What the Cinderella Story Has to Teach Young Girls

analytical Essay
1423 words
1423 words

At first glance, what makes a fairy tale a fairy tale may seem obvious—some kind of magic, hidden symbols, repetition, and of course it’s evident it’s fiction—but fables are more than that. As Arthur Schelesinger puts it, it’s about “[expanding] imagination” and gaining understanding of mysterious places (618). While doing this, it also helps children to escape this world, yet teach a lesson that the reader may not be conscious of. A wonderful story that achieves all of this is Cinderella, but not the traditional tale many American’s have heard. Oochigeaskw, or The Rough-Faced Girl, and Ashputtle would be fitting for a seven-year-old because they get the gears of the mind turning, allowing for an escape on the surface, with an underlying enlightenment for children of the ways of the world.

The Rough Faced Girl is the Native American variation of Cinderella. It was originally told in the language of the Algonquin, who resided in the Eastern Woodlands of the United States and greatly differs from all the other stories of Cinderella. This tale’s focus is of an invisible man who will marry the woman who can see him. His sister, who has the ability to view him, cares for him and brings different woman to the wigwam to test their sight of the “Invisible One” (639). Many woman tried as they might, are unable to see him except one, Oochigeaskw. This woman is the youngest of three siblings, and is treated the poorest—scars covered her body from where her sisters burned her (640). I prefer this story to the rest because there isn’t the use of magic…or magic for the woman’s own benefit. Instead, once the sister proves The Rough-Faced Girl can see her brother, she bathes her and all her scars disappear. My interpretation of this is that Ooch...

... middle of paper ...


Works Cited

Behrens and Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 11 ed. Longman, 2011. Print.

Bettelheim, Bruno. “’Cinderella’: A Story of Sibling Rivalry and Oedipal Conflicts”. Behrens and Rosen 651-657.

Cullen, Bonnie. “The Rise of Perrault’s ‘Cinerella’”. Behren and Rosen 645-650.

Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm. “Ashputtle.” Behrens and Rosen 628-633.

“Oochigeaskw – The Rough-Faced Girl (A Native American ‘Cinderella’). Behrens and Rosen 639-640.

Orenstein, Peggy. “Cinderella and Princess Culture”. Behren and Rosen 670-673.

Panttaja, Elisabeth. “Cinderella: Not so Morally Superior”. Behrens and Rosen 658-661.

Poniewozik, James. “The Princess Paradox”. Behrens and Rosen 666-669.

Schlesinger, Arthur Jr. “What Great Books do for Children”. Behrens and Rosen 617-618.

Thompson, Smith. “Universality of the Folktale”. Behrens and Rosen 619-622.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that fairy tales are more than that. they help children escape the world and teach a lesson that the reader may not be conscious of.
  • Analyzes how the rough-faced girl differs from all the other cinderella stories. the story's focus is on an invisible man who will marry the woman who can see him.
  • Analyzes how the bath symbolizes the inner beauty that is exposed when truth and love are in oochigeaskw's heart. the message is that life may not always be fair, and difficult situations arise for every type of person.
  • Analyzes how the story of ashputle, transcribed by jakob and wilhelm grimm, follows the basic story line, but has a different twist.
  • Analyzes how schlesinger's story introduces different emotions and helps kids differentiate between good and bad. the story ends with the birds pecking out the sisters' eyes.
  • Analyzes how bruno bettelheim, psychologist and educator, exposes that the woman the prince marries is chosen by the size of her feet. this can be connected with the fact that women with small feet were attractive.
  • Analyzes how the tree symbolizes motherhood, and the blindness of the sisters exposes the poor treatment of ashputtle's young girl.
  • Analyzes how the rough faced girl and ashputtle are suitable for a seven-year-old. they teach various lessons, most of which are to be grateful for what is.
  • Cites behrens and rosen's writing and reading across the curriculum 11 ed. longman, 2011.
Get Access