it is so high that only the prince can afford it. He travels from town to town looking for the girl the shoe fits and he arrives to the Wu household last and when the shoe fits neither Wei Ping or Stepmother the Prince is completely downhearted. But, then Xing Xing gets the chance to prove that she is the girl from the cave festival and she and the prince leave together to live happily ever after.
Ok, here comes the important interesting stuff...
Xing Xing's shoe is golden unlike other versions. The slipper or shoe that the character wears reflects society's view of that person or type of person. In both the Grimm and Disney versions the slipper is glass, however in this version the slipper is golden. Glass is fragile and reflects the wearer as that and dainty, however in Bound Xing Xing's slipper is golden which is very valuable and not just in beauty, in smarts too. The Cinderella's in the Grimm and Disney versions are beautiful, but they are never displayed as intelligent unlike Xing Xing who tells the Prince what she wants and doesn't want, "I don't want to be bought or sold" (183) and other things about her, "My feet are not bound...[and] I don't have a dowry" (184). By doing this Xing Xing makes sure that the Prince really wants her as a wife not because she is beautiful, but because he has an interest in her as a person, a virtue that the Grimm and Disney Cinderella's did not have.
Something else I found really important is that, "...neither Stepmother nor Wei Ping ever looked at her. Not really. A change of clothes, and they didn't even recognize her." ( 166) showing that neither of them really saw anything special in Xing Xing, they just always assumed that she would be there. They didn't really see how intelligent she was or even what she looked like physically. It's the same as the Cinderellas in the other two versions because they were also not recognized at the balls they attended.
Also, this version is a little less gruesome, but like in the Grimm version both Wei Ping and Stepmother's feet do not fit the shoe because one's toe is to big and the other's heel is to big. However, they don't cut them off in order to try and get the shoe on. They don't seem as desperate as the stepsisters in the Grimm version.
Napoli like the Grimm brothers are trying to present the idea that when someone works towards something they'll get it in the end. Xing Xing wanted to get away from her Stepmother and she finally did. And, that intelligence is far more important than beauty. However, she doesn't present it in the violent and gruesome way that the Grimm brothers do.