Compare and Contrast the Way Two Cinderella Texts Explore the Values and Attitudes of the Cultures Reflected in Each

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Compare and Contrast the way the two texts explore the values and attitudes of the cultures reflected in each.

The two versions of Cinderella provide readers with insight into the values and attitudes of the cultures represented within each. The insight is obtained through the qualities the heroine's possess, the nature of the consequence for the evil character, and the overall moral and purpose of each text. These features are excellent tools for audiences of both the Ancient Chinese culture and a more contemporary, Western style.

The two heroine's, Yeh Hsien and Cinderella, each posses different qualities which reflect their culture and values. The earliest version of Cinderella focuses on the talents and values of the characters, where the Western version is more materialistic and focuses more on beauty. The heroine of the Chinese version, Yeh Hsien, is described in the text as intelligent and good at pottery, we also find later in the text that she is kind and gentle- “She howled with grief in the open countryside...” When the fish died she was extremely upset, and when given the fish bones that granted her wishes Yeh Hsien gave herself food, dresses, pearls and gold, only when needed. This shows that she wasn't foolish or greedy and didn't abuse her power. This gives the responder insight into the values and attitudes of the Chinese Culture. We learn that the Ancient Chinese value the personality and talents of people rather than the way they look, and that we should wait for good to happen. Cinderella, heroine of the Western version, is nice, compliant, hardworking and beautiful. This text is a lot more materialistic than the first version and is very focused on beauty. It is constantly reinforced in the text and beauty is used to depict good from evil. For example, “Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl called Cinderella and she had two ugly sisters.” This gives the responders the idea that Cinderella is the good character in the story and the...
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