Anne Sexton’s Cinderella Story Essay

Anne Sexton’s Cinderella Story Essay

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It starts with a fairy tale story, where all magical things happen and ends happily. The goodness is rewarded but the evil ones are punish. The closing of the story always ends with “and they live happily ever after,” and the main character becomes unhappy but eventually gains happiness at the end. The traditional Cinderella story figure is from “rags to riches.” It begins with a poor maid girl named Cinderella whose stepmother and stepsisters treated her unkindly, but because of the help of her fairy godmother, Cinderella found her Prince Charming. In Anne Sexton’s Cinderella story, the author made changes to the traditional fairy tale by adding her own tale. Throughout the poem, Sexton uses sarcasm to finish the tale initiating the readers’ expectation of happy ending and a traditional fairy tale to vanish. In doing so, she shows the difference between the fairy tale and reality world. Sexton’s poem mocks the traditional happy ending. She is trying to show the reader that happily-ever-after does not even exist in reality. Overall, Sexton’s poem would be considered a dark classic fairy tale including violence and bloody details. By examining literary devices such as the author’s attitude toward the words she says, sensory details denoting specific physical experiences, and tropes to involve some kind of comparison, either explicit or implied, the reader will gain an understanding on what the author is trying to prove a point in her story.
The tone of irony/sarcasm in Sexton’s “Cinderella” story can be observed in the repeating line of “That story.” The author uses particular phrases that sounds like she is criticizing the tale that anticipates the line. Another way that the tone can be understood is that the author is p...


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...er will be. The poem also has a resemblance to Sexton’s personal life; she was the daughter of alcoholic parents who were neglectful and verbally abusive, which can be interpreted from the stepmother’s unkindness to Cinderella, except for the alcoholic part. Overall, the author’s tone using “That story” in each stanza, figurative speech such as “looks like Al Jolson,” and imagery of the nursemaid who went from diapers to Dior all work together to prove her point. Another way it can be looked at is that Sexton is a confessional poet therefore, she tells a story that everyone had heard before, but she rewrites it again to inform everybody that the story of Cinderella is impossible in real life. The author seems bitter and pessimistic throughout the poem because she tries to temper her realistic interpretation of what everyone considers to be a happily-ever-after tale.

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