Analyzing Cinderella by Anne Sexton

Topics: Cinderella, Family, Irony Pages: 5 (1782 words) Published: November 14, 2012
Cinderella is a childhood fairytale that we all love and remember. It is a tragedy that turns into love and happily ever after in the end. In contrast to this popular story, Anne Sexton's version of Cinderella is a dark and twisted version of the classic fairy tale. It takes on a whole new perspective and is fairly different from the childhood fairytale that most of society knows. The poem takes less of a focus on the happy ever after in Cinderella and makes it into vivid bloody and violent images. She retreats more toward the pain and neglect. The poem is not based off the Disney version of Cinderella, but rather original dark version by Brothers Grimm. Sexton uses a very sarcastic and ironic tone and mocks the unrealistic "rags to riches" stories. The use of irony and sarcasm makes the genre of the poem satirical poetry. The poem is a modern, free verse poem that contains nine stanzas. Sexton leads in with four short stories that use repetition as a literary device to verify her version of Cinderella. She uses these stanzas to say that the stories are all myths just like Cinderella. Anne Sexton uses many literary devices such as irony, similes, metaphors, repetition, and symbolism and the idea or social issues to portray that the story of Cinderella is unrealistic. For Sexton, the 'happily ever after' that society chases after does not exist. Anne Sexton wrote this poem to show that fairy tales are not real. This kind of life does not exist in the real world. No matter how hard one tries to find this fantasy, it will never happen.She mocks this poem to show that this is a dream world and society goes after this illusion in their head that will never come true because it is a fantasy. In our current society, children are brain washed into thinking that everything in life is always fine and dandy when in reality, it is not always great and happy.Sexton starts the poem off with a sarcastic tone saying, "You always read about it", and then tells stories of unrealistic "rags to riches" stories. This sarcastic tone is used throughout the rest of the poem. The use of this tone is irony for what comes throughout the poem and the last stanza. The last stanza describes what the "happily ever after" life is like between the prince and

Cinderella. She writes that how they are perfect and how they never argued or aged. Her sarcasm enforces that these things all come with relationships and there will always be bumps on the road. The perfect relationship does not exist and therefore, there is never a permanent happily ever after. Some symbolism and themes used in this poem would be jealousy and animals. Jealousy plays a big part in this story through everyone. Cinderella was always jealous of her stepmother and sisters because of the love they obtained from her father. All she ever got was neglect and abuse and they got love and riches. In the poem it states, “Her father brought presents home from town, jewels and gowns for the other women but the twig of a tree for Cinderella". This shows that the father treated Cinderella like nothing and her stepmother and stepsisters were placed on some type of pedestal and were spoiled with love and gifts. Although you would think the stepmother and stepsisters would be content with their lifestyle, they envied Cinderella and did not let her go to the ball. They made her their servant and always had her do their dirty work. Once Cinderella gets her love and prince charming, the sisters were so jealous of her love and riches that they came and pleaded for forgiveness. Cinderella did not allow their pity and a dove pecked their eyes out in protection of her. This is where the symbolism comes in. The white dove is symbolic of her dead mother because Cinderella "Planted that twig on her mother's grave and it grew to a tree where a white dove sat". The dove is a symbol for love and protection.  Her father, stepmother, and stepsisters rejected her so she...
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