Monday, October 8, 2007

The Grimm Version of Cinderella

Alright, so I'm not going to summarize this tale to much, but here are the basics you need to know:

Cinderella's mom dies, and her father remarries to a woman that has two daughters of her own. She because ostrasized from the rest of the family and is made to pick up after them. The King's son is having a three day ball in order to find his queen. Cinderella wants to go badly, however her stepmother won't allow her with reasons such as, "'No, Cinderella, you have no clothes and you can not dance'" (123) However, she goes anyway with the help of a tree that casts down gowns of gold and silver. She goes to the ball all of the three days and each time the prince wants to follow her home and see to what family she belongs, however she gets away everytime. On the final day she loses a slipper on her way out. The prince finds the family to which Cinderella belongs and asks for each of the daughters to try on the shoe. Both stepsisters try on the shoe and one must cut off a toe and the other a heel in order for the shoe to fit, but they are caught and taken back to the house. Finally, Cinderella tries on the shoe and it fits, and she and the prince are married. The stepsisters try to get on Cinderella's good side and go to the wedding however birds peck out their eyes at the end of the story.

Sorry that was so rushed I'm really excited about getting into my next read!

The evil stepmother is once again introduced. It is the whole idea that a biological mother could never be so cruel to their child and the jealousy of the character helpts to evolve the tale.

Like in Snow-white the looking glass or mirror is introduced in Cinderella. It symbolizes the vanity of the stepsisters and also shows that they are wealthy because having a mirror was a sign of wealth.

"The sisters were almost two days with out eating, so much were they transported with joy" I just find this funny that even back in these times girls would starve themselves before a big get together. Also, the next part in which the sisters break above a dozen laces (laces that tie up the corset) show that their bodies are not ideal and that they are not perfect like they like to think they are.

Oh, and if you were wondering... There is no fairy god mother in the the original tale. However, it is the tree that was planted next to Cinderella's late mother that threw her down the clothes for the ball. Which goes back to the idea that her mother told Cinderella to stay good and pious and she will be helped.

The glass slippers are also important to the story and developement of the character Cinderella. Glass is very fragile and in order for Cinderella to wear them suggests that she is danity and small as to not shatter them when she wears them. Also, the fact that she wears them while she dances the night aways shows that she has a great amount of grace. When she loses the shoe at the ball and then it is returned by the prince he and his servants do not reconize her suggesting that she doesn't belong in rags, but in beautiful clothing. The reunion of Cinderella and the lost glass slipper completes her identity.

The stepsisters finally paid for their vain and jealous ways. Their eyes are pecked out by birds while they are trying to ask Cinderella for forgivness. However, they are only seeking her forgiveness in the hopes they will recieve some of her riches. Also, this goes back to the idea that even though Cinderella lives contently the story is a depressing one.

The idea the Grimm brothers are trying to present are those of working towards something does end up in rewards, and vainty and jealousy will not come with beneficial consequences.


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