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Critique: Fairy Tale and Cinderella

Satisfactory Essays
Anuj Arora
July 10, 2011
Critique
Mark Davis
Not so Motherless In Elisabeth Panttaja’s, article Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior the author offers an analysis of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. Panttaja’s analysis may be off-putting to some because she describes Cinderella as being crafty and not a princess who is virtuous or patient. Panttaja claims that Cinderella was not as motherless as it seemed. She does on to say that we cannot assume that just because she is the heroine that she is morally superior to her enemies. This is an example of an over complication, in a simple and beautiful story. Cinderella should be about the triumph of good over evil.
Panttaja begins her article by explaining the importance of the opening scene in the story. Panttaja is resolute that Cinderella is not at all “motherless” but well mothered. Panttaja states that Cinderella plants a twig on her mother's grave, which becomes a great hazel tree in which enchanted birds live. The hazel tree then provides magic to Cinderella and aids her to achieve marriage. The author goes on to compare the goals of the two mothers in the story. The two mothers are quite similar in the text because each is wholly devoted to their daughters well being. Panttaja then draws our attention to how Cinderella competes for the Prince's attention; for Cinderella does not “woo” the prince by her character, but rather her clothing. Cinderella wins because her mother is able to provide a magical dress that overcomes all earthly clothes. In the Grimms version of the story Cinderella is described as “deformed.” The clothes do a incredible job because they turn a “deformed” woman into a miraculous marriage partner. Panttaja end the article by saying that Cinderella, in alliance with her mother, bewitches the prince in order to gain the power and prestige that will ensue upon her marriage to the prince, nobility.
First, the story begins with the unthinkable, the loss of a mother. This is an important subject because many children feel that their mother is their primary caregiver and life seems impossible without her. Cinderella tries to teach children that life is indeed possible after the loss of a beloved family member. Cinderella teaches faith and hope.
Secondly, the hazel tree is not just a way for Cinderella to be crafty and win over the prince, but rather provides a supernatural means of accomplishing balance. The tree can be thought of as karma, she planted the tree in remembrance of her mother and how one’s actions can help you later in life.
Finally, magic is the energy of fate. Magic comes in two forms, good and evil. Evil magic always brings demise to its weilder, while good magic is a reward of being righteous. So by saying that the prince was only attracted to the clothes of Cinderella is out of proportion. Cinderella’s faithful suffering made her deserving of the good magic or reward. The prince came to appreciate the character of Cinderella and not her clothing.
To conclude, Elisabeth Panttaja’s Article tries to defy the true nature of Cinderella and the love between her and the prince, but fables, fairy tales, and stories provide a sense of faith, hope, and good deeds. Their individual elements would not make sense in the world today. These particular stories are so simple that we must accept them at face value; they are only good to us whole and they do not run very deep.

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