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Over centuries of children have been enjoying the classic fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers and Charles Perrault. The fanciful plots and the vivid details allow children to be entranced by characters and adventures that can only be found in these stories. One of the most beloved fairy tales, which both the Perrault and the Grimms have their own separate versions of, is Cinderella. Cinderella is able to show how both versions are able to feed off the same plots while personifying the century and social economic situation in which they have lived.
Even though the time periods are very different (by 200 years) the formulas for their fairy tales seems to remain constant. Character development, which is very important in fairy tales is both well done and accurately portrays the living situation for a character in the time period of when it was written. Perrault's version seems to put Cinderella's family in a higher, well-off situation of the Grimm's because she is still abided to obey the rules that her dying mother had set for her. Something that you would see a women do in the late 1600's. Her higher class and the rules of her generation has set her to not have revenge on her step-sisters and helps them marry in the end, making a happy ending to the story for everyone. This also gives off the rules of the time to the young girls who would be listening or reading this story back then. They knew their place in society and tales like Perrault's reinforced it. The Grimm's version, titled Ashenputtle, has key elements in the story line that make it very different from Perrault's Cinderella. The theme becomes very different as the end of the tale results in revenge on the step-sisters from Ashenputtle. This variation in the story line represents the setting in which the Grimm's either lived in themselves, or the living situation of the people who related this tale to the Grimm's.
You can see from the tales themselves though, that the amount of similarities is what brings them together, and represents the way that the tale of Cinderella itself has traveled, and evolved, orally through generations, all over the world.
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''Ashenputtle'' The Brothers Grimm. Household Stories. New York: Dover, 1963.
''Cinderella: or The Little Glass Slipper'' Charles Perrault. Hallet, Martin and Barbara Karasek. Folk and Fairy Tales. New York: Broadview Press, 1996.