Charles Perrault’s Cinderella

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In "Cinderella" by Charles Perrault, the story depicts an imaginative fairytale through the hardships of a mistreated daughter and the magic of a fairy; in essence, Cinderella demonstrates that focusing on materialism is more important and more effective other than working up the path to majesty. Cinderella is a character who is often mistreated by her stepmother and god sisters. Bearing unsuitable personalities, they treat her harshly, leaving all of the chores to her. However, she admits that her tattered clothes are not worthy of a formal event, and continues to be belittled by her stepsisters. Portrayed with low self-esteem and insecurity, she does not respond harshly to their cruel insults. As a result, the main character relies on romanticizing her dream of going to the ball with the help of magic by her fairy godmother.
In the beginning, Cinderella is represented as the maid of the entire home. Readers can identify her as the image of a young woman submissive to the will of her stepmother and stepsisters. She does not argue with them, but only obey, which causes her to appear weak. With a position as the housemaid in the family, she inspires young girls to behave like a lady by treating others equally in kindness and in virtues, hopefully achieving such beauty of character. This could reassure that someday, girls would be able to obtain a Prince strongly enough to marry her. As stated by Kuykendal, “Fractured fairy tales challenge gender stereotypes and patriarchal ideologies only at the story level of the text”. The stepsisters referred to her as ‘Cinderwench’ since she’s sporadically tasked with household chores such as scrubbing the floors, cleaning the bedrooms, and more. Many of these tasks can be traced back to the ...

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Perrault, Charles. "Cinderella, Or the Little Glass Slipper." Tales of Mother Goose. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1956. 2-18. Print.
Hühn, Peter, and Jens Kiefer. "Realistic and Fantastic Schemata." The Narratological Analysis of Lyric Poetry: Studies in English Poetry from the 16th to the 20th Century. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 2005. 216-18. Print.
Kuykendal, Leslee, and Brian Sturn. "We Said Feminist Fairy Tales, Not Fractured Fairy Tales!" Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children 5.3 (2007): 38-41. Print.
Lambert, Ellen Zetzel. "Beauty and Identity." The Face of Love: Feminism and the Beauty Question. Boston: Beacon, 1995. 78-81. Print.
Robbins, Alexandra. "The Fairy-Tale Facade: Cinderella's Anti-Grotesque Dream." Journal of Popular Culture 32.3 (1998): 101-15. ProQuest. Print.
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