Professor Paula Jarrett
7 September 2014
Cinderella's Heroic Journey
The story of Cinderella is a magical fairytale that children of all ages and backgrounds are familiar with. It's an appealing tale because it includes magic and whimsy, oppression, love, perseverance- all of the things that are included in the story of a hero, or in this case, a heroine. As John Campbell explains in his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a hero (or heroine) goes through many stages on their quest for whatever it is they are looking for in life, and Cinderella is no different. She experiences all of the stages on her quest for love and happiness.
At the beginning of the story, Cinderella is the beloved daughter of a wealthy man, leading a happy, normal life. However, as all heroic journeys begin, according to Campbell, so must this one, with "A blunder-apparently the merest chance-reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood" (Campbell 42).
For Cinderella, the blunder is her father's untimely death that leaves her under the control of her evil stepmother and stepsisters who, jealous of her beauty, keep her confined to the estate and treat her as a servant.
Campbell states: "The first stage of the mythological journey-which we have designated the "call to adventure"-signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown" (Campbell p. 48). Cinderella's call to adventure comes in the form of an invitation, or summons, to the royal ball, from the castle with the intentions of finding a wife for the prince. Cinderella has spent hours day-dreaming of an opportunity like this, and eager...