A comparison of three Cinderella stories; Charles Perrault's "Cinderella", the Brothers Grim's "Ashputtle", and Tannith Lee's "When the Clock Strikes."

Essay by LL94588University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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Charles Perrault's Cinderella begins with an introduction intended for the French Court through use of words as nobleman, proudest, and haughtiest. There is no emotional attachment as is seen in Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm's Ashputtle. Ashputtle begins by introducing the reader to a young girl at the bedside of her dying mother. As Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm are German authors, the reader gets a different sense of appeal. Although it appears to be a tale targeted for the common class, there is still a division of classes within the society, as the tale begins with, "A rich man's wife... ". There is also use of the word "haughty", by the two stepsisters when they tease Ashputtle about her old gray dress. Tannith Lee's When the Clock Strikes is completely different from the previous two tales, most likely because this tale was written more recently (around 1971), and there was a very major difference in the world as compared to the world when the other two tales were written.

It is very descriptive and might appeal to formalist critics. This version of "Cinderella" begins with the focus on time and place. There is a very strong sense of time, not only indicated by the title but also by the introduction, which begins, "Yes, the great ballroom is filled only with dust now", and later in the same paragraph with, " Two hundred years now, since... ". There seems to be a focus on nobility with a direction toward the upper class.


Charles Perrault's Cinderella continues to lack emotion as there is no discussion of Cinderella's mother, nor are their details of the wedding. In fact, with the lack of these details and wording that is used, "No sooner was the wedding over... " the reader might think...