Cinderella Fairytale Review

Essay by tanyacelicaCollege, Undergraduate March 2004

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What do you make of the various versions of Cinderella? Why do you think this story is so appealing to so many around the world?

"Cinderella" is arguably best-known fairy tale in the word. There are many various versions but all of them share the idea of a reduction in social status, usually associated with mistreatment/servitude in one's own home. It is often associated with ashes or the hearth. And they provide insights into the daily lives and values of the common people, as well as reflections of the cultural identities of the nations popularizing them. People started telling fairy tales a long time ago when there were social tensions and lower and upper classes (this is true for Europe, Africa, and Native Americans, as well). I believe that "Cinderella" explores these social issues by concentrating on the envy of the aristocracy by the less fortunate, by comparing the lifestyles of these two classes.

Cinderella's "poor clothes" and "wretched straw bed" are contrasted with the "red velvet suit, with French trimming", "fine rooms" and "beds of the newest fashion" that belong to her step-sisters . When Cinderella's fairy godmother prepares Cinderella to attend the ball, she literally transforms commonplace objects into commodities only found in the highest social and economic circles. Great detail is given to Cinderella's new possessions and to the setting of the ball. These details provided for the lower class a glimpse into a world they wished to see and experience. But, they knew that magic could not last forever, so, in order for "Cinderella" to have a happy ending, the Prince must accept Cinderella in her original state, dirty clothes and all. Cinderella is a "good" person who deserves to be embraced by the Prince, just as the lower class should be welcomed by the upper...