In the poem “Cinderella,” Anne Sexton uses sarcasm to say that nobody ever ends up being happy and never has that fairy tale ending that they all want. Sexton wants to show how society is under an illusion that all this is real. She is also saying people cannot just become happy despite their good fortune. Sexton uses sarcasm as a way to entertain and portray her points that she is trying to make. At the beginning of the poem she gives examples of many success stories of the normal rags to riches and tragedy to triumph themes. These stories still don’t guarantee you for having a perfect life or being happy. She does this only to build you up to get you thinking of the normal Cinderella that we all know and love.
In the beginning of the poem Anne Sexton says “You always read about it”, and then she goes about telling all the typical rags to riches stories. Sarcasm like this is hidden throughout the story. She is actually trying to say that these success stories hardly occur in real life. She wants you to think at the beginning of the poem that it is going to be the typical happy ending of the normal Cinderella. In fact, she says the total opposite. Anne Sexton also gets into the bloody gory side. She says, “The two sisters came to curry favor, and the white dove pecked their eyes out.” She is using sarcasm to tell her audience that if you try to be something you are not, so that you can get your fairy tale ending, then there can be consequence in your life. Not saying that doves are going to come peck your eyes out, but that you will never be happy with your life. The two sisters also made amputations to their selves to try to fit to the prince’s specifications. They wanted that happy ending, and Sexton shows the sarcasm here by saying that girls will do anything to find true love and have that fairy tale ending. Anne Sexton also portrays the relationship between Cinderella and the Prince in a sarcastic manor throughout the poem. She says “the prince and Cinderella lived happily ever after, they say, like two dolls in a museum case. If you just read it you would think nothing about it but if you pay attention to it, it means something totally different. She’s saying that they, like dolls, were never really alive and didn’t live their lives. She said, “They lived happily ever after, they say.” I get from that they were never really happy at all. She also says, “Their darling smiles pasted on for eternity.” That sounds like to me that they faked their love for each other and just acted happy. Cinderella wanted that happy fairy tale ending that every girl wants, and to get that she would accept not being happy. In the end Sexton goes into saying that Cinderella and the Prince were never really happy after all. She makes fun of the real Cinderella and how she went from rags to marrying the Prince and living happily ever after. That happens to almost no one. Sexton believes there is no prince charming, no Cinderella, and really no happy endings. I think Anne Sexton is very clever for her use of sarcasm to get her points across in the poem “Cinderella.”