Once Upon a Time: Comparing and Contrasting Cinderella
A long time ago, stories weren’t written down. Stories were told out loud. These stories excited your imagination and filled you with wonder. When you hear a good story, you pass it on. These stories that people shared with one another came out of their hearts; they produced magic worlds that made impossible things come true. These stories have been shared using oral tradition. Oral tradition is cultural material and tradition that is transmitted orally from one generation to another. A parent tells a story to their children. Their children and even their children’s children are all part of a story that is still unfolding even to this day. Most of these stories being told are fairy tales. Fairy tales are fiction, but the fantasy lets the listeners and the readers expand their imagination into new worlds they never seen before. They help broaden a person’s mind to try new things and to stand up for what they believe in. These tales have morals that teach people that you have to fight to make a wish come true. Fairy tales also teach people to pursue their goals and to realize their talent and ambition; and most of all, you can achieve if you just simply believe. There are some fairy tales that stand out in our lives that we have read many numerous times. Beauty and the Beast, Alice and Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty are all fairy tales that have made an impact on peoples’ lives. The most notorious of all these fairy tales is Cinderella. Cinderella has been adapted into many different versions and many different languages. Cinderella has impacted audiences all over the world.
Cinderella is known for having reoccurring elements in fairy tales called motifs. Motifs appear in all of the Cinderella stories including slippers, pumpkins, fairy godmothers, wicked stepmothers and sisters, a prince and a party. Each Cinderella has a motif about a beautiful girl who is mistreated by her mother and sisters. A being helps her and she is awarded with riches that help her get to the party. The prince at the party falls in love with her and when Cinderella runs away, there is always something that is left behind that can identify her. The prince searches everywhere for the maiden who drops the precious item. He eventually finds her and marries her which leads to a happy or tragic ending for Cinderella and for the mother and sisters. Each version of Cinderella adds its own spice to the mix and retells in its own special story about this young girl.
One variant of Cinderella and the most popular is the 1697 French version of the tale called The Little Glass Slipper by Charles Perrault. This tale centers around a girl who is very beautiful inside and out. The father remarries and the stepmother is jealous of the beautiful girl for her own children were hideous and odious. The stepmother’s jealousy took over her heart and made the wonderful girl do the meanest chores and dressed her in rags to make her seem less beautiful. The stepmother’s daughters treat her with just the same disrespect. They give her the name Cinderella because they make her sleep near the chimney in the ashes and cinders. The king announces a ball to let the prince find a wife. All of the maidens are invited in the land, but Cinderella is not allowed to go because of her cruel stepmother. They leave and she starts to cry. Her fairy god mother appears because of her tears and gives her precious garments to wear and a magnificent coach to ride. She warns her to return at midnight because all of these wonders will vanish at the stroke of twelve. For the two nights of the ball, she dances with the prince and everyone is mesmerized by her beauty, even her stepmother and stepsisters. For the second night she almost runs out of time and runs away from the ball to avoid the prince witnessing her unexpected transformation. She drops a glass slipper and he...
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