Essay by nalbandaHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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Family circumstances and dilemmas have become an increasingly significant part of modern society, especially in the Western nations. The fairy tale of 'Cinderella' raised the concept of a wicked stepmother who treated the first daughter of her husband harshly and with extreme dislike. These days, the situation could not possibly be any more contradictory to the original circumstances. Divorces and remarriages are common in today's day and age, many children of previous marriages are forced to accept new parents and siblings. Their behaviour and attitudes towards their new families is likely to be quite negative. Rejection and defiance would be predominant in their treatment and behaviour towards their new family members. Usually, it is the new parent who is the 'good guy', treating their new stepson or daughter with care, respect and affection. Naturally, it takes a substantial period of time for the child to fully accept their new stepparent and become accustomed to them as a part of the family.

This ideal is explored in our play. Cindy is insolent and rude to both Amanda (the stepmother) and Julie (Amanda's daughter). Cindy treats Julie harshly by bribing her, acting foolishly by making a five year old wash the dishes. This results in her being accountable for Julie's cut finger and being grounded. When Mr Baxter (Cindy's father) informs Cindy that Amanda and Julie will be moving in to live with them, Cindy has an explosion of anger which gradually resides when Amanda goes and talks to her, and giving her permission to go to the party.

Many things are maintained from the original fairytale though certain aspects are changed to suit a more modern context. The roles of the some characters are swapped around. This time, the stepmother is not wicked and although Cindy isn't either, one...