Women's Oppression and Search for Love: Cinderella Stories

Topics: Cinderella, Brothers Grimm, Giambattista Basile Pages: 3 (1012 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Esteban Salazar
Professor Charles
ENG 101
7 October, 2013
Women’s Oppression and Search for Love through Cinderella Stories Common Cinderella tales are shared throughout the world in similar versions. They are retold over a period of many generations. Cinderella tales are written in a way to explain something meaningful in life, through a story. Many of the tales differ from the familiar “Disney version” of the story. Each of the Cinderella stories has a different tone and theme. The tales Aschenputtel by The Brothers Grimm from Germany, and The Twelve Months: A Slav legend adapted by Alexander Chodzko from Russia are told with different attitudes towards nature, but also has similarities. Women play a major role in the stories, yet they are limited to options set for them. Hunger, privation, abuse and discrimination are a few examples of women are put apart. At the end of each story the women ends up happy. Through comparing and contrasting oppression, magic and identity, I will show that the tale Aschenhputtel focuses more on the identity, while The Twelve Months focuses on the magical help.

In every Cinderella tale there is an oppressed woman. In the tale Aschenputtel by the Brothers Grimm, the oppressed Aschenputtel was subject to the harsh and authoritarian new wife of her father and the two daughters of the new wife. The daughters and step-mother took away Aschenputtel’s luxury and gave her an old grey kirtle and wooden shoes. Grimm says, “and as she always looked dusty and dirty, they named her Aschenputtel” (Grimm 183). This poor girl was obliged to do heavy work from morning to night. Aschenputtel and Marouckla, from The Twelve Months, were oppressed in almost the same way. In the tale The Twelve Months by Alexander Chodzko, the oppression, was similar to Aschenputtel except the evil in this tale was the widow and her sister instead of a wife and two daughters. The widow loved Helen, her daughter, but hated the poor orphan, Marouckla because she...
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