The story of Cinderella began in ancient China and has since been translated and recreated numerous times into stories, plays, and even movies. Perrault and Disney’s versions of Cinderella took special interest to Louis Bernikow, in which she analyzed in her essay “Cinderella: Saturday Afternoon at the Movies”. In the essay, Bernikow shows that “there are two worlds in the Cinderella cartoon, one of women, one of men” (270), and that the women in the story need men. In “Cinderella: Saturday Afternoon at the Movies”, the women need men to secure social class, lift them from poverty, and give them a feeling of self worth.
In the essay, “Cinderella: Saturday Afternoon at the Movies”, the author makes a point that women need men in order to secure their “ticket” to social class. This is shown by women in Cinderella constantly competing for a man which leads them into a trap of being obsessed with their appearance. “They are obsessed with their mirrors, straining to see what men would see” (271) because “class mobility is at stake” (270). This is what drives the competition between the women because there is seemingly no other way to achieve their goal. Even the magical fairy godmother cannot change Cinderella’s social class permanently, for she can only grant this power until midnight. Bernikow shows in her essay that in order for a woman to gain permanent social class, she needs a man.
Just as only a man can secure a woman’s social class, Bernikow demonstrates that a woman equally needs a man to lift them from poverty. “The rags-to-riches moment” (272) in Cinderella was only possible with the help of the Prince, a man. This point is extremely accurate with the Cinderella story and how “the young girl is lifted from a lowly powerless situation by a powerful man” (273). If the Prince had not come and found Cinderella after searching high and low for the owner of the glass slipper, Cinderella would return the following day to being the household “drudge”. This very...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document