In Her Shoes...

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Clara Anderson

In Her Shoes…
In today’s age, most people would attribute their knowledge of the tale of Cinderella to the beloved animated film produced by Walt Disney. Some would even classify Disney’s rendition of Cinderella as a classic, but this would be an injustice to the hundreds of tales across many cultures that also bear Cinderella-esque qualities and would consider their own versions of the tale to be the prototype from which all other adaptations emulate. Of the many derivatives of the “classic” tale of Cinderella, the one that readily resonates with most audiences is that of a persecuted heroine who receives assistance from magical sources and overcomes her difficult circumstances, as she is finally recognized for her true virtues and marries up in society (“#510”). Though the details of their respective narratives vary from one tale to another, the overarching morals of each tale are actually quite comparable and analogous to one another despite the cultural differences. The Disney version of Cinderella was mostly based on the work of Charles Perrault in 1697. A common myth is that this tale, among other fairy tales, was written for children but, at a time when a genre for children’s literature did not actually exist, Perrault’s intended audience was the noble people of the high French court. Many of the tales in his published Histoires ou contes du temps passé, were not his original work but a modified and elaborated version of those tales to suit the aristocrats’ taste for the embellished (Potts). Thus, Perrault took the stories of folkloric origins, removed the rustic details, and garnished them with brilliant language worthy of the eyes of the attendees of the French literary salons, where his work was popularized. In the class-divided world Perrault was in, the nobility married their like and those of the lower class can only aspire to marry up in status. A girl’s marriageability was of utmost importance and this was a common theme in...
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