Evolution of Cinderella Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:26:25
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Category: Cinderella

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Fairy tales evolve over time as they are told from generation to generation, regardless if they are passed on by word of mouth or through print. Some have great variations; some are the same except a few mini details. No matter what the differences, they all have the moral in common at the heart of the story. With Cinderella, one learns that despite being unappreciated and doomed to serving others, as long as you are kind natured and a truly good person, your dreams will come true. Cinderella is one of the most well-known and popular fairy tales of all time.

Why this is, is a little unclear. Perhaps it is because her story is so straight forward and simple. As with the moral her tale presents; Good things come to good people. Cinderella is forced to become a virtual servant in her own home. She is forced to scoured the dishes, tables, etc. And rubbed madams chamber, and those of the misses her daughters (Walker, 2). Yet she doesnt complain and does the work diligently. In the end, her loving qualities win over the heart of the Prince and her beauty shines through not only from the outside, but her inner beauty as well.

Throughout time, the story of Cinderella has changed very little. With minimal exceptions, the stories from different eras are very near the same. What kind of father would let his new wife send his only daughter to sleep on the hard floor while the others slept in the comfort of beds made with the finest materials around? This was one of the main differences throughout the Cinderella stories. In The Little Glass Slipper, Cinderellas father was so saddened and upset by his new wife and her children because of their rudeness and unwillingness to listen and he eventually fell ill and died.

This in turn leaves Cinderella to fend for herself with her stepmother and two stepsisters. In the History of Cinderella, she never told her father of her step mothers or her step sisters cruelty because she knew that her step mother governed him (her father) entirely (Walker, 2) and it would have done her no good. When it came to Cinderella, (Mather), there is never a mention of her father whatsoever. He is completely absent from that version of the tale. With Ashputtle, her father is alive the entire time and is completely aware of what she is put threw.

In fact, he seems to tolerate if not encourage it. When asked by the Prince about a third daughter, he responds with, No, theres only a puny little kitchen drudge that my dead left me. She couldnt possibly be the bride. (Grimm, 51) These examples show four very different versions of the same character: A completely missing father, an ignorant one, one that endorses the cruel treatment of his daughter and finally one that is so distraught over his new families cruelty, he eventually dies from it. Although this aspect is not a major point in the story, it is nonetheless a detail not to be ignored.

It may be a representation of the way family life was held at the different times. When a writer, or someone who is relaying the tale, changes it slightly from the way it was told to them, there is a reason. It may be for dramatic effect or it may be for a more profound reason. Perhaps the Grimm brothers chose to have Ashputtles father condone her treatment as proof of how parents treated their children during those times. Or maybe it is a reflection on their personal lives and experiences. With this in mind, the readers could sincerely appreciate her struggle, and her inner beauty and strength for what it was.

When the four versions of Cinderella are compared they all have almost identical godmothers, except Ashputtle. In the other three versions, the Godmother would appear when Cinderella was crying after her stepsisters left for the ball and she would turn a pumpkin to a coach, mice to horses, a rat to a coach men and six lizards to be her footmen. When it comes to Ashputtle though, it is very much different because there is no Godmother to speak of. A time comes that her father brings her back a hazel sprig. She goes and plants it right by her mothers grave where her tears water it. As it grows, she sits beneath it and uses it for shade.

When the time for the ball comes and she denied the right to attend by her stepmother and she runs to the tree for comfort. Shake your branches, little tree, Throw gold and silver down on me. (Grimm, 48) At this moment doves and turtle doves come down with a beautiful dress and shoes for her to wear to the ball. This version uses the tree and the doves as Ashputtles mothers spirit to help her out. Her good deeds throughout her life are rewarded as she is watched over by her dead mother. This version is very much different than the others as evidenced by her lack of contact with a human or fairy of any sort.

