A Walk in Her Shoes; the Stepmother not Cinderella
Did you ever notice that “happily ever after” seems to only take place in fairy tales? In the real world, couples get married, have children and, more often than not, end up getting divorced. The time following divorce can be lonely but many people will enjoy the time alone. Eventually, a search begins for a new mate and ultimately they will remarry. Sometimes the new spouse also has children and this creates a blended family, such as in the story “Cinderella” by Charles Perrault. Although it may seem more difficult for stepchildren to become accustomed to their new stepparent, the role of stepmother is usually the most challenging and can be overly stressful. Stepmothers are simply mothers who have accepted the task of loving, disciplining and encouraging another woman’s child as she would her own. Unfortunately, the role of a stepmother has been characterized in fairy tales like Cinderella, as that of a cruel and evil woman who only cares about the lives of her own two children. But everyone knows there are two sides to every story. Cinderella’s stepmother is not evil at all; she is simply misunderstood. When we view the scenarios of this story through the eyes of the stepmother and not Cinderella, we come to realize that Cinderella was, in fact, a spoiled teenager who enjoyed being disobedient, evasive, and deceitful and she preferred to overcome her problems through the use of magic. What kind of parent would not be upset with a young teenage girl acting out in front of her other children in a way that is not appropriate? This only child who never had to share her parent’s attention, came into a family of two girls who were not spoiled and had something in common with Cinderella; they had also lost a parent. This fact alone should have made it easier for these girls to bond but, unfortunately, much turmoil was taking place within the family and things would only get worse. We have always been led to...
Cited: Behrens, Laurence and Leonard J. Rosen, eds. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 10th ed. New York: Pearson, 2008.
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