The Power of Wealth in Cinderella

Topics: Cinderella, Marxism, Fairy tale Pages: 2 (553 words) Published: November 17, 2013
First published in 1697 by Charles Perrault “Cinderella: or The Glass Slipper”, is one of the most famous fairytales of all time. There are thousands of variants known throughout the world. Upon the first glance it may seem like a simple fairy tale, but it is more than that. Through the use of the Marxism theory the reader will find that the story’s theme of power will be made apparent. In Charles Perrault version of Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper the Marxist literary theory is very evident throughout the fairy tale. Marxist criticism helps the reader see the class from which it is written, reflecting the values and morals of that particular socioeconomic status. According to the Marxist theory literature is a reflection of the ideologies of its time period, perhaps Perrault wrote this story to reflect the class struggle of the time. France in 1967, was still under the rule of a King, the monarchy style of government was still present, meaning that there were the ones who ruled (bourgeoisie), and the ones who worked (proletariat). The economic circumstance of a person determines their role in society. Wealth is one aspect in the story that gives a person power. The prince, bourgeoisie, is very wealthy and is therefore able to throw a ball, for all the women to attend, this shows how he has the power to choose any wife he wants because of his economic status. The stepmother also obtains wealth, by marring Cinderella’s father, and acts like the bourgeoisie, dominating power over Cinderella as “She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters.” (Perrault 1). Since the stepsisters share the wealth of their mother, they also dominate Cinderella and force her to work for them and virtually be a slave. A person typically attains power over people because they are viewed as their elders and someone who should be respected. Despite the fact that Cinderella’s stepsisters are very close to her age, they...
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