There is no mention of how she gets to the ball, only that she does attend. She goes to the ball for three nights, as in Mathers Cinderella as well. With The Little Glass Slipper and the History of Cinderella, the balls only lasted two nights. The difference between the days of the balls does not seem to affect the stories. It appears as if it is just a variation that has occurred as the story has been passed down through time. Cinderellas grace and forgiveness is extended to her family at the end of Cinderella, The Little Glass Slipper, and History of Cinderella.

She forgives here sisters for their unkindness towards her and welcomes them with open arms. In History of Cinderella she goes as far as to give her sisters lodging in the palace, and matched them with two great lords of the court. (Walker, 5). Whereas in The Little Glass Slipper, Cinderella, told her sisters to forget the past as readily and willingly as she would; she also firmly assured them that prosperity would never make her forget the ties for relationship which bound them together, and begged of them to command any interest she might possess in furthering their future welfare and happiness. (England, 5).

Mather chose a route similar to that of The Little Glass Slipper in his Cinderella. The sisters did for pardon crave, which she sweetly to them gave. (Mather, 3). All of these accounts show Cinderellas goodwill. She is presented with an opportunity to treat her sisters as they have treated her, to ignore them and move on, or to embrace them with forgiveness and help them in their lives. The different versions laid out here show that in each opportunity, she embraces her sisters no matter what. Each to a different degree, but no matter what, she never turns her back on them.

Ashputtle has a much fate for the sisters than the other three. The two sisters try to fool the Prince into believing that the glass slipper is theirs. The first cuts off her toe, at her mothers urging, to make it fit. The Prince only notices because the two doves sitting in the enchanted hazel tree he rides by cry out a rhyme, Roocoo, roocoo, theres blood in the shoe. The foots too long, the foots too wide, thats not the proper bride. (Grimm, 50). The Prince then returns that sister when he realizes the mistake. As the second sister goes to try on the shoe, again at her mothers urging, cuts off her heel to make it fit.

The Prince again rides off with the wrong bride only to hear the doves cry out their rhyme. Once more he returns to the house. Finally he tries the slipper on Ashputtle and finds is true bride. As he takes her away, he hears the doves sing, Roocoo, rococo, No blood in the shoe. Her foot is neither long nor wide. This one is the proper bride. (Grimm, 51) On the day of her wedding, the doves came and pecked out the two sisters eyes for being so cruel and wicked. Ashputtle was never given the opportunity, which the reader is shown, to forgive her sisters for their atrocious behavior.

Not only that, but her sisters are given a horrible fate of blindness. But with this twist on the ending, it completely changes from the other versions. It actually punishes the sisters for their actions. Forgiveness is not shown in this instance, and this in essence keeps her hands clean. Her goodness does not come into question by not ever giving her the opportunity to either excuse or deny her sisters. Walt Disney took Cinderella and created a version that would appeal to the masses and aimed it directly at children.

His cartoon was in the same form as many of his other movies before, filled with song, dance, talking animals and enchantment. Except for the latter, these are things that are limited to Disneys version. Disney included a fairy Godmother, and the basics of mice being the horses, the pumpkin was used as the carriage. Other animals from the story were used as the coach men and the foot men. His version also included only one night at the ball, which was different from all the other versions. This seems to be because of time issues for the movie. Disney chose to completely ignore the sisters for the end.

Cinderella never saw them after she fit into the shoe and was whisked away to the Prince. The sisters are never seen again and we do not know how Cinderella chose to deal with them, you are just left content in seeing Cinderella drive off away happy. With this version, Disney had Cinderellas father fall ill and die soon after he remarried. It would not have been fitting for her father to ignore her treatment. Disney writes happy fairy tales with happy endings. If this one had included a neglectful father, it would have not been deemed appropriate for his target audience, being children.

As time travels and goes on through the years, so do fairy tales. Some are merely shadows of their former selves. Others can be recited word for word from generation to generation. What happens during this time in the world affects this, as well as the simplicity or complexity of the story and the moral. When the story is put into print, it tends to stay the same a little more than when passed on just by words. But when passed on from country to country, it sometimes has changes when translated to another language. No matter what the differences, there is always one thing that remains the same, and they lived happily ever after.

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