Worthiness test: 3 works of Cinderella, how it changed over time by culture Wantip Iamsuwan
As culture changed, the aspect of the writers also changed. It affects to the change in story’s element. We can study the change of culture over time by analyzing the differences in each version. I am going to focus only the worthiness test, the one of the important elements in fairy tales. Chinese version of Cinderella, the earliest version of Cinderella, 9th century, worthiness test is to wear the tiny golden slipper. It shows the culture of Chinese that value the tiny feet. Chinese people have the culture of foot binding, practiced only in high born woman. It’s in the part where the King first saw Cinderella, ‘the king who was furious for he couldn’t believe that any one in rags could possibly own a golden slipper. As he looked closer at her face he was struck by her beauty and he noticed she had the tiniest feet.’ This shows the Chinese values needed in ideal woman, beautiful look and tiny feet. In Perrault’s version of Cinderella, written in 17th century, 1697 A.D., the worthiness test is still wearing the little glass slipper. The small size of feet is passed from the 9th century version to this version. The question is ‘instead of golden, why glass slipper?’ The reasonable point is gold and glass are both solid. It cannot be expanded out so that only the owner can wear it. It goes well with the story’s description, ‘he found that it went on very easily, fitting her as if it had been made of wax.’ Also, critic said the glass refers to Cinderella’s delicate nature. She must have a very delicate appearance and gentle manner to be able to wear the slippers. Without these qualities, she would shatter them. This shows the 17th century French values needed in an ideal woman, delicate appearance and gentle manner. Move to the 20th century, Ella Enchanted. This version is more reasonable than the Chinese and Perrault’s version. The writer of this story, Gail Carson Levine,...
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