Cinderella: A Literary Analysis

Essay by Mattime March 2010

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

The story of Cinderella is a timeless classic that characterizes the different aspects of historical writing. Many later variations of the story derive their origin from classic antiquity, one being possibly the earliest version recorded in the first century BC from the tale of the Greco-Egyptian girl Rhodopis. Rhodopis washes her clothes in an Ormoc stream, a task forced upon her by fellow servants, who have left to go to a function sponsored by the Pharaoh Amasis. An eagle takes her rose-gilded sandal and drops it at the feet of the Pharaoh in the city of Memphis; he then asks the women of his kingdom to try on the sandal to see which one fits. Rhodopis succeeds. The Pharaoh falls in love with her, and she marries him. Another early version of the story, Ye Xian, appeared in Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Tuan Ch'eng-Shih around A.D. 860. Here the hardworking and lovely girl befriends a fish, the reincarnation of her mother who was killed by her stepmother.

Ye Xian saves the bones, which are magic, and they help her dress appropriately for a festival. When she loses her slipper after a fast exit, the king finds her and falls in love with her. Both variations share the same general style of plot, where a young virtuous woman is hardworking and of low social standing, and overcomes the obstacles that she faces with the help of a guide. All further variations adhere to this general plot. All of the different styles of the story follow the Monomyth Cycle, and this is more easily discerned in the later versions of it. The main character is born to a low class or placed in a lowered situation, but born with a certain peculiarity, mostly where the size of her foot matching the...