21 July 2011
Cinderella’s Story - A Different Transformation
If you think that the only Cinderella story is the animated tale of your youth, think again. Worldwide and throughout the ages, accounts of the popular Cinderella story have educated and enchanted both children and adults. In 1950, Walt Disney Animation Studios released its animated version of this classic tale which many Americans consider the Cinderella story. However, there is a Cinderella-like story for almost every race and culture. They are all timeless fables of transformation. The subjugated girl who obtains a better life is the most often thought of transformation. Just as Disney’s Cinderella is often considered to be the only Cinderella story, the happily ever after transformation is, by the same token, thought of as the only transformation in this tale. It is not. Equally important to the story is another transformation; the haughty are punished and made humble. Haughtiness - behaving in a superior or arrogant manner - is the negative quality found in every Cinderella-type story throughout the world. For example, Charles Perrault, who was instrumental in promoting the arts while working for the French government in the 17th century, penned an anthology of fairy tales taken from folklore which included Cinderella (624). In this French rendition, Perrault stated that Cinderella’s noble father took for his second wife “the proudest and haughtiest woman imaginable” (624). Furthermore, this French Cinderella contended with two step-sisters with a character that mirrored their mother. The step-sisters taunted Cinderella. The step-mother was equally harsh and charged Cinderella with the most difficult household chores. All the while, our French Cinderella remained loving and patient. Conversely, in the 19th century and more than 600 miles away, two German brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm compiled their collection of folklore which also contained a Cinderella-type story. The sweet and beautiful...
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