Anne Sexton Cinderella

Good Essays
Topics: Fairy tale
Anne Sexton’s poem Cinderella is an analysis of the falsehood of fairytales and their inapplicable meanings to real, everyday life. Sexton’s poem, as a whole, mocks the classic tale of Cinderella by retelling the story with an analysis intertwined. This big message of fairytales being fake is reiterated throughout the poem through repetition, similes through imagery, and diction.

Sexton’s use of repetition is easily spotted in the last stanza of the poem. Sexton’s negative view is shown through the repetition of the word “never.” Never is repeated in the last stanza four times, and each time is an example of a real relationship that Cinderella and her prince will never have. Sexton is mocking the supposed “happily ever after” (101) that
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Cinderella and her prince, are, as Sexton states in line 102, “like two dolls in a museum case …” This comparison of them to inanimate, emotionless objects furthers Sexton’s point of it not being true love. Dolls do not love, dolls do not feel, dolls do not do anything but stay still and simply exist. That is what Sexton suggests Cinderella and the prince will do together; simply exist. The comparison of the museum case to the castle also suggests how shut out from the rest of the world they would be. Cinderella and the prince being like two dolls in a museum case also implies that Cinderella and the prince are just a façade. Dolls in a museum case may look very pretty and perfect, but inside the case, underneath what cannot be seen, the dolls can be weak and rotting away. Cinderella and the prince may look very happy on the outside, and may say they are in love, but the inside of the castle may show a different image; a weaker …show more content…
Sexton’s style becomes very clear in a poem like this one, where she is revising an existing, well known story. The choice of words that Sexton uses at times give a different image than those in other versions of Cinderella, and therefore give a stronger idea of what the poem means. Stanza six of the poem has very clear diction to tie in with the overall idea. The stanza begins with, “Next came the ball, as you all know.” (41) This where Sexton’s choice of words becomes pertinent to understanding the poem. By saying “as you all know,” Sexton strengthens the idea that fairy tales are cliched and overdone, and that every reader knows what is going to happen. The following line says, “It was a marriage market.” (42) The decision to describe the ball as a marriage market, a place where parents take their children with the intention to find them a spouse, instead of a fun gathering or a party adds to the theme. The ball is not a place for Cinderella to go and become her own woman and gain strength and confidence, but rather obviously, a place that Cinderella is going to with the outcome to be finding a

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