Themes in Cinderella
In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, Harry is mistreated by Voldemort. Although Harry is mistreated, his mother’s love saves him many times. The Grimm Brothers also use this idea in “Cinderella”. The Grimm Brothers use symbols to show the themes in “Cinderella”. Two of the major themes in “Cinderella” are mistreatment and a mother’s love for her daughter.
Many people mistreat Cinderella, including her own father. After Cinderella’s mother dies, Cinderella’s father is quick to marry a lady with two daughters. The daughters also mistreat Cinderella. The two girls take Cinderella’s “pretty clothes” (Grimm 7) and give her an “old grey bed gown” (Grimm 7). According to the Dictionary of Symbols, clothes are symbols of “inner being” (“Dress”). Since they take her clothes away from her, they essentially strip Cinderella of her identity. Not only do the step-sisters take Cinderella’s clothes, but they also mistreat her by taking away her shoes and give her “wooden shoes” (Grimm 7). Shoes are not just a luxury; they also represent that “the individual is their own master” (“Shoes”). By giving Cinderella wooden shoes they are showing her they are her new masters. When Cinderella wants to go to the festival, her step-mother has her pick “‘two dishes of lentils” (Grimm 8) out of ash. This repeats the idea of mistreatment because instead of saying Cinderella can go to the festival, her step-mother has her do more chores. The number two symbolizes “confrontation and dualism” (“Two”). Cinderella does not confront her step-mother directly, but in a sly way. After Cinderella picks the lentils out of the ashes and is still not allowed to go to the festival, she takes matters into her own hands, showing another side of her personality. Cinderella goes to the festival. When she leaves, she hides in a pear tree so the prince will not follow her. Her father sees her in the pear tree and has someone “bring him an axe” (Grimm 9). The axe symbolizes “wrath and...
